MJ Fights Electro While Kindred Schemes In Amazing Spider-Man #25

by James Ferguson

The creepy centipede villain Kindred continues to pull strings in the background of Peter Parker’s life. He seemingly beat Mysterio to death in the last issue, but of course, we’re dealing with a master of illusion, so all was not what it seemed. Now Kindred hatches a plan with Mysterio while Peter tries to go on a simple date with Mary Jane. You can probably guess what keeps him from being on time.

Kindred is a pretty new villain, but he’s already super interesting and so very frightening. His appearance is unsettling from the jump. Letterer Joe Caramagna gives him a menacing voice with scratchy word balloons. You can imagine a guttural, yet sweet sound emanating from his mummy-like face. His power set is not really defined just yet so I’m intrigued as to what he can actually do. Whatever his abilities, it’s clear that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

I was pleased to see a large chunk of Amazing Spider-Man #25 dedicated to MJ. Writer Nick Spencer has made her a major focus of the series and it helps round out the cast along with showing the human side of Spider-Man. We dig into what Mary Jane really wants from her life right now. She’s been a model, an actress, a club owner, and a CEO, but what does she want to do? She’s not just arm candy for Spider-Man. She’s a multi-faceted character and it shows in this issue.

Of course, the situation for MJ to go through this deep dive is crazy as she has to save a former friend from the new Electro. There’s an insane scheme involved to hold a celebrity hostage and MJ intervenes in a way that gives her the direction she needs in her life. I like how Electro contrasts with MJ here. The villain may know what she wants to do, but she’s a maniac. Meanwhile, Mary Jane is unsure and cautious. The roles reverse as the conversation goes on.

While all this is going on, Spider-Man is tracking down the Lizard to bring him home to his family. This is a riveting angle as Curt Connors is a tortured soul that is constantly trying to repent for his sins. His past actions as the Lizard were unforgivable, but he can still make up for some of those heinous deeds by spending time with his wife and children. This brings the character around in a pretty special way.

The artwork in Amazing Spider-Man #25 is split up among a few different artists including Ryan Ottley, Humberto Ramos, and Patrick Gleason. I couldn’t find credits showing who did what, but you can spot some artists’ styles in certain sections. For example, Ramos handled a chunk of the Spider-Man scenes. Given how awkward and lumpy he’s been drawing the wall-crawler lately, this was a disappointment. The form is just off to the point where it’s just unnatural.

Ottley’s work is solid and brings forth some great emotion, so it’s nice to see his pencils on the MJ scenes. I like how he can add a pinch of humor to an image with a sly grin or raised eyebrow. It adds a little extra personality. Although Electro is a super villain, the action here is a little reserved, focused more on the dialogue. Ottley creates a varied layout that keeps things interesting, pulling you in deeper and deeper as this riveting conversation continues.

Amazing Spider-Man #25 features some fun back-up stories as well, most of them planting seeds for potential future storylines. These elements could propel the series into its next year with a slew of possibilities. Peter Parker may never catch a break as Spider-Man, but his life is just starting to come together outside of his costume.

Amazing Spider-Man #25 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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