By Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley Cliff Rathburn and Nathan Fairbairn
The juggernaut that is Absolute Carnage is dominating the Spider books for the time being, but we are getting some tie-ins that matter. In this week’s Amazing Spider-Man, we get a couple of different stories. One is the tie-in portion to the event, and another takes place two weeks in the past. This should please fans who don’t love events and how they control how a book is written, or what direction it has to go in because of the event.
Nick Spencer has now been on Amazing Spider-Man for 30 issues. In that time he’s teamed Peter up with an enemy, they even live together, had a large Kraven led arc where costumed characters with animal names were hunted, and introduced a new villain named Kindred. A portion of this issue that happened two weeks ago focuses on Kindred and Norman Osborne. Spencer has done a good job building up this mysterious new villain. As you flip through this issue, you’ll try to guess who it is, but I still can’t confirm who it is. The present day story focuses on the Red Goblin as Peter attempts to save Dylan and Normie from the chaos of all the carnage symbiotes. It’s nice that Spencer used the Red Goblin again for this story. This character is violent, vicious and a great new villain for Peter. Spencer allows him to be every bit insane as we remember him from Dan Slott’s run. One of the downsides of the issue is that there is too much of a recap. Spencer uses Peter to recap certain events that lead us to where the story is now. However, if you have been reading Spider-Man and already know all of this, it’s just wasted space on the page. That aside, Spence has written a good issue that combines the tie-in with a story he’s been writing about Kindred. If you’re a Spidey fan, this will be a satisfying issue.
The pencils this issue are handled by Ryan Ottley with inks by Cliff Rathburn and colors by Nathan Fairbairn. Ottley turns in a fine performance on pencils this issue. The red Goblin looks sinister as he attacks Peter and mercilessly eats him. There is also a flashback panel where Peter opens the door to see Gwen Stacey and several of his friends outside. The unique thing about this panel is that Ottley draws Gwen Stacey great, and she looks almost exactly like Morgan Fairchild. Cliff Rathburn adds nice inks to smooth out the lines that Ottley puts down; Rathburn is essential to this issue. The colors by Nathan Fairbairn work very well here too. Since the issue takes place in several different flashbacks, the colors have to go from dark, like in the panels with Kindred, to a lighter tone, like the Gwen Stacey panels. Fairbairn uses a variety of reds as he handles the Spidey and Red Goblin battle, including both costumes and the bloodshed. Overall the art is very good for the issue, and continues to help boost the script that Spencer writes.
Amazing Spider-Man has been a consistently good read. Nick Spencer has taken a good path with the character and has added his own flare to the mythos. The art has not disappointed either. Amazing Spider-Man is a tie-in that is worth reading.