REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man #15 – “A New Iron Spider”

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The Amazing Spider-Man #15

The Amazing Spider-Man #15

Written By: Dan Slott & Christos Gage

Art By: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Lettered By: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Colored By: Marte Gracia

Inked By: Cam Smith

Release Date: 7/6/16

Price Tag: $3.99

I’ve been anticipating The Amazing Spider-Man #15 ever since the cover was revealed for the issue. I was curious what would force Mary Jane into the Iron Spider suit and excited to see what she would do while in costume.

Plot

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Iron Man and Spider-Man are in trouble and there’s only one person who can save them…Mary Jane! MJ finds the Iron Spider suit in an old box from the Avengers’ Mansion. She flies into action to help Spider-Man and Iron Man fight Regent.

Story

One of my biggest complaints about this newest volume of The Amazing Spider-Man has been the lack of classic Spider-Man. Peter has been traveling the world as a global business man, and because of his new status quo he has been losing his friendly neighborhood roots. But I am glad to say that this issue brings Peter back to Spider-Man’s basics. Who knew it would take Mary Jane becoming a superhero for a day to help him realize what has been missing in his life, his supporting cast.

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As I said earlier, when I found out MJ was going to put on the Iron Spider suit I was pretty excited to pick up this issue, and MJ’s appearance as Iron Spider didn’t disappoint me. MJ puts on the costume to help Peter and Tony. She doesn’t want to be a superhero, but her own sense of responsibility forces her to do everything in her power to help her friends. This is very in character for Mary Jane and what was even more in character for MJ was how she chose to put the costume away. She takes her mask off, revealing her secret identity to everyone, and she says she’s not a superhero. She’s Mary Jane and she knows first hand how a superhero’s life can overwhelm people.

Peter takes these words into consideration, and realizes he needs to make more time for his family and friends, a theme that has always been important to Spider-Man’s comic books.

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My only negative towards the story is that the issue felt a bit overstuffed. It should have focused mainly on the Regent, Iron Spider, Spider-Man, and Iron Man fight. But the issue also focuses on other plot points as Peter has to save Harry and Miles, while the madness with Regent is still going on.

The Amazing Spider-Man #15 tries to bring back the Spider-Man series to its status quo, and overall does a good job. It brought something fresh to the table with Regent and Iron MJ, while at the same time leaves us on an interesting cliffhanger. On the last page Aunt May is hovering over Jay as blood is coming out of his mouth. If you remember a few issues ago May was coughing up blood. Is this connected to the cliffhanger with Jay? It seems like Dan Slott may be teasing some One More Day references with this, especially with the teaser of MJ and Peter somewhat remembering their fight with Regent during Secret Wars, a story that had MJ and Peter still married.

Art

Camuncoli is sadly not my favorite artist on The Amazing Spider-Man, but the artist does a great job with the characters in costume. I especially loved his character design for Iron MJ. It was a very similar look to Mayday’s costume from Spider-Girl, which makes sense because Mayday is MJ’s daughter from the MC2 universe.

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But the negative I have with Camuncoli’s artwork is when the characters are out of costume. I don’t like the exaggerated cheek bones and bold line work around the faces. The characters also tend to have the same eye and mouth expressions, making conversations between each other less expressive. You can see this in the reaction of J. Jonah and Peter during the last page of the issue.

As I mentioned before the story felt overstuffed, and the coloring during the Harry scenes was a big reason why I thought this issue felt very heavy. The fight with Regent had a lot of black in the background making the fighting scenes pop more, but the scenes saving Harry had a lot of reds and oranges. It made this scene less interesting because it was harder to focus on all of the details of each panel.

Verdict

The Amazing Spider-Man #15 was a very solid issue, that brings promise back to the series.

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