The Syndicate Springs Into Action In Amazing Spider-Man #28

by James Ferguson

You’d think Peter Parker’s life was complicated enough juggling life as a super hero, an on-again relationship with Mary Jane, and a reformed super villain for a roommate. Now he finds out his other roommate is dating Beetle, the leader of the new Syndicate. Peter is put in the unlikely position of having to save Boomerang (his aforementioned ex-super villain roommate). A hero’s work is never done.

The recent introduction to the Syndicate was pretty cool and brought in a new and refreshing take on the idea of villainy. Amazing Spider-Man #28 seems to throw all that out the window in favor of your typical bad guy double crossing. This does show how conniving and manipulative Beetle can be. She’s a character I had pegged as a Z-level villain so she definitely rises up the ranks in my books, however I wonder what this means for the Syndicate and where it stands in the Marvel Universe.

The Syndicate is made up of other no-name criminals that would otherwise be used as fodder for some event down the line. As a group, they become a force to be reckoned with. Artist Kev Walker creates some pretty awesome action sequences with this team. They’re coordinated and powerful, making for a deadly combination. I like how Walker mixes up the panel layout for the more action-heavy scenes. The panels are varied in size and shape, adding to the frantic energy of the battle.

The villainous nature of the Syndicate is on display in the colors from Laura Martin and Andrew Crossley. There’s a gritty quality to them, amplified by John Dell’s inks, despite their brightly colored costumes. Their powers and abilities shine through. For example, Beetle’s eyes glow with an electric blue, giving her an inhuman look that mirrors her actions in this issue.

Boomerang’s story continues to unfold with Mayor Wilson Fisk willing to pay handsomely for his head. We’re left to wonder why that is and why he’s worth saving so I’m eagerly awaiting those answers. In the meantime, I’ve really come around on this character. Writer Nick Spencer has painted him as this lovable idiot. Even when he’s trying to do good, he still manages to put his foot in his mouth, yet he seems to come out on top more often than not.

Based on how everyone reacts to Boomerang, I’m not the only one that feels that way. Letterer Joe Caramagna emphasizes certain words in the dialogue so you understand the sheer disbelief and the pinch of sarcasm that comes with interacting with this guy. They can’t quite believe how stupid he is or why they have to talk to him in the first place.

Fisk plays an important role in Amazing Spider-Man #28. I love the dynamic between him and the wall-crawler. Spidey tries to outwit him in a great sequence that ultimately doesn’t go his way. It’s proof once again as to how smart and dangerous the Kingpin is, particularly in his role as Mayor of New York.

While there’s still a large threat looming in the distance in the form of Kindred, it’s refreshing to take a moment to explore some of the crazier aspects of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Why do his villains always team up in groups of six anyway? Despite everything that’s thrown against him, he finds the strength to keep going.

Amazing Spider-Man #28 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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