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Amazing Spider-Man #656

A comic review article by: Justin Carmona
Dan Slott was born to write Spider-Man. Plain and simple. He has a perfect understanding of who Parker is, both in and out of costume. This is a character that is sincere, endearing, humble, heroic, intelligent, brave, yet flawed, but we already knew that about our hero, didn’t we? But did you know this: Spidey is now without his spider-sense, which he sacrificed a few issues back in order to save his family and friends? Being without that safety net has had much more of an effect on him than any of us would have ever imagined.

Not only is this affecting the way he swings around the city, but he finds his spider-tracers totally useless, which is a shame because they would’ve helped him stop Massacre before he made his next move. Worse yet, with no spider-sense, something happens to our friendly neighborhood wall crawler that none of us would ever think could happen to him. This raises the danger level severely for our hero, which I think is a brilliant move on Slott’s part. I really hope this remains the new status quo for a long while as it’s sure to make for some truly fantastic reading.

This issue also gives us yet another Spider-Man suit which Parker must now don to make up for the absence of his early warning system. In addition, we also get a new variation of his classic web fluid formula that comes in very handy when he makes his final move to take down Massacre once and for all. You might think these new additions would be silly, but Slott pulls it off beautifully validating their necessity, never once making it gimmicky or hokey.

Marcos Martin’s art is a perfect compliment to Slott’s script. His line work is reminiscent of legendary Spider-Man co-creator, Steve Ditko, yet Martin makes it truly a style all his own. This only makes Slott’s writing all the more enjoyable to read as he captures each moment wonderfully, whether it’s Spidey dodging this way through a hail of gunfire, Mayor Jameson dealing in the aftermath of the loss of his wife or flash back sequence revealing the tragic origin of Massacre.

The only thing that really didn’t do it for me was the character design of Massacre. With a name like that you would expect him to look more badass, but instead what we get is someone who looks like a reject from a really cheesy 1980s science fiction movie.

This is the best Spider-Man has been in years and Slott never ceases to amaze as he continues to raise the threat level for our hero. Coupled with the spectacular art style of Marco Martin, The Amazing Spider-Man is one book that needs to be a must on your pull list.

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