Weekly Web-up: Amazing Spider-Man #624


By MasterFilmMakerMarkMackner and JD!
JD:
Holy Crap! What a revoltin’ development for Peter Parker! This issue drops a BOMB!
Welcome to our new weekly look at the Amazing Spider-Man, cause MasterFilmMakerMarkMackner and I are such huge Spidey fans. These articles will definitely be SPOILER editions! So beware that we will be revealing anything we want about the issues!

Looks like we’re nearing the end of The Gauntlet, the villain-amping maxi-series that’s been slogging it’s way through the Amazing Spider-Man the past too many months to count (unless I were to…I dunno, actually COUNT them.) Spidey’s been visited by The new Rhino and powered-up versions of many of his old foes, including an Electro who has a scar on his face that matches his silly old lightning-bolt mask, that can zap through power lines to teleport himself, a Sandman who can create hundreds of duplicate versions of himself and a Mysterio who…is still…just Mysterio? I don’t think anything really happened with him..also, samesies go for Morbius. He was part of The Gauntlet, but nothing got amped up for him either, I don’t think? What say you, MasterFilmMakerMarkMackner?
Mark:
First off, I’d like to address how tickled I am that MasterFilmmakerMarkMackner is now one word.  Did I mention that my debut feature film, THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL, is now on imdb?  And that I won DrunkTards on Friday?  What an eventful week for The Master.  What’s that?  Oh, this article is about SPIDER-MAN?????  Hey, I love Spider-Man!  And, for that reason, I’ll OBJECT to JD’s use of the term “slogging” up there, as though this storyline is hard to get through.  I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way, but I just like being argumentative with him.  What’s the question here?  Why weren’t Mysterio and Morbius amped up like the others?  I think the thing with Mysterio is that, well, the last time Quentin Beck Mysterio was mentioned in the pages of ASM, he was, well, dead.  And now, well, he’s very much NOT dead.  I think that’s enough of a “power-up” right there.  THE RETURN OF THE ORIGINAL MYSTERIO!!!!!  Fuck, yeah!  He’s my favorite super-villain of all-time, you know.  Because he’s not just a super-villain, he’s a PERFORMANCE ARTIST, just like me.  He’s in it for more than just the money, and the EVIL (Though you can never count out THOSE elements).  He wants to put on a show, to impress his fellow villains, and confound the heroes.  His GAUNTLET story was the BEST so far, but I won’t harp on it too much as we’re here on another issue.  Just real quick about Morbius, yeah, they didn’t do much with him.  The story was fun and an easy read, so I certainly didn’t MIND it, but it was pretty disposable, I guess.  And don’t forget that Mr. Negative had a GAUNTLET story.  But he’s so new that a “power-up” wasn’t really required.
JD:
Yeah, not sure how I’m feeling about Mr. Negative..At any rate, these last two issues have been dealing with the return of the NEW Red Vulture (who isn’t actually called Red Vulture, thankfully, we have enough useless red versions of characters running around the Marvel U, I’m sure you’ll agree). Again, nothing really getting amped up about The Vulture other then the fact that he isn’t old Adrian Toomes, which I’m sure Mark has something to say about, as a lover of the old Vulture. What happened to Toomes, is he still around? And how do you feel about Jimmy our new mobster Vulture? I think this one is definitely a tad more scary than an old man with a flying pack on, but as a barely speaking character, he doesn’t really give you much to hang your hat on, emotionally.
Mark:
Yes, this New Vulture is a creepy customer, isn’t he?  I like him!  I think it’s kinda neat that he doesn’t say much; it sets him apart.  He’s almost more of a monster, like Man-Bat, or something.  And the vomiting thing he does is different.  Kudos to the writing team of ASM!  Normally, “new” versions of characters are the LEAST welcome additions to a title, but somehow, these guys have given us a New Kraven, New Vulture, and a New Rhino that seriously fuck shit up!  YES, true, JD, I DO adore the classic villains, and there IS a part of me that says, “Hey, if you’re using Original Electro, Original Sandman, and even Original Mysterio, why NOT Original Vulture?”  If you’ll recall, JD, we last saw Adrian Toomes during the “24/7” storyline from a couple of months back, when we first met New Vulture.  Toomes is still in prison.  Spidey visited him to see if he could dig up any dirt on New Vulture.  Toomes was featured in the recent WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #6, orchestrating a fiendish plot from behind the prison walls.  So, he’s still very much in the picture.  He WILL appear in the green feathered suit again someday, I’m sure, so I’ll take comfort in that for now.  For today, I’ll dig this New Vulture.  He’s actually much more formidable than Toomes, but I will agree that you’re not gonna develop much of an emotional connection to the guy.
JD:
The ironic thing is that for all the vile villainous vamping that’s been going on lately, Spidey’s biggest problem stems not from an outside force, but from his own terrible choices. This issue sees Peter Parker taking pity on the tantrum-prone J. Jonah Jameson, and in a totally WTF-inducing moment, PHOTOSHOPS a picture that exonerates JJJ of the accusations that he’s behind this new Vulture. However, JJJ calls a press conference and shames Peter on live television telling everyone that Pete faked the photo and advising anyone against ever hiring our protagonist ever again!! I couldn’t believe it even as I was reading it! I have certain feelings as to whether or not the character of Peter Parker would actually make this move and falsify this photo for JJJ but that’s me just being a fanboy. Let’s stay inside the forth wall here. This is a huge development for Pete. This is going to have lasting repurcussions for sometime to come and I gotta say, I am surprised! Mark, you had told me that there was something that happens at the end of the book that would blow me away, and it’s true! I don’t care about the Vulture storyline half as much as I do this development in Pete’s personal life. At least he could always fall back on his career as a Science teacher, no?
Mark:
Kudos sir, on “vile villainous vamping”!  You know that I DO so adore alliteration!  But, yeah, I did NOT in any way see this shit coming!  I DID think it strange for Pete to photoshop the picture.  Not because of any moral issues necessarily, but it’s just more of an issue of good sense, really.  In this day and age, when any kid with a laptop can photoshop any image he finds online, did Pete REALLY think that his tinkering with a photo would stand as concrete evidence to clear a major politician in a high-profile scandal?  Like that photo WOULDN’T be HIGHLY scrutinized by photography specialists?  Seems he really didn’t think this one out very well.  OK, so putting that aside.  I’m thinking he’s probably gonna get in trouble for that.  But the way JJJ turns on him at a very crowded press conference… WOW!  Especially after that set-up, where Jonah’s going on about how he knew Pete since he was just a kid, and all of that.  I thought he was finally gonna give Pete some love but then, BAM!  Blackballs him from EVER working for another publication AGAIN!  DEVASTATING!  I was really LIKING having him back as a photog.  It was a fun throwback that I was really enjoying.  I guess that’s the end of that.  Man.  First the Daily Bugle building is destroyed, and now this.  Lotta shit falling apart in PETER PARKER’s world.  I agree, definitely heavier than anything going on with the New Vulture.  That panel where Pete is about to cry is brutal.  Poor guy!  And he never defeats the villain, either!  New Vulture has his revenge, Pete is publicly humiliated.  A horrible ending for our beloved hero!
JD:
I can’t wait to see where this takes us. Between Aunt May being a total douchnozzle due to Mr Negative effing with her, Peter Parker’s home life is taking a turn for the worse!
Mark:
Agreed.  Loads of dramatic possibilities here.  Yes, the Aunt May situation is pretty funny.  They shouldn’t drag that out too far, but for now, it’s making me giggle.  And yeah, I would have to think that Pete would return to teaching.  What else could he do?  But after such a public lambasting, I would think it would be difficult for him to find a job teaching as well.  If he’s depicted in the media as a sneak, then who’s gonna hire him to teach children?  To quote Sam Shepard, “What a ratpile heap a’ dogshit situation!”
THE ART
First off, the cover of this issue is great. The battle-bloodied body of Spidey, with the looming shadow of The Vulture looming over him, a great image. Really well done. Also, I’m been enjoying the Gauntlet boxes in the upper left, featuring the issue number and a great illustration of the issue’s character in question. It’s a nice little element that ties all the Gauntlet issues together without being overbearing, a la the current design of the SIEGE Marvel books that are going on right now.
Mark:
Yes, the cover rocks hard!  Great work.  And yeah, those little boxes in the upper left are terrific.  Some variant covers have those as the cover picture, but I haven’t been able to find any of those.  They have that picture in the foreground, and behind that, they have a picture of Spidey’s first meeting with that villain, with the original Ditko or Romita art.  Awesome.  As for the inside, I liked this team on the Electro story, and they continue to impress me here.
JD:
The interiors, with art by Paul Azaceta and Javier Rodriquez is truly excellent at times. It isn’t flashy at all, is there just to serve the story and is very easy to follow. No tricks here. HOWEVER, there are times when Spidey looks fat, or very bottom heavy at times, and there’s one panel in-particular when Spidey is swinging after the Vulture and pulls his shoulder muscle where Fat-Spidey looks like his ribcage is bursting out of his skin underneath his costume. It’s a really awkwardly drawn figure. For the most part it’s pretty loose, fun work, but sometimes it’s a little TOO loose. And there are panels that look like they were drawn with a Sharpey Marker, the linework is so thick.
Mark:
Um, I don’t recall Spidey ever coming across as fat in the issue, but I do remember the panel where he pops his shoulder and thinking that was a little off somehow.  But yes, it’s very easy to follow, no flashy trick panels, like the Spider-Tracer shaped panels we’ve seen recently.  The order of panels is very clear, the art is timeless in my opinion.  OK, well that about sums up this ish.  I’d give it an “A”.  Great super-hero vs. super-villain action, and hard-hitting Peter Parker drama to boot.  THAT’S the way to do it!  The BEST Spidey writers know that there has to be a balance (To keep my INTEREST, ANYWAY), and the current Web-Heads are doing a fantastic job!  Next up, more RHINO action!  New vs. Original!  I’m really looking forward to it!  Rhino’s ALWAYS been a favorite!  Till next time, Spider-Fans!

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