The Amazing Spider-Man #4
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Ryan Ottley
Inks by Cliff Rathburn
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Peter Parker has a problem. Actually, Peter Parker has several problems. After being split in two during a failed robbery at the university lab where he’s taking classes, Peter is discovering life without Spider-Man is not only not easier, but is also kind of boring. He does his best to help when he can, but his helping is starting to become obsessive. Obsessive to the point of having May point it out to him. The two have a really good and much needed heart to heart about what’s going on in Peter’s. Something that rarely gets the time it needs when the world of Spider-man intrudes on his life.
Spider-Man, on the other hand, is having the time of his life. After repurposing the Tri-Sentinel for his own ends, Spider-Man has decided to cash in on his celebrity and bask in his popularity. His actions prompt Peter to track him down and the two have it out with Spidey leaving Peter and Parker worrying about his alter-ego and what’s happening to him. When Peter returns to the lab, he discovers that his fears are justified in more ways than one. Meanwhile, a villain from Peter’s past has found a new ally and a means of possibly taking Spider-Man out for good.
Spencer has taken what could have been a cliché split personality story and made something interesting with it. Peter struggling with what’s missing from his life as Spider-Man is an interesting and fun premise and Spencer is obviously having fun showcasing a Spider-Man without responsibility. There is a fun element to this story. Even in its heavier, emotional moments, there is a still a lighter sensibility that makes the reader root for Peter to succeed while at the same time wanting to see what strange thing Spider-Man is going to do next.
Ryan Ottley’s art is fantastic. All of the character and background details pop and everything enhances the story in a way that makes panels and moments visually exciting. I really love the composition of the panels in this issue and the confrontation between Peter and Spidey looks great.