Peter Parker Vs… Peter Parker?: Reviewing ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #83
by Tony Thornley
Peter Parker has been through hell the last few months. Now, he’s awake and on the road to recovery (thanks at least in part to Otto Octavius). Amazing Spider-Man #83 shows him overcome one last obstacle to get firmly on the road to recovery.
After last issue’s horror story, it’s good to get Peter Parker back, even if he isn’t fully back to himself. But that’s entirely what this issue is about, in a kind of cool, unique way. It comes from Patrick Gleason, Morry Hollowell, Nathan Fairbairn, Chris Eliopoulos, and Joe Caramagna.
Still recovering from his coma and the strange attack from last issue, Peter has finally regained enough strength to begin physical therapy. That alone won’t be enough though. He has to fight through his own mind to overcome what his injuries have done to his Spider-sense, and that might be his toughest battle in a long time.
Gleason writes and draws this really unique issue. Peter has faced changes in his Spider-sense before, as well as physical injuries. It makes sense that as he is healing from a chemical and radiation attack like what happened in Amazing #75, it would have his senses all out of whack. Reconciling that, and healing from that should be a process.
I really like how Gleason depicted Peter’s struggles. The dreams are chaotic and surreal, while his struggles in the real world are tight and intimate, even when Peter slips on a temporary costume. They also do something very fun with the colors that I haven’t seen before. Hollowell takes the colors in the real world sections, using gradients and a warmer palette to show Peter improving (even if it takes an unexpected turn halfway through). Meanwhile, Fairbairn’s colors are more flat, and he uses harsher tones as his senses threaten to overwhelm him, and cool colors as Peter tries to reconcile and welcome back the part of himself that he’s been fighting.
Eliopoulos and Caramagna also are a part of that binary. Though there isn’t a huge difference in their lettering style, there’s enough of a distinction to add to the shift that the colors are portraying as well.
This is a really unique and very cool story, with an approach that’s outside the norm. I’d love to see the line experiment with that more as time goes on.
Amazing Spider-Man #83 is available now from Marvel Comics.
While the story might be above average, it’s the small things that elevates it. There’s a unique approach to the colors, shifts in the lettering that shows the duality of Peter Parker’s physical and mental states. It’s worth picking up just for the thoughtful approach to what it’s conveying.