Thursday, August 23, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #692

I rarely write outright negative reviews, because I know someone put a lot of work into each comic, even if some succeed and some fail.

But boy, if ever a comic begged for a bad review, it's this one.

For his 50th Anniversary issue, the powers that be decided that this milestone issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, the company's greatest, most successful and best-known character should be used... to try to create a new hero.

(If I could insert sound effects, you'd hear a trombone player going "Wah-Wah-Waaaah.")

Yep, the main story focuses on Peter Parker demonstrating a new discovery to some high school students from his alma mater, but when something goes terribly wrong, it leaves one kid with great powers - and all Spidey's responsibility.

I know, after reading Spidey's adventures for most of the last 50 years, I've often thought, "If only Spider-Man had a teenage sidekick - hey, they could call him Alpha!"

It reminds me of Marvel's ill-fated attempts to create a New Universe - it's all forced and manufactured (presumably by committee) and - worst of all - manages to belittle both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, all to deliver a joke.

The issue also features a couple of humorous back-up stories, and they're fine - though the first one doesn't focus on Spidey at all and the second one makes him look like the biggest, lamest loser ever (though a loser with a good heart).

The Spider-Man I always liked was not a loser. He had problems and obstacles to overcome, and occasionally ran into funny situations, but he would always do the right thing and eventually triumph through brains, power and determination. He wasn't a screw-up or a numbskull - and that seems to be the attitude in the final story.

Oh, I did like the one-page origin recap with the lovely Romita Jr. and Jansen art.

But this issue reminds me why I haven't been buying the Spider-titles for about two years now.

They keep forgetting to put the real Spider-Man in there.

Sorry. Gave it a shot. Didn't like it at all.

Grade: D



Anonymous said...

So...Alpha is Spidey's Kid Flash?
I'll have to take your word for that because I don't plan on buying or reading this "anniversary" issue!
Spider-Man with a teen-age sidekick is such a bad idea that they wouldn't have done that for NOT BRAND ECCH!
But...Marvel NOW is a long way from Marvel THEN.

Sam Kujava

Anonymous said...


The truth be spoken here!


Anonymous said...

I thought I would disagree with you, Chuck. I read your review before i read the comic. I've really been enjoying Dan Slott's take on Spidey lately. But oh my god, this is a train wreck. First of all, I do not like Ramos' art at all, and he seems to be the go-to artist these days. But the story is offensively bad, and so are the backups. I even wrote an email to the editor about how bad it was. We'll see if they print it. Ugh.

Chuck said...

Pete, I'm shocked that you doubted me! Shocked, I tells ya! I've read a few issues of Slott's run (I enjoyed his work on She-Hulk, and I think he has a good touch for humor, which is important in Spider-Man's comics), but the issues I've read have been real hit-or-miss. This one was a big miss.