Last Week’s Comics 8/3/2011

Amazing Spider-Man #666

(Marvel – writer: Dan Slott; art: Stefano Caselli)

I loved Stefano Caselli’s art in this issue. Complemented by Marte Gracia’s colors, the images appear sleek, the action is crisp and in what seems to be a trend at Marvel, the shadows and light give a smooth, metallic appearance to every panel. Well done, Marvel.

Oh, and this issue has a good story too. 

After the death of Marla Jameson (J. Jonah’s wife), Spidey made a promise that he’d do whatever he could to protect the people of New York. While he’s wrapping up one crime, he’s already on his way to another. It seems like Spider-Man is everywhere.

And then he really is. Multiple Spider-Man sightings start occurring all over New York City. It’s because a virus transmitted by bugs has infected a percentage of New Yorkers, but it gives people the same abilities as Spider-Man.

Except Spider-Man doesn’t have his “spider-sense” anymore, so he can’t detect what’s going on around him. He’s pretty much defenseless in a town overrun with, for lack of a better term, clones. And while this story involves both the Jackal and Kaine (two characters who played prominent roles in the

much-maligned “Clone Saga”), there’s more mystery wrapped into this issue than most before it. Coupled with the new Madame Web’s strange prophecies, it seems Spidey is in for a rough go of it in the next
few issues.

In this extra-sized issue, Slott takes care to put all the pieces in place. While Spidey is bounced around from scene to scene (he visits the FF, the Avengers and Iron Fist’s dojo), every plot thread is made abundantly clear.

And from what Slott has given readers, it seems this issue will affect everyone in Spider-Man’s life.

There are many things Dan Slott does well with Spider-Man. His characterization, his dialogue and the way he writes Spidey’s interactions with colleagues, fellow heroes and regular people show a deep understanding of what makes Spider-Man – and Peter Parker – so great. I’m glad they gave Slott the space to set up the story because a lot goes on in this issue, and all of it’s worth reading.

“Spider-Island” begins here, and it looks like, in the end, it’s going to reinforce why Spider-Man is who he is. The issue itself is entitled “The One and Only,” a foreshadowing of things to come because while many people could have the abilities of a hero, not all of them should.

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