Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #17
Writer: Jody Houser
Penciller: Nathan Stockman
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 03/21/18
Plot: Continuing from last issue, Annie Parker discovers two students (Lacey & Reece) gained super powers from a chemical reaction. When Annie inadvertently shows her powers, she decides to join the duo when they want to become super heroes. Annie tries to train them but her new friends are a bit overeager.
Story: The best part of this issue was Annie going from superhero trainee to trainer. This gives Annie good character development which allows her to improve her methods as a superhero. Also this could give Annie a new appreciation for her parents since she has to deal with hot-headed rookies with powers. Plus Annie didn’t tell her new friends that she’s Spider-Man’s daughter. Jody Houser creates an interesting comparison in this issue. Annie notes that training her friends is similar to showing a movie to someone just for their reactions. I found this to be relatable since I’m usually showing my friends YouTube videos just to see what they think of it. Also it feels topical with the internet’s trend of reaction videos.
Unfortunately, Annie’s new friends, Lacey & Reece, do not get the same development as Annie. At the beginning, Lacey & Reece are exited and willing to listen to Annie’s idea of training. However once the trio go on their first patrol, Lacey & Reece start acting more aggressive. After stopping one burglar, Lacey quickly suggests they go after a real super villain. This issue proves that Lacey & Reece are just one-off characters. The two come off as bland and generic overzealous teens with powers. My theory is once this arc ends, we won’t see them again unless Annie gets her own Sinister Six.
At the end of the issue, Lacey suggested they go after a real super villain, her suggestion was Norman Osborn Jr. (a.k.a. Normie). This was something that came out of nowhere. Although my theory is Oscorp was responsible for some tragedy in Lacey’s life so naturally she blames the company’s owner. Also while I am curious to see what happened to Normie during the time jump, this doesn’t have the same excitement from his first appearance. One of the things I loved about Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows was the build-up of Normie until his official involvement in the Spider-Family’s lives. This just feels like a quick attempt to keep readers invested in this title.
Art: Since Annie doesn’t tell her friends she’s Spiderling, she gets a new costume in this issue. I liked a few of the elements Annie chose, especially the long coat. I always like the long coat on heroes because they seem more practical than capes. Also it’d be great if after this arc Annie incorporates this thrift store costume into her Spiderling suit.
My main criticism with the artwork is how Peter and MJ look. Ever since the time jump neither one looks like they aged. While I’m not expecting them to turn into senior citizens, I was hoping for a few gray hairs. Also the facial expressions in this issue felt off. The expressions didn’t connect that well with the dialogue. Plus the character’s faces looked pretty bland at times.
Verdict: While Annie received some interesting character development, the rest of the characters weren’t that interesting. Also the book’s plot feels dull and monotonous. This issue proves that since the time jump Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows has dropped in quality. Overall this issue was barely average and only borrow from a friend if you’re curious about it.
Rating: 3 out of 5