Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #9
Writers: Gerry Conway & Ryan Stegman
Penciller: Juan Frigeri
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 07/19/17
Plot: Picking up from last issue, the more time Mary Jane spends with the Venom symbiote, the more control she loses. Fortunately Spider-Man’s been keeping a close eye on MJ and has experience with this situation. Hopefully MJ’s bond with Peter is stronger than the one with the symbiote.
Story: One thing Renew Your Vows has going for it is its style of dialogue. The writers give Peter Parker’s voice the right amount of funny and awkward. One exemplary scenes shows Spidey following MJ and telling himself he’s not a bad husband for stalking his wife while she’s possessed by an alien symbiote. Also when Peter overhears MJ may have attacked a boat, he awkwardly asks Betty Brandt for details. Plus Spidey has some hilarious remarks when he’s watching MJ struggling to free herself from the symbiote.
This story arc also serves great character development for Mary Jane. While Peter does offer some assistance to weaken the symbiote, it’s ultimately up to MJ to free herself. Last issue the symbiote is able to get more control by playing into MJ’s fear of something bad happening to her family. Fortunately Peter reminds MJ that letting others control her isn’t who she is, which allows MJ to fight back and reclaim her body. Also Peter reveals that he used some Regent tech to weaken the symbiote. This leaves an ambiguous fate regarding whether or not MJ will get rid of the symbiote completely.
This issue also tied into the future arc involving Normie Osborn. The last two pages show that Liz Allea intentionally gave the symbiote to MJ (as Spinneret) so it would distract Spider-Man. Liz’s motive is to help her son, Normie, complete his current master plan. While this is an interesting way to build up the Normie Osborn arc, it still does not explain how Liz acquired the symbiote in the first place. Hopefully if the book returns to symbiote again, we will get some more answers.
Art: This issue had some great artwork. I enjoyed the cuts between MJ’s internal and external struggles with the symbiote. It’s hilarious how you see MJ fighting Venom in her mind then it cuts to Peter watching her punch the air and making jokes about it. Also Juan Frigeri does an excellent job with the pencils. A good example would be when MJ gets frustrated. Frigeri does a good job with the facial expression and shows pieces of the symbiote slowly crawling up MJ. Plus Jesus Aburtov makes great color choices, especially MJ starts taking back control. The scene where she busts out of the symbiote is an awesome splash page.
Verdict: Renew Your Vows continues to be a great alternate Spider-Man comic for fans who aren’t enjoying the mainstream titles. With great dialogue, character development, and awesome artwork, this issue is a fun read for any Spidey fan. Also this re-introduction to the Venom symbiote is a great read for fans of Venom and Mary Jane. However, while this story did a good job building a future arc, it left a few things unanswered. Nevertheless, this was another excellent issue for Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows.
Rating: 4 out of 5