Current Reviews


Amazing Spider-Man #644

Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010
By: Robert Tacopina

Mark Waid
Paul Azaceta, Javier Rodriguez (c), VC’s Joe Caramagna (l)
Marvel Comics
“The Origin of the Species” (part 3)

Spider-Man faces an endless assault of baddies with little Baby Osborn in tow.

Looking back I was possibly a bit too harsh on the previous chapters in this arc. Yes, my displeasure for the Paul Azaceta art remains unchanged, but the actual story by Mark Waid isn’t half bad and it has made for an interesting journey at least. With only a few issues left until Amazing Spider-Man becomes a one man penned title this last hurrah has been cruising along at a solid clip. The quick run down is Menace gives birth to Normie’s love child and for obvious reasons Baby O is a wanted commodity by every two-bit villain in the Spidey-verse. With only two issues left after this we begin to see some of the machinations developed by Waid play out.

As Spider-Man struggles with keeping the baby safe he also has to contend with the fact that it is open season on spiders with a gaggle of his rogues out to get him for nefarious reasons but mainly for that evilly delicious Osborn blood! While MJ and Harry get Lily to safety Carlie Cooper is rescued by the police moments before falling victim to Tombstone and after learning that the Coffee Bean is clear wonders why Peter would just leave her there? All the elements of those great classic Spider-Man stories of old are here and they are all finely crafted by the veteran pen of Mark Waid.

There were some really well thought out moments in this book that were both fan service and continuity laden at the same time. The inclusion of some villains in here was a nice bonus. There is a great scene with the appearance of the Rhino, who we haven’t seen since his turn at a normal life ended with the death of his beloved Oksana. Waid plays on that storyline when the Rhino & Spidey face off and only by appealing to that lost part of Rhino’s soul does Spidey and the Osborn child escape unscathed. There are a few other throw back surprises as far as villains go who are certainly fan favorites. The cliffhanger was a cool surprise and answered my initial question as to why Spidey’s spider-sense was going off for a good portion of the final chapter of this issue.

My only real gripe is once again the art. There are plenty of moments where it becomes a distraction and hard to follow which hurts the issue overall. And while I admit it is becoming less of an issue for me it is still the Achilles heel of the story as a whole. The last thing I want to do is point out the flaws in someone’s work because at the end of the day I look at myself and realize that not only can’t I draw a stick figure to save my life but there is a never-ending list of reviewers who are much better than I am at writing so I’ll just leave the art to the old “not my cup of tea” ideal and let it be.

This arc has turned out to be pretty entertaining and I am definitely going to be following it to the conclusion. There have been some bumps along the way but Mark Waid has delivered a so far solid swan song for Spider-Man’s “Brand New Day.”

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