Friday, February 3, 2012

COMIC: Top of the Stack - The Amazing Spider-Man #679 (Review)

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Cover: Mike Del Mundo

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

A new month brings a new regime to the top of my reading stack as Marvel makes its triumphant return with the release of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679.

Now this is an achievement in itself due to my less than satisfactory opinion on the direction taken with 616 Spider-Man for a long time, highlighted by the dreaded 'One More Day' storyline.So the fact that I made it my choice for the week gives an indication to just how great this issue was.

While I did not struggle in making the pick, there were a few other stalwarts this week that I enjoyed immensely. I am of course talking about another book from Marvel, UNCANNY X-FORCE #21, where I loved Psylocke going against her brother and attempting to save Fantomex, and from DC there was JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #6, an epilogue issue that had Batman giving Booster Gold a pep talk in being a leader and the official announcement of the team by the U.N.

But neither gave me as much joy as this week's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN written by long-time ongoing writer Dan Slott. While this was one of the few Spider-Man issues I have read that he had written, I am not a stranger to Slott's work and in fact one of my favorite books while it was being made was his rendition of She-Hulk more than a half decade ago that should have been read by a lot more people it was so good.

This issue continues on from the previous where Peter having stepped through a friend's time gate to see "tomorrow" only to find New York demolished on the other side waiting for him is continuing his slightly manic patrol through the city trying to do everything he can for that future not to happen before time is up.

Throw in cameos by the Silver Sable and Mary Jane Watson and you have a fun, excitement-filled story where you totally feel like you are in the shoes of Spider-Man, not knowing what needs to be done but trying to get it done anyway.

The art by Humberto Ramos adds to the mix of silliness and tension that goes on through the pages, giving Peter/Spider-Man a sense of mobility that gives the flexibility between the ominous deadline and the strange side adventures he has like capturing an escaped tiger. It all just fits so well. The dynamic use of panels contributes a lot to illustrating Peter's near manic state and takes you this place and that without feeling overwhelmed about it.

I have certainly regained an interest in 616 Spider-Man and plan on continuing to read Amazing. Funny how my dissatisfaction with the direction taken with Ultimate Spider-Man would send me back to the original incarnation after having stopped reading in a similar way but so far I am glad this happened. This two part story just shows how much you can do with a superhero story without having to rely on a trademark super-villain or rival. Superman writers should take a cue from this book.

Look to buy the THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679 digital comic on Comixology for $3.99

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