Amazing Spider-Man #37
Writer – Nick Spencer; Artist – Ryan Ottley; Inker – Cliff Rathburn; Colorist – Nathan Fairbairn; Letterer – VC’s Joe Caramagna; Designer – Anthony Gambino; Assistant Editor – Kathleen Wisneski; Editor – Nick Lowe
Dr. Doom is gone, Miguel O’Hara is getting back to 2099, and boy-oh-boy does it feel nice to be back with the main story line again!
This issue focuses mostly on setup for the rest of this arc and for future stories. Peter’s story is largely based around the Clairvoyant, a new device developed by one of his classmates that predicts the future based off of what has happened elsewhere in the multiverse. This book starts off with Spider-Man complaining about life and how superhero duties make him feel stuck in a rut. He hopes that the Clairvoyant, once fully functional, will help him prevent crime before pandemonium breaks loose. As a result, the second part of this issue deals with him testing the device. That said, he is also concerned about the ramifications of using such a device, specifically after the events of Civil War 2. This results in a funny scene where Spider-Man asks everybody’s feedback on using it, which generates a dozen fun, one-off moments with other heroes.
This issue has a good amount of comedic moments. For instance, a scene toward the end with an old lady buying scratch off lottery tickets, all of which are superhero puns. There is a good amount of focus on JJ Jameson too, who is always a fun character. Well, fun from an outside perspective where the reader doesn’t have to deal with his obstinance and arrogance firsthand. This issue alludes to JJ starting a podcast in future issues, which has potential for fun plot points or at least background details like in the latest game/movie. Also, while not funny, issue 37 ends, more or less, on a very sweet scene between Peter and Mary Jane. So, while this issue doesn’t move the plot particularly far forward, it does have a lot of good moments that make it worth the read.
Ryan Ottley leads the art in this issue with an angular style and classic, simple character design. He makes expert use of cartoony drama poses in this book, which is a good look, especially for J. Jonah Jameson. One scene that particularly stuck out was with him eating pizza with a former employee. The way the dough actually seemed to stretch as the coworker (Nora Winters) was biting it. The chewing too, characters would have food in their mouths while talking/eating. It’s a nice detail most don’t add. Even the way the food is colored looks very real. (I get that sounds gross, and maybe it is a little, but you have to love that commitment to minute detail and even the subtle characterization it gives to Jonah; he is so full of steam and indignation, that he can’t even manage simple manners in a social setting.)
Another great thing from this issue are the dynamic fight poses. Whenever Spider-Man swings in to save the day, he is constantly going through some great contortions to give the audience the classic Spidey style. The color design has some stand out moments too. Besides those already mentioned, two examples that come to mind are a waitress with very 90s looking green pants and the decision to make Nora’s eyes a very nice shade of blue and green.
Amazing Spider-Man #37 doesn’t have any groundbreaking reveals or major game changers, but does a good job of setting up for future issues and giving the reader some genuine laughs and heartfelt character moments.