The Amazing Spider-Man #24
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inkers: Mark Morales & Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover Artists: Mark Brooks; Joe Quesada; Oliver Coipel
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.
After the events of Hunted, Peter finds himself trying to let go of the visions he saw and focus on MJ. However, he can’t quite shake the feeling that something horrible is coming, whether it be for MJ, or for him. Meanwhile at Ravencroft, Quentin Beck becomes increasingly paranoid and terrified, feeling as if his every movement is being watched by a man he refuses to name. Who, or what is this bandaged figure that’s been stalking Peter and MJ, as well as tormenting Mysterio and Fisk? And how does he know Peter so well?
I mentioned before in my reviews for the earlier issues of Hunted that I was incredibly worried it would sidetrack the story that Spencer and co. have been setting up since last year with this mystery villain. Without a doubt I was incredibly happy to be proven wrong, and it did a fantastic job of continuing to sew the seeds for this villain and his motives. So finally, after nearly a year of build up, we have our first issue that finally puts this new character in the forefront. And I’m incredibly happy to say that it does a tremendous job of setting up stakes, mystery, questions, and so on, while only giving us the vaguest of answers.
To start off, and to no surprise, Ryan Ottley continues to do fantastic work as the penciler. To me at least, since Spencer’s run and this character’s introduction started with Ottley’s pencils, it’s only right that the issues delving into him are done by Ryan as well. I absolutely can’t get enough of this creepy and skin-crawling design for the villain, from the teeth, to the bandages, to the cloak, and to all the centipedes and insects protruding from him, it’s absolute edginess in all the right ways. I can’t wait to see even more of this design, as well as if it changes and/or evolves in the future.
There isn’t a whole lot of story or character development here other than setting up the new villain, so definitely bear that in mind. Personally, I was kind of wanting something a little bit juicier in terms of set-up, so I do feel some slight disappointment in the actual juicy bits just being the vague new information about the villain, but that being said, I still really love what we got here. Seeing Peter and MJ doing their thing as a couple always puts a smile on my face, and the look we get into Mysterio’s corroding psyche in Ravencroft is really solid, as well. I definitely can’t wait to see what happens with all of them in the next issue, as it’s poised to be massive.
As for the villain himself (which they do clarify in the book, but then again, who knows), the information we get is definitely fascinating and interesting. We still know so little about him, yet we get a whole lot more context as to where he’s from, what he can do, and what his plans and motivations are. The biggest details we get here are admittedly somewhat strange and unexpected, especially the big one which I won’t say in case any of you haven’t read it yet, but after thinking long and hard about it, I’m really fascinated with the decisions, as well as what these reveals entail for the true identity of this baddie.
Overall, this was a really good set-up issue, with lots of details to sink your teeth into. While I do think it could’ve been done in a better “show don’t tell” kind of way, what we got is still very good and very interesting. It’s romantic, shocking, and intriguing, and sets up the big issue #25 in an incredible way. I can’t wait to see where the next issue takes us, what more will be revealed within it, and what else will await us readers in the future.