Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Francesco Manna
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover Artists: Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, & Frank D’armata
The Amazing Spider-Man is written by Nick Spencer, with art from Francesco Manna, and follows the continuing adventures of everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
When MJ comes face-to-face with the biggest opportunity in her life, Peter encourages her to take it. However, they’ll have to be separated for a good while for it to happen, and as she’s about to leave, Peter finds himself back where he’s always been: torn between himself and Spider-Man. As an ally seeks out Peter’s help at the worst time possible, both he and MJ try to overcome the struggles of their relationship. Is their story always doomed to end in heartbreak? Or can it be changed?
When it comes to Spidey stories, there’s always one that’s sure to stand out to you, whether it be continuous, or even a one-shot. Recently last year, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 hit shelves, and received huge acclaim from many people, myself included. I’m not trying to set up lofty expectations for this one I’m supposed to be talking about, but I want to set the stage by saying there will always be stories about our web-slinger, no matter how long or short they are, that stand out to us. With that being said, I predict that this issue of Amazing Spider-Man will be in the old memory banks for a long, long time, for one reason, or another.
To start, Manna’s art is gorgeous here, as well as the colors that are done by Lopez. While the style seems to be very similar to Ottley’s, it has its fresh spin on it, and when it comes to the splash pages, they’re both gorgeous and incredibly atmospheric. The last one, in particular, is gonna stick with me for a long time, as I’m sure it will with everyone else reading the issue.
While the conflict that Peter and MJ go through in this book is nothing new, it’s done downright beautifully and has some serious implications as to what’s coming in the future. Both characters are incredibly self-aware about their situation and their conflict, more so than they’ve ever been, which creates some incredible moments between the two. We keep seeing just how far they’ve come throughout these numerous years of storytelling, and for the first time in forever, it feels like the creative team is sticking to their guns with the story. Whether or not it pans out is always up in the air, but for right now, I’ve never been more confident in where Peter and MJ are being taken.
To touch on Spencer’s run so far, I think it’s been something truly special, and this issue exemplifies that. However, it also shows that everything we’ve seen thus far is only the beginning. So many story threads have been planted over the past twenty-nine issues, and it looks like Spencer’s truly in it for the long haul and set up for something enormous. Whether it involves the loose ends of Hunted, Mysterio, Kindred, and especially what’s shown in this issue, we’ve got plenty of story on the road ahead for the wall-crawler, and it’s gonna be so exciting to travel it.
While I can’t say much else without spoiling, this issue is a fantastic solo chapter in this run for Spidey. It has everything you’d want from a good story with the characters, while also touching on the bigger picture, as well as the self-aware nature both Peter and MJ have about their relationship. It’s a fantastic one-shot for the character, and one that will (hopefully) have major significance in the future. I don’t know where the story is taking us after Absolute Carnage, but by god, I cannot wait to find out.