Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #8
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciller: Ryan Stegman
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 06/14/17
Plot: After she almost drains Spider-Man of all his powers, Mary Jane searches for a better solution to keep being Spinneret. Fortunately she finds a solution from one of her old friends, Liz Allan. However Mary Jane’s new powers could mean the return of a deadly foe.
Story: Mary Jane Watson-Parker is the focus of this issue. One thing that separates this title from the main Marvel Universe is Mary Jane actually helping Peter fight crime. Mary Jane’s Spinneret suit allows her to siphon some of Spider-Man’s powers. Unfortunately if MJ overexerts herself then Spider-Man is knocked unconscious. When this series began, I wondered how they would address this flaw in a future story. Fortunately Gerry Conway delivers an excellent tale.
Gerry Conway does a good job writing Mary Jane’s motive in this issue. MJ wants to stay a superhero so she can help Peter and take some of the burden off him. Conway makes it clear that MJ wants to protect her family and not just fit-in with them.
Mary Jane’s search leads her to Allan Biotech, where she acquires their new “organic tech suit”. The suit shares similar abilities to the Venom symbiote. However the story is not clear if this is a copy or the actual symbiote. Also in his first appearance, Venom broke into Peter and Mary Jane’s apartment and traumatized MJ. After Peter took care of Venom, MJ asks Peter to never use the black costume design ever again. Knowing this information, I found it odd when MJ put on the new suit, she didn’t notice that it looked like her husband’s old suit.
In the first Renew Your Vows title, it was revealed that Venom died after he attacked the Parker family years ago. While Eddie Brock died, the symbiote could’ve escaped and eventually Liz Allan’s company finds it. This is just my theory, and the next issue will probably reveal the truth. Also Liz calling it an organic tech suit may be an easter egg regarding Venom’s creation in the Ultimate Universe.
Art: The black costume is the second most iconic Spider-Man suit (after the red & blue one). Ryan Stegman is able to create a version for Mary Jane that looks iconic and stylish. However, part of me wishes it incorporated more of the Spinneret costume because Mary Jane looks like a taller version of Anya Corazon (Spider-Girl). Nevertheless when the symbiote starts to take over and we see MJ go full Venom, Stegman creates an awesome splash page.
Another thing I enjoyed was this issue’s use of onomatopoeias. The words are enlarged whenever you see a character knock someone out or make a big entrance. Also words are de-emphasized when there’s just a small action or background noise happening.
Verdict: This issue is an excellent story that gives the spotlight to Mary Jane instead of Spider-Man. Ryan Stegman creates a different version of the black suit for MJ which looks spectacular. Also despite some flaws in the storytelling, giving the symbiote to Mary Jane is a great reintroduction to Venom.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars