Peter Parker is once again in control of his body, and is thus once again the Amazing Spider-Man. But after Otto Octavius made so many sweeping changes in his life, he’s got a few surprises coming to him, especially when it comes to the state of his old foes Electro and The Black Cat… Your Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #4 awaits!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Artist: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: Doctor Octopus pulled off the ultimate plan, proving once and for all who the greatest Spider-villain of all is: Transferring his own consciousness into his foes body and finally organizing the Web-Head’s operations and systematically taking down threats to the city one by one. His ruthlessnesss did not sit well with many of Spidey’s peers, and eventually he came up against a situation the required him to make a heroic sacrifice, a gambit that Octavius successfully pulled off, returning Peter Parker’s mind to the forefront of their shared gray matter. Now, Spider-Man has to deal with his lost time, as well as balancing his new career as super-scientist with his longtime side-gig of web-slinging. Of course, there’s also the matter of a murdered Watcher to deal with, as well…
NOT REALLY MUCH OF A CROSSOVER
We open at Parker Industries (the company which Otto Octavius founded alongside his love, Anna Maria Marconi), where Peter and his techies are testing new inventions to help take down Electro, when a sudden emergency call comes in from the Avengers! Spider-Man is elated to hear that his friends still trust him enough to send the call in an emergency, but Anna Maria is less-than-thrilled to once again have to cover for her errant boss. During the big ‘Original Sin’ battle sequence, Slott makes some entertainment out of Peter trying to tell his friends that the real Spider-Man is back (Kitty Pryde doesn’t understand what he’s babbling about, The Hulk doesn’t care, and Wolverine chides him that they have bigger fish to fry), but an attack of opportunity by The Orb, with the power of The Watcher’s scooped-out eye hits all the heroes hard. The attack seems to hit each Avenger with a big blast of truth, imparting secret knowledge that Uatu witnessed in his life, and Spider-Man is horrified to realize that there was ANOTHER person bitten by the radioactive spider that gave him his powers, a young woman who fell into the thrall of Ezekiel. And, much as Ol’ Zeke wanted to lock Spider-Man up in his vaults, he locked her away to keep her safe from Morlun…
Busting into Ezekiel’s building, spider-Man frees young Cindy, who is immediately angry with him for exposing them both to Morlun’s powers, but he explains that he killed Morlun already. The second half of the issue is oddly paced, with Cindy quickly showing that she’s faster and more attuned to her spider-sense, even using her natural webbing to create a costume, and dubbing herself Silk. Silk and Spider-Man swing into action together, until Peter reveals that he’s actually met and killed Morlun TWICE, at which point Cindy again smacks the taste out of his mouth and dubs him a fool before they give in to tan odd compulsion to suck face. The issue fades to black with Spider-Man and Silk furiously making out, as the threat of Morlun looms before them, which makes for an interesting “meet/cute” situation, but an odd place to break off the issue’s story. I can’t keep harping on the things that I don’t like about Humberto Ramos’ art, as I’m clearly in a minority in finding it displeasing, but I will say that Silk’s costume is excellent, even if several of the characters in the issue seem to have issues focusing both their eyes on one target.
THE BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING TURN OF EVENTS
There’s a lot stuffed into this issue, and even though it’s marked as an Original Sin crossover issue, the OS material takes up about four pages in the early stages of the book, with the bulk of our story leaping into getting Cindy Moon out of her jail cell and into Spider-Man’s arms. I enjoy the depth that Slott gives to Cindy and her story, but both the rapidity of her introduction and lingering questions about how long she’s been locked in Ezekiel’s basement make for odd pacing, and the ending is shocking in bad ways as well as good. All in all, Amazing Spider-Man #4 is a pretty good issue overall, as it introduces a character who might be very important in the long run, but does so in a Cliff’s Notes manner, and even the fact that I don’t care for the art team doesn’t torpedo my enjoyment, leaving the issue with an still-impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not sure where this is all heading, but the storytelling is charming enough that I’m willing to go along for the ride…