The Amazing Spider-Man #2
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Ryan Ottley
Inks by Cliff Rathburn
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Joe Caramagna
“Everything’s coming up Millhouse” for Peter Parker in the first pages of this new issue. Even though the first page was pretty ominous, the following few pages after that are actually lighter. Sure Spidey is taking on The Ringer and Man Mountain Marko in a fight over the pair trying to steal rare books, but Spidey is feeling good and actually exuding a level of charm that surprises his foes.
After his most recent avalanche of personal humiliations, Peter is getting his life back on track in more ways than one. He and Mary Jane are restarting their relationship and it is a pretty sweet moment for both of them and something that, as a fan, I fully support. After losing his job at the Bugle, Peter finds himself back at Empire State University and in the class of his former mentor and sometime villain Dr. Curt Conners aka The Lizard. It’s an interesting contrast having so many of Spider-Man’s foes becoming a part of Peter Parker’s personal life and an attack from Taskmaster and Black Ant threatens to blur those lines even further.
Nick Spencer made an interesting choice with this new issue. Keeping Spidey light in the face of his growing set of personal problems is a different choice from previous arcs which would have had him lamenting his life and his responsibilities. It’s a testament to the relationship between Peter and MJ that Spencer is able to give Peter this oasis in the middle of the desert of Parker’s public defeats. The tone set in this issue permeates all the characters and their interactions and it’s fun seeing Peter have to deal with an issue as himself. Also, the twist at the end of the issue made me curious to see what happens next.
Ryan Ottley’s art is great. All of the detail put into the facial expressions and the composition of the panels, especially in the action scenes are amazing. There are some great exaggerated character movements that really work for a character like Spider-Man and those shots are frenetic and fun to look at.