There’s a new Hobgoblin in town, and he’s dead set on bringing Spider-Man down, and setting himself up to be the darling in everyone’s eye. By now you’ve probably figured out he’s a bit of a loon, but goofy times, call for goofy solutions – Hey, how’s ‘bout a new costume?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #650
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Inkers: Cuevos, Damon and Olazba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VS’s Joe Caramanga
Editor: Tom Brennan
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: With a new job and life looking good, the last thing on Peter Parker’s mind is a new big bad. But the big bad is around, and in the form of a new Hobgoblin, bent on making a name for himself. His first order of business was offing the last Hobgoblin, which was quickly followed by his second order of business, picking up where the old gobby left off. That meant a quick trip to Horizon Labs, the very place Peter Parker is now employed.

IT’S NOT INSPIRED BY DISNEY’S TRON – EVEN THOUGH THIS ISSUE AND THE MOVIE RELEASED THE SAME WEEK…

The new Hobgoblin has an interesting sonic scream power that has the ability to bring Spider-Man to his knees. Fortunately for the web-head, Horizon Labs is loaded with super smart people, and one of them figures out a quick way to counter his maniacal laughter, giving Spidey a chance to clear his head and get everyone out of the building. It also gives Hobgoblin the chance to cut a chunk off the labs’ sample Reverbium, and take it to Wilson Fisk, earning not only a paycheck, but a permanent spot on Fisk’s staff. In order to make things right, Peter decides to steal the sample back, and employees Black Cat to track down the whereabouts of the sample. And, in order to counter the Hobgoblin’s sonic powers, Peter whips up a brand new suit that bends light and sound.

I think it is the new suit that has quite a few people bent out of shape, and for good reason. Gone is the familiar red and blue (or black) suit readers have know for generations, to be replaced by something that looks like Disney corporate whipped it up to get people interested in TRON: Legacy. If the issue and the movie weren’t released within days of one another, many might not buy into that reasoning, but it sure seems like a mighty timely coincidence. Now unlike other costume changes that we’ve seen recently, Peter Parker actually has a legitimate reason for creating and wearing the new suit – it follows the natural course of the story. Without the suit, Peter would be taken down in an instant, and with the costume change, he has a fighting chance. That makes a lot more sense than “Piping! It’s all the rage these days! Let’s slap it on my outfit, and put Wayne’s corporate logo on there, too!” Will the suit be around for a while? At least until the Big Time arc is over, but if you are thinking black is back for good, then there’s a bridge in Gotham City I’d like to sell you.

Once again, I’m totally impressed with the story Dan Slott is serving up. The conversation between M.J., Peter, and Carlie fits really well into the awkward life that is Peter Parker, and I love how instead of filling the dialogue with totally made up mumbo-jumbo, Slott turns it into a joke that give the reader the comic relief the issue needs. There are some definite creepy moments (Phil is totally wacko), some very cool action moments, and a few moments that give the reader a glimpse of how things will eventually fall apart for our hero. It’s great writing, and something that the casual Spider-Man fan can get into with little difficulty.

HUBBA-HUBBA

Ramos. Black Cat. Mary Jane. I swear I will take all of my Christmas money and buy Ramos’s pages from this issue. There is so much tease and cheesecake in this issue, that Marvel could clean up by selling posters and other merchandise featuring Ramos’s take on Black Cat. And though many will be drooling over the panel of Black Cat in a milk bath, don’t let it detract from the fact that Ramos can draw both sexes equally well as evidenced in the scene with Peter stripped down to his undies, solving math problems, while wearing a pair of headphones from 1985.

I like how Ramos is able to cram so much visual information into a single issue. The panels never get too small that detail is lost, and there is never any confusion in the way he lays out the page. Adding to his fantastic art is the coloring of Edgar Delgado. The highlights and shading continues to impress the heck out of me, and really demonstrates why comics need to be printed on glossy paper.

BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT!

If you would have asked me 20 years ago if I had any interest in reading Spider-Man, I would have given you a funny look while holding up my stack of DC books. As long as Dan Slott remains on Spider-Man, and no one makes the decision to monkey with the book to force it into some big company wide event, I’m sticking with Amazing Spider-Man for the foreseeable future. Tight writing, and wonderful art, earn this issue 5 out of 5 Stars once again.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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9 Comments

  1. Pinoy Fanboy
    December 20, 2010 at 12:15 am — Reply

    Hi Stephen! I kinda don’t get the reference of the “bridge in Gotham”…

    • December 20, 2010 at 1:23 am — Reply

      Meet me over there, and I’ll show it to you.

    • December 20, 2010 at 6:24 am — Reply

      Hi Stephen! I kinda don’t get the reference of the “bridge in Gotham”…

      Back around the turn of the century, there was a conman who would literally try and sell landmarks of New York City to gullible newcomers. One of those was the Brooklyn Bridge. These days, saying “if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you” means that only gullible people would believe Stephen’s original statement. :)

      As for me? I’m a VAUDEVILLIAN!

      • December 20, 2010 at 8:09 am — Reply

        Don’t you mean Vaude-VILLAIN? :D

        • Alisha Mynx
          December 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm — Reply

          That’s so cheesy it gave me gas. Both of you. :P

  2. SenorEjaz
    December 20, 2010 at 6:04 am — Reply

    Hey Steven, you should really check out Dan Slott’s other work. He had a run of 8 issues on a Thing miniseries that is possibly one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read… ever. The trade paperback would make a great review for the podcast. His mini-series Spider-Man/Human Torch was also really funny, spanning the years between the characters. I’ll just mention one thing about it – The Red Ghost and his super-apes joyriding the spider-mobile…

  3. brenton8090
    December 20, 2010 at 8:11 am — Reply

    I’m loving the new Spider-Man arc. It’s hilarious, but with good dramatic pacing and tension, and seems refreshing and unburdened by a lot of crap and gravitas weighing down everything else.

    I’m fine with a new costume, as long as nobody pretends its a permanent change. Which, obviously, it’s not. But I think it’s cool for spidey to have a few looks to play with, different outfits to bring out for different occasions. And in the end, hell stick the red and blue back on. I’m much more okay with it when it’s done like this, without a huge push of OMG LOOK WE GAVE THEM A NEW COSTUME BUY BUY BUY. Instead, what I’ve mostly seen is just cover solicitations that seem to say, Oh this? You like this? Well buy the issue to find out what’s going on. It’s just a thing that’s happening. No Big Deal.

  4. December 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm — Reply

    Nice! I’m looking forward to this TPB!

  5. Brother129
    December 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm — Reply

    This is what Spider-Man comics should be…

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