Thursday, November 22, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #698

I almost hate reviewing an issue of Amazing Spider-Man because I feel like I struggle to give an objective opinion.

It's all because of two things: the bad taste left over from the handling of the ending of Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane Watson; and the near-weekly publication schedule for the title, which strains the writer (in this case, Dan Slott) and forces a rotation of the art team - which makes it difficult to build any continuity.

Now the series is about to "end" (which means they're "starting over" with a new issue #1), but first, they have a shocking story to tell.

So I picked up this issue, prepared to be shocked. (And no, I won't reveal the twist ending.)

It was more of a mild tingle.

Yep, something surprising happens, and the next two issues (plus a couple of "point-one" issues) will wrap up the story - but to longtime readers, the story is walking on familiar (and well-trod) ground.

It's very well crafted, and the surprise is expertly managed - but my only reaction was to roll my eyes. (An Ultimate Spider-Man story did it better.) Sorry.

The art by Richard Elson is very nice - clean and clear storytelling, with a nice classic feel to the characters.

But there's nothing here to make me change my mind. This comic is going to have to do better than this. It's going to take some serious retooling to drag me back to the fold.

Grade: B-


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