The Amazing Spider-Man #15
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: John Livesay, Al Vey, Wayne Faucher, Victor Olazaba, & Tim Townsend
Colorists: Chris Bachalo & Jim Campbell
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera
Variant Cover Artist: Lee Garbett
The Amazing Spider-Man is written by Nick Spencer, with art from Chris Bachalo, and follows the continuing adventures of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
After the events of last issue, Aunt May and other civilians have been trapped under rubble, thanks to Taskmaster’s and Black Ant’s attack on Spider-Man and Rhino. With guilt piling on his shoulders, and with no time to spare, can Spidey rescue May and the others before time runs out? And how will Peter react when he finds out who May brought to the restaurant in the first place?
This issue continues the set-up train heading towards the Hunted event starting next month, and that’s both a good and bad thing. While this title does have the advantage of being bi-weekly rather than monthly, it still feels like somewhat of a grind to get through, despite it being incredibly well-written and having some really stellar character moments.
I won’t beat this dead horse like I did last time, but once again, Bachalo’s art appears rushed and somewhat sloppy. Even more so now than previously, since there are about five different people inking his pencils. It happened with Spider-Geddon‘s latter issues, and as one could assume, it looked messy even then.
For the actual story and characters, it was really good, albeit mostly just being fallout from the previous issue. May’s development especially is really well-done, and how she’s going to be dealing with her cancer diagnosis seems to take full front and center in this issue, as she seeks to be a force for good in New York from here on out.
SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 AND #15
Then we get to the really weird part near the end, that being the man, the myth, the fake Hobgoblin himself, Ned Leeds. After Peter saves him and realizes who he is, Ned almost immediately dies, begging him to protect Betty Brant for a reason he couldn’t explain before meeting his maker. The knee-jerk reaction I had to this was that it was incredibly sudden and forced, with no real emotional impact. However, if I’m to go by this setting up future events involving Betty, possibly even the mystery villain as well, then it probably resonates with me better in that department. Overall, we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the end, these past two issues were pretty good, but feel like they were written as a scheduling necessity rather than a story one. It’s the first time in Spencer’s run so far where I’ve felt more or less stumped on how to feel, since I’m so used to being moved and thrilled by each issue he and the artists have put out. Hopefully the next couple of issues leading up to Hunted do more for me until we get to the main event, because I know Spencer is more than capable of doing so.