The Amazing Spider-Man #14
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Al Vey, Wayne Faucher, John Livesay, & Tim Townsend
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover Artists: Greg Land and Gerald Parel
The Amazing Spider-Man is written by Nick Spencer, with art from Chris Bachalo, and follows the continuing adventured of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
After having dinner with Dr. Connors and his newly-mutated family, Peter starts to wonder where his own priorities lie, confiding in MJ about his fears of attending school again. While she’s having dinner as well, May’s wondering the same thing, especially in light of her recent diagnosis. However, when Rhino crashes into the restaurant she’s at, Peter’s drawn into the fray to investigate. What is Rhino running from? And who is May with at the restaurant?
Right off the bat, I will say that this is the weakest issue of Spencer’s run so far, but I don’t want that to be interpreted as “bad.” It’s still a very good and very enjoyable read, and there’s lots to love about it, but there are things that knock it down a peg or two, and honestly, it can’t be faulted entirely. Spencer has been on fire with his storytelling for our favorite wall-crawler, so in my opinion, it’s perfectly fine that this issue isn’t a masterwork of some sort.
To start off, there’s a lot of neat story elements that are enjoyable to read, some of which set up further development for the future. As insane as it seems for Connors and his family to all be living in the sewers, all while being mutated, the way it’s handled is surprisingly light-hearted, but still having depth to it. Some might see the way it was last left off as deceiving the audience, but honestly, I’m glad it’s been handled this way instead.
May’s arc in the issue is just incredible, especially after Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1, as we’re essentially seeing some of the fallout of her cancer diagnosis. The stranger she meets after her initial dinner is someone whose identity I won’t give away, but I’ll just say that my theories about where Spencer’s run is going are slowly becoming more and more plausible.
Unfortunately now I gotta talk about what I didn’t like, and I really hate to for an issue of this run, but I gotta be honest. To start with the obvious, the art is just an absolute mess. This is the first time so far in this run where the bi-weekly schedule starts to show itself, as it looks like it cut several corners to be finished on time. I’m not all too familiar with Bachalo’s work, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that it was just bad timing, and hopefully his next issue will look much better.
Also, Rhino’s inclusion felt way too early, especially since this is supposed to take place after Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3, which we haven’t even read yet. I didn’t like the out-of-order storytelling when it was done in Spider-Geddon, and I didn’t like it here either. I know that the Hunted storyline this spring is still being set up, but I felt like we could’ve waited a bit before having Rhino pop back in the main book.
Overall, this issue was still very good, but has its weaknesses. Since we’re building up to a major storyline after being fresh off of a few, that’s to be expected, but even so, it definitely feels somewhat rushed, the art especially. Hopefully next issue will be somewhat of an improvement, but as it stands, this book was still very enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing how these story threads develop later on.