By Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Laura Martin and Andrew Crossley
Fans of Spider-Man, and more importantly Amazing Spider-Man, have had Dan Slott on writing duties for the past 5 years or so. Nick Spencer is 13 issues into his run, and there is definitely a very different feel to the book. Now, Spencer is very capable of telling a dark and twisted tale, Secret Empire comes to mind, but his Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t feel dark. This current volume actually feels a lot lighter than what Slott was doing. Don’t take that as an insult, because it’s not, but it feels more like Spider-Man used to feel. As we brace for the conclusion of this story arc, we have to question if Spidey and Jonah’s relationship will be changed for better or worse.
Nick Spencer has been doing a nice job on Amazing Spider-Man so far. Aside from the lighter and energetic tone the story offers, we get some great character work this issue. Spencer has been working on building up the supporting characters in his run, but none have been built up more than J. Jonah Jameson. This issue solidifies him as one of the hardest humans in Marvel comics. Spencer shows us that Jameson stands behind his convictions as repeatedly refuses to sell out Spider-Man to save himself. Jonah even takes the blame and tries to be a martyr. Spencer really lets us see that the friendship Peter and Jonah have is not a gimmick or fake for the time being. Jonah risking his life to save Peter is something best friends would do for one another. Spencer also continues to build off of past stories as Taskmaster and Black Ant continue to round up villains. We don’t know exactly what will happen, but it’s been exciting so far.
The pencils are handled by Ryan Ottley with colors by Laura Martin and Andrew Crossley. From the first page you should be drawn in to Ottley’s pencils. As a giant foot comes down to squash Jonah and Spidey, you can see that Ottley is a master of the scale in the image. Scale is a big feature this issue because they are dealing with Big Man. Panels where Peter is getting clobbered by Big Man’s hand are interesting because Pete is in-between his fingers and the scale has to be pretty good. Ottley pulls it off of course, since he’s a very talented artist. The colors by Laura Martin and Andrew Crossley work well with the pencils laid down by Ottley. The colorists use a lighter palette, which also works well with the tone of the story. Flashback panels as Big Man tries on his mask are dark and use darker blues and black. The inks by Cliff Rathburn also shine in some of these darker panels too. Overall, the art was handled very well by a group of people who clearly love their work.
Amazing Spider-Man 13 is a satisfying end to this story arc. Fans of J. Jonah Jameson will love how much he’s grown as a person on this run. Nick Spencer has done a great job of making every character matter. The art should give off some wonderful eye candy and visuals for those who love the medium. Amazing Spider-Man is the spider book we need