A romance right out of a soap opera mixes with the action / adventure of Spider-Man’s latest story. Some sharp artwork makes for a dynamic reading experience that raises the excitement in a packed issue.
While Kingpin is sending a horde of bounty hunters after Spider-Man and Boomerang, a love story gets caught in the middle. No, we’re not talking about Peter and Mary Jane. It’s Randy and Janice. He’s the son of newspaperman Robbie Robertson and she’s the daughter of villain and gangster Tombstone, currently committing crimes as Beetle. Robbie and Tombstone have been after each other for twenty years and now their fight reaches a new generation.
Spidey takes a back seat for a chunk of this issue, however writer Nick Spencer creates an interesting story to keep us entertained. He does this while also moving a few plot threads with Kingpin, Kindred, and the wall-crawler’s new job forward. This makes Amazing Spider-Man #63 feel jam-packed with content.
Randy and Janice are having the same conversation, but separately. They’re asking their friends about what they think about this relationship. Spencer has the dialogue blend together as we bounce between each group. The thoughts are similar, however the audience is very different, so they take on a unique context depending on the setting. Peter Parker provides different advice than the likes of White Rabbit and Scorpia.
This isn’t to say Spider-Man isn’t in his own title. He has a big action sequence early on, however it feels like a smaller piece of the puzzle as the web-head and Boomerang continue to collect the pieces of the MacGuffin tablet to keep it out of Kingpin’s hands. Artist Federico Vicentini turns in some sharp, dynamic work, particularly during the fight scenes. It adds a lot of excitement to these pages as Spidey leaps through the battle, webs flying every which way.
Colorist Alex Sinclair makes the yellow in Spider-Man’s new costume pop on the page, shining like a bright light as the wall-crawler cuts through the henchmen standing in his way. It’s a stand out among the grittier, more realistic colors in the book, serving as a reminder of the extraordinary nature of the character.
This extends to the rest of the issue as well, whether its a splash of flashbacks, shown in web-bordered angular panels or the tale of Randy and Janice. Vicentini adjusts the layout based on the action in the scene too. The panels get more varied when things heat up, while they appear in a more traditional format when the story is calmer.
One little detail I think is interesting is that Spidey’s new costume doesn’t make the same web sounds as his old one. We’re used to twhips, but this one thweps. It’s a small item, handled well by letterer Joe Caramagna that highlights the difference in this new suit, including how fast it moves, helping him in combat.
Amazing Spider-Man is weaving a bit of soap opera into the action / thriller of its current story. It’s definitely mixing things up a bit and brings back Beetle and her super villain team, however I’m still curious as to how all this ties together. That’s been the theme of this series as of late though. On its own, this is a fun chapter, but how it fits into the overall narrative is still up in the air.
Amazing Spider-Man #63 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.