Peter Parker has made plenty of allies of his enemies in the past. Amazing Spider-Man #8 makes for the most difficult he’s had yet.
Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz and Joe Caramagna pushes Peter towards a completely unique status quo.
The Vulture is out for blood, in the most brutal attack on Spider-Man to date. The only hope he has is to accept Norman Osborn’s job offer. But will help come too late?
With over 20 years of reading Spider-Man regularly, I’ve never been a real fan of the Vulture, but Wells made me a believer in this two parter. By giving Toomes a personal grudge against Peter (which should actually be directed at Miles in a very nice touch of continuity), he’s made the Vulture meaner, and more desperate. He has nothing to lose in killing Peter now, and the story is stronger with that motivation. The way Romita and Hanna depicts his fury is pitch perfect as well, showing him as a snarling monster without remorse or anything to lose.
In the same way, they quickly made me believe in this new alliance between Peter and Norman. Wells depicts the history between the two well without pushing backwards. Norman’s remorse feels genuine, and even with the very comic booky method of redemption, Wells is using it to forward the plot in a way that’s rooted in character not plot convenience. When he tells Peter about how he wants to take advantage of his second chance, Romita and Hanna show him as a man who wants to make atonement, with real pain on his face, and body language showing a man battling who he once was.
Romita and Hanna are continuing their second coming to the title. The layouts through the fight are engaging, drawing us into the action while allowing the character motivations to shine through the action. When Peter stops the Vulture, wrapping him in webbing, the art shows the pathos behind the broken old man that Toomes really is.
Menyz continues to do good work, though this issue doesn’t quite play to his strengths like past issues have. He does give the new Oscorp Spider-suit a slightly green glow that doesn’t quite feel right for Peter, a nice touch on his part. Caramagna is always reliably good, but he goes above and beyond with sound effects in particular, as the preview pages show. He almost creates a soundscape on the page, a great sign of a truly talented letterer.
Is this going to go bad for Peter and Norman? Probably. But from this issue, I can tell it’s going to be a hell of a ride, and well worth it.
Amazing Spider-Man #8 is available now from Marvel Comics.
The creative team has won me over. This is a story rooted in its characters, and both the writing and the art reflect that. After a rough start, this volume is headed back in the right direction.