Marvel Gives Amazing Spider-Man a Fresh Start (The Amazing Spider-Man #25 Review)


So long as you don’t mind the $8 cover price, The Amazing Spider-Man #25 is a perfect jumping-on point for the series. This oversized issue kicks off the second year of writer Nick Spencer’s run. It simultaneously ties up most of the loose ends remaining from the previous 24 issues and sets a number of new stories in motion for the year to come. It both promises dark days ahead for Spider-Man while also showing just how fun and whimsical this series can be.While this issue does feature a handful of backup stories from guest creative teams, the majority unfolds as one, continuous narrative from Spencer and artists Ryan Ottley, Humberto Ramos and Patrick Gleason. Granted, I was a little wary of that combination coming into this issue. The series has suffered a bit from the stark contrast between Ottley’s light, expressive style and the darker, more exaggerated approach of Ramos and Chris Bachalo. But somehow this issue maintains a steady flow from one artist to the next. It helps that the story is tailored directly to each artist’s particular strengths, with Ottley’s pages featuring a lighter, sillier tone and Ramos and Gleason’s shifting in a darker and more foreboding direction.

Another plus is that Gleason’s debut actually helps bridge the gap, serving as a visual halfway point between Ottley and Ramos. If these three are meant to comprise the regular, rotating art team going forward, the series should only benefit as a result.

Spencer’s script gives readers plenty to chew on, including building on the events of issue #24 and showing that there’s far more to the connection between Mysterio and the mysterious, shrouded villain Kindred than meets the eye. The book again raises far more questions about Kindred and their plans for Spider-Man than it actually answers, but at least the series is doing a better job of keeping this character in the spotlight and building towards a major confrontation.

It’s also a treat seeing Mary Jane play such a major role in the story after fading into the background in recent months. In addition to delivering a goofy fun romp and bringing another Spider-Man supporting character out of mothballs, this sequence helps solidify MJ’s place in the current franchise. Where does she go from here after having helped run a multinational corporation? What does she want from her life and her renewed relationship with Peter. Those questions, at least, are given definitive answers. This issue flows smoothly and organically between parallel storylines before finally reaching a satisfying conclusion.

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If anything, it’s actually a little jarring when the issue abruptly transitions from Spencer’s story to a pair of backup tales. The Spider-Man/JJJ team-up story from Zeb Wells and Todd Nauck is darkly amusing, though it’s tough to get a sense of what impact, if any, it’s meant to have on the larger series. Keaton Patti and Dan Hipp’s segment (basically a riff on those “I forced a bot…” memes) is also entertaining, though the joke is pretty well played out by the end. Both tales are welcome bonuses, but the real meat is in the main story.



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