The Amazing Spider-Man #12
Written By: Dan Slott
Art By: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Colored By: Marte Gracia
Lettered By: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Release Date: 5/4/16
Price Tag: $3.99
I am a huge Spider-Man fan, but sadly I haven’t been enjoying this current volume of The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s been focusing too much on Peter being a worldly business leader and less on him being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Now that the Scorpio/Zodiac story is over, can this new story arc re-focus the series?
Peter Parker is getting ready to give a speech at his Ben Parker Foundation gala, when an old friend joins the party. Mary Jane returns to the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, and Peter is shocked to find out that she’s working for Tony Stark/Iron Man.
A villain named Ghost crashes the party causing Iron Man and Spider-Man to team up. They save the day with Spider-Man’s ego being a bit damaged by the end.
As I stated in my introduction, I’ve been a bit disappointed by this current volume of The Amazing Spider-Man, but I am happy to say The Amazing Spider-Man #12 turns things around. Even though this issue deals with Peter Parker being a famous business man, it also goes back to Peter’s roots.
There are many familiar faces that appear in this issue. MJ returns, Harry is working for Peter, Liz Allan continues her steps into villainy, we even get appearances by Betty Brant and Pepper Potts. Seeing these characters helped give a familiar feeling to the story, and most of these characters weren’t just there to make you feel nostalgic. They have their own stories to tell.
Let’s start with Harry. He could’ve easily just played the wing man to Peter in this issue, but instead the story gives us a peek into Harry trying to find his own identity. He’s now going by Harry Lyman instead of Harry Osborn in attempt to step away from his father’s legacy. Harry reconnects with Mary Jane quickly. One of my favorite scenes in this issue is when Harry and Mary Jane help Augustus Roman (Regent) escape the superhero battle. Even though MJ probably could have held Roman on her own, it was nice to see these two friends helping each other.
Harry also runs into another person from his past, Liz Allan. Liz doesn’t want anything to do with him, mostly because she is still trying to continue her path in becoming a super villain. This is an idea that’s been teased since Superior Spider-Man, and I hope we get some payoff with Liz soon.
My all time favorite thing about this issue is the return of Mary Jane! She is one of my favorite comic book characters, and it’s always great to see her interact with Peter. MJ and Peter may not be on the best of terms, but that doesn’t mean that their interactions aren’t interesting. They obviously still care for each other, and Peter doesn’t really know how to react to these feelings. He could hardly get through his speech because he keeps thinking about MJ and her new status quo, oh and because a super villain tries to attack him on stage.
In the last volume of The Amazing Spider-Man one of my big complaints was that MJ always felt out of character, and it seemed that this was a cause from editorial restraint. Marvel didn’t know what to do with the character, but now that MJ is in Brian Michael Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man I feel Dan Slott is able to write a stronger Mary Jane. That’s evident when we see Mary Jane doesn’t run away from the superhero battle. She’s there to help! This makes for an interesting interaction between Regent and MJ. Regent was the main villain in Secret Wars’ The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (One of my favorite stories from Dan Slott’s run of The Amazing Spider-Man.) I am interested to see how he will interact with Peter and MJ in the 616 universe for the future of this story arc.
This issue surprisingly references old Spider-Man story arcs and helps readers understand MJ and Peter’s relationship post One More Day by describing his time with MJ in Avengers Mansion. This was an arc right before One More Day when MJ and Peter’s house burns in a fire, and they had to stay in Avengers Mansion. Post One More Day, Iron Man doesn’t remember that Peter was Spider-Man. Instead Peter says he was there creating the Iron Spider Suit.
The team up with Iron Man and Spider-Man also gave a much needed familiar feel to The Amazing Spider-Man series. Ghost was a pretty weak villain, there were some cheesy jokes here and there, but it was nice to see Spider-Man playing hero with a smaller villain. Not weirdly powered villains like Scorpio.
I was happy to see that mostly everything on the cover was touched upon in this issue, but sadly All-New, All-Different Avengers did not make an appearance until they kind of do in the very end. It looks like they will be shown in an upcoming issue. That’s a bit misleading for people who bought this issue for the characters on that team.
Guiseppe Camuncoli is the current artist for this volume of The Amazing Spider-Man. I like his art style for the superhero costumes. Iron Man looked sleek in his new armor and I like how Spider-Man looks in his new symbiote suit. The action scenes with the superhero fight weren”t too bad. The power blasts from Iron Man could have been a bit clearer, but the character designs are what shined the most in these scenes.
Even though I enjoy Camuncoli’s art style for Spider-Man, I didn’t love his style for Peter Parker and for the characters out of costume. The men have weirdly placed cheek bones, and all the characters eyes look small. This leads for limited facial reactions.
The coloring for this series has a bit of a darker tone, which fits for Camuncoli’s style of artwork. But I hope to see brighter scenarios to see the coloring brighten up in the future.
Next to the Human Torch and Spider-Man team up, this is my favorite issue of the new The Amazing Spider-Man volume. This proves that Peter Parker can still be a world famous business man, but at the same time save the essence of what made Spider-Man popular. Let’s keep seeing Peter’s supporting cast and keep the vibe of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.