Current Reviews


Amazing Spider-Man #550

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008
By: Joseph McNeil

Marc Guggenheim
Salvador Larroca, Stephane Peru (c)
Marvel Comics
In this issue of Spider-Man, we see Spidey continue on the trail of a new baddie in town by the name of Menace. We also see our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler harassed by the man (the Blue Shield and Jackpot), deal with a new addition to his rogueís gallery, and try to find out whatís going on with his Spider-Tracers winding up on dead bodies around the city. J. Jonahís laid out in the hospital and itís a Brand New Day!

Where do I start with this one? I know that Iím not the only one complaining about the new direction of one of the most beloved characters in comicdom. I will try to be as positive as possible, but theyíre not giving much to work with. The fact that theyíve made Mary Jane into a super-hero (with bellbottoms to boot) is lame enough for me to wonder if I hadnít accidentally picked up the Marvel Age Spider-Man for kids.

Sadly, I own the issue of the first appearance of Blue Shield from Dazzler #5. Thereís a reason he hasnít been in a comic book since. This sorry little registered hero does allow Spidey to quip in top quality fashion, rattling off all of the obvious health care puns we almost expect out of the situation. The dialogue is witty and entertaining and it almost makes you forget all the holes that were shot into continuity with this new direction.

This book is kind of hard to swallow. Itís a mediocre read that pales in comparison to the amazing run by JMS. The dialogue is fun, the new villains are interesting enough, but the stories just seem too dated. Itís like reading old issues of Spider-Man where he had to beat up the bad guy and return home before Aunt May had dinner ready. This old style doesnít seem to mesh with the current Marvel universe where the Civil War amongst heroes splits friendships, Captain America dies on courthouse steps, and anti-heroes like Wolverine and Ares are members of the Avengers. Some of the most key events in Peter Parkers life have been in the last five years, and now, itís like they never existed. Peter Parker didnít reveal his identity in Civil War. ďThe OtherĒ storyline was obviously just a dream if Pete has to run around with web-shooters.

If youíve got friends that havenít read Spider-Man in a year or so, I think theyíd enjoy the book. Those that are like me that have been around for a while, are hoping and praying that there is a reason behind the blatant disregard for continuity that robbed us of such exciting moments like Peter Parkerís big reveal in Civil War and the death of Harry Osborne. If there was no reason, then maybe someone at Marvel should make a deal with Mephisto to make us all forget "Brand New Day" ever happened.

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