The Amazing Spider-Man #5
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciller: Ryan Ottley
Inkers: Cliff Rathburn (pp. 1-12) & Ryan Ottley (pp. 13-20)
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ryan Ottley & Laura Martin
Variant Cover Artists: Nick Bradshaw & Morry Hollowell and Daryl Mandryk
The Amazing Spider-Man is written by Nick Spencer, with art from Ryan Ottley, and follows the continuing adventures of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Previously, Peter Parker and Spider-Man have been separated into two completely separate entities due to the Isotope Genome Accelerator, which gave Peter his powers in the first place. Now, he’s completely human (as well as non-scientifically inclined), while his webbed alter-ego has all the knowledge and power, but no sense of responsibility. And as it turns out, if they don’t reverse the accident which caused their separation, both Peter Parker and Spider-Man will be no more!
As Mendel Stromm unleashes an army of Tri-Sentinels in order to stop the web-slinger for good, the clock ticks closer to doom for Peter and his other half. Can he convince Spider-Man to return to form with him before time runs out? And who is pulling the strings behind Stromm himself? As the Back to Basics story arc comes to a close, Peter will have to learn what it means to be whole, and who he is always destined to be.
This whole arc, and this issue especially, has yet again reminded me why I love the character of Peter Parker so much. Stripped of both his powers and knowledge, he still has the heart of a hero, and will never give up. This issue wrapped up the Back to Basics storyline in a nice little bow, while still teasing what’s to come, as well as this new mystery villain, who absolutely fascinates me.
We get some really moving and heartfelt development in Peter’s relationship with MJ, with the latter seemingly making peace with his alter ego, and how it’s a part of him that shouldn’t be taken away. I also absolutely adore the themes presented in this issue about what it means to be complete, and how to balance the different parts of oneself. The art is nothing short of spectacular as well, and I guarantee that Ryan Ottley will stand with the likes of Todd McFarlane and Mark Bagley as a fan favorite illustrator for the character and his adventures.
If there’s anything I do have to critique, however, it’s that the resolution felt a tad bit rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with the length of this storyline, Nick Spencer has written it very well. Even so, I felt like there was something left to be desired. Something that hit a home run a little bit more. But overall, this issue and storyline were both fantastic, and I am incredibly excited to see what Spencer cooks up next, and judging from the ending, I truly can’t wait for the next storyline to begin!