Peter Parker has to fight his way out of the Bar With No Name with his roommate, Boomerang, but he’s got to do it without revealing his secret identity. Nothing would make this group of drunk villains even more riled up than finding out Spider-Man was in their midst. Throughout this suddenly tumultuous night out, could Boomerang actually have some redeeming qualities? Could he really be a reformed bad guy?
The answer to those questions is “maybe.” Writer Nick Spencer does a terrific job of making Boomerang so very unlikable. He’s a total jerk…but he’s a sad jerk. If he was given the opportunity, there is a very small – I’m talking miniscule – chance that he could be a decent human being. He’s just so used to being a selfish jerk that he doesn’t know any other way. Bless Peter’s heart that he can see through the sarcastic attitude to find the possibly normal person underneath.
I’m not totally sold on Boomerang yet though. He may be slowly winning over Peter, but he has a long way to go for me. There’s a scene in Amazing Spider-Man #7 that almost puts it over the edge though. It shows the character’s vulnerabilities in the most heartbreaking way possible, completely reframing a scene from the previous issue. This does show a tremendous amount of potential for Boomerang. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.
The action that opens up Amazing Spider-Man #7 is top notch. Spider-Man usually fights out in the open, not in a cramped space like a small bar, so Peter has to think outside the box here. Artist Humberto Ramos uses some great angles to make the space look larger than it is. Peter and Boomerang are surrounded with little to no cover. Every single panel feels claustrophobic as the villains practically engulf them. They have no place to hide or even catch their breath.
Victor Olazaba’s inks create a somewhat sketch-like feel to some of the scenes. This could have gone either way, however it works well in the heat of battle, giving Ramos’ artwork some more frenetic energy.
Rounding out the fun in the Bar With No Name is colorist Edgar Delgado, who creates a great juxtaposition between the intensity of the various energy blasts being fired every which way and the drab scenery of the bar. While this place is always filled with villains, it’s not used to being a war zone. This is neutral territory. Peter and Boomerang are champions fighting back a horde, lit from the energy of the weaponry on display.
This intense battle contrasts with a more purposeful and unsettling scene with Wilson Fisk. This centipede villain who’s been lurking in the shadows since this series began pays the Kingpin a visit in the creepiest way possible. This character has not yet been named, but he definitely knows a lot about Peter Parker. His appearances so far have been straight out of a horror movie and this one really puts his power and stance into perspective.
Even his speech is disturbing. Letterer Joe Caramagna uses roughly outlined word balloons with an equally rough font. It gives the feeling of a gravelly voice that just gets under your skin. It’s absolutely perfect for this character.
Nick Spencer is building the story in Amazing Spider-Man with multiple levels. There are several plates spinning and unfortunately for Peter Parker, it looks like sooner or later they’re all going to fall down on him. The pacing of the series lends itself to a larger overall narrative with smaller stories as off-shoots. I’m a huge fan of that kind of storytelling and it’s working incredibly well here.