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Amazing Spider-Man #642

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010
By: Robert Tacopina

Mark Waid
Paul Azaceta, Javier Rodriguez (c), VCís Joe Caramagna (l)
Marvel Comics
Is it me or has Amazing Spider-Man been a mess as of late? "One Moment in Time" was mediocre at best and this new storyline doesnít fare much better. Seriously, I canít wait for Dan Slott to take over as the sole Spider-Writer because this it is killing me to watch one of my favorite all time characters suffer in this manner.

The issue opens with Spideyís classic rogues gallery gathering together under the instruction of an as yet unnamed villain who requests that they need to procure a certain also unnamed item. From there we jump to Peter and his always entertaining pitiful personal life that always manages to make me feel better about myself. Plus it is always a pleasure to see Betty Brant included in Amazing. However, as Pete heads home to prepare for his date with Carlie he learns that Michele has been selling off his clothing to cover his part of the rent. Hold on here; yes Michele is rather bitchy on a regular basis but are we to believe that she would be so cold and heartless as to sell Peteís clothes? As a result all the Peter has left is a garish sweater to wear. Conveniently his roommate somehow managed to miss the Spider-Man costume that was hidden somewhere in the room.

When Peter gets to the Coffee Bean where he is meeting Miss Carlie Cooper he is surprised to see that Harry Osborne and Mary Jane Watson are also present in the establishment. OK, you are meeting a date at a coffee shop that happens to be owned by your best friend and you are surprised to see him there? That is like going to Disney and being shocked to see Mickey. Of course Harry is going to be there and you may as well consider it a safe bet that MJ will also be in attendance. Anyhow, the date is interrupted by none other than Menace, who is being pursued by an assortment of villains. All this drama causes Lily, who is still carrying the child of good old Norman, to go into stress induced labor. The big climax is that the new look Doctor Octopus was the big baddie who gathered all of the rouges in order to obtain Norman's infant son. Yes itís a boy! But why does Doc Ock have such an interest in this child? I guess we will get the answers next issue.

Despite the awful scene with Michele this issue wasnít half bad. There were some cool moments and the premise of the rogues gathering together was neat. The biggest problem with this issue is the Paul Azaceta art. I am sorry to say, but I just do not like his artwork. The character models are horrendous; Peter for example looks like he has a receding hairline and a forehead that would make The Leader envious. It doesn't stop there though as the rest of the cast also looks like freakish caricatures of the spider cast. The art simply provided a distraction to the story.

I find it hard to give this issue a positive review because in my opinion outside of the rogues and Doc Ock there is nothing at all to be positive about. I hated the art with a passion and the story was so inconsistent in terms of characterization. This is one of Marvelís flagship titles and they need to give it the love it so greatly deserves because this isnít cutting it.



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