Amazing Spider-Man #7

Story by
Art by
Matteo Buffagni
Colors by
Marte Gracia
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Marvel Comics

Now that he has established the wall-crawler as everyone's friendly worldwide Spider-Man, Dan Slott focuses on the multiple elements of Spidey's new status quo in "Amazing Spider-Man" #7. Mister Negative may have corrupted Cloak and Dagger, but Peter nonetheless seeks to disrupt Negative's plans while dealing with his ongoing duties as CEO of Parker Industries. Matteo Buffagni rises to the challenge and deftly handles several villains as well as an even larger supporting cast, keeping up with a rollercoaster story that jumps between its various elements in a punchy, fast-paced and overall enjoyable issue.

As he has done throughout his run with the character, Slott layers his story with multiple subplots, giving every issue -- and this one in particular -- a quick and hard-hitting tempo, never lingering in one place too long but always coming back exactly when needed. Within Mister Negative's plot to corrupt a national hero is Peter's own, as he pretends to be a pawn even as he relies on his company's resources to stop his foe. There is drama within Parker Industries, as worker discontent bubbles up for various reasons all relating to Peter, and this drama even leads to a new conflict that doubles back to another piece of Slott's interwoven plotlines. Slott's story is complex without being convoluted, moving in a linear fashion. Though each piece moves at its own speed, they all race to the same finish line in a deftly constructed mix of plot threads that wind through each other without getting knotted up.

A myriad of subplots mean a myriad of characters, so Slott's script keeps Buffagni busy throughout the issue, which sees a host of familiar faces, multiple colleagues, friends and even a returning villain from one of the "Secret Wars" tie-ins that many probably thought would never be seen again. Even some of the familiar characters have a different spin; Buffagni and colorist Matteo Gracia's simple but brilliant tweak to Cloak and Dagger's look is one of those changes that will make readers wonder why such a thing hasn't been done before in the pair's thirty-plus years of existence. The alteration is no secret to anyone admiring Alex Ross' stunning standard cover -- or to anyone who read last issue, for that matter -- but it's the kind of change that would potentially be worth keeping around for a while.

Slott's textured storyline and Buffagni's execution of it make "Amazing Spider-Man" #7 a typical example of how strong this series has been to date, while its twists make it stand apart from the issues that preceded it. The notion of globalized Spider-Man and CEO Peter Parker might have seemed preposterous six months ago, but it seems all too natural now.

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