Peter Parker… versus Spider-Man? Your Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #3 awaits!
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 8, 2018
Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: The ol’ Parker luck is in full effect! Stripped of his doctorate after anti-plagiarism software found his dissertation was written by Otto Octavius (who’d stolen Pete’s body at the time but explain THAT to an academic committee) Peter lost his post at the Daily Bugle. Empire State University professor Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard, offered Pete the chance to make up the work. Things got even weirder when his class was interrupted by an attempted robbery from which Peter Parker was rescued by… Spider-Man?
PETER AND M.J. ARE BACK TOGETHER
We open with a little classic Peter Parker unmasked home-life stuff, going bowling with his friend Randy Robertson (son of Robbie, his former editor), his lady-friend and a date for Randy. Of course, his lady-friend is Mary Jane Watson, the woman who was once his wife before the whole Mephisto affair and the date is Randy’s own ex, Norah, who also got fired from the Daily Bugle. When an emergency breaks out in Manhattan, MJ whispers that she’ll cover for Peter if he has to run, but it turns out he doesn’t. While Pete enjoys his downtime, Spider-Man leaps into action to battle the Tri-Sentinel, thanks to an accident with the Isotope Genome Accelerator, the very machine that zapped the spider that bit the man that lived in the house that May rented. In short, Peter and Spidey are separate entities now, but as Peter discovers when he consults with Dr. Connors, that may not be a good thing, especially as Jim Kirk proved that separating the power from the responsibility makes for two separate and non-functional half-men.
A LITTLE LEERY OF THIS WRITER, BUT THAT ART!
I admit it, after the mess that was Secret Empire and the handling of the Hydra Cap storyline, I wasn’t sure I wanted any part of a Nick Spencer comic, but the art by Ryan Ottley lured me in. And it wasn’t a bad decision, as Amazing Spider-Man #3 looks great from top to bottom, especially in the sequences out of costume, although it’s disturbing that Peter looks almost exactly like Mark Grayson. Ottley’s Spider-Man is noteworthy as well, as he doesn’t cheat on the mask-eyes but still manages to make the mask expressive and his characters have great body language throughout the issue. Spencer’s story is likewise better than I expected, though it starts and ends in mid-sentence. His take on the Peter/Mary Jane relationship is charming as heck, though, and there’s no sign in these pages that he has utterly misunderstood the main character as much as he did Steve Rogers.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT BAD
After the long and entertaining Slott era, which I enjoyed, this relaunch seems like it’s taking a few steps backward in terms of character development, but the overall effect of this story is positive. Amazing Spider-Man #3 might feel a bit fleeting, but the character moments work for me, the interaction between the two sides of Peter’s psyche is priceless and Ottley’s art is worth the price of admission all by itself, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not sure where this is going, but it seems like it will be well worth keeping tabs on.
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