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Amazing Spider-Man #21 Review

Comic Books

Amazing Spider-Man #21 Review

In this month’s Amazing Spider-Man tie-in to the Clone Conspiracy, we get to see how Kaine is back among the living and what he’s been up to.

Is it good?

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Amazing Spider-Man #21 (Marvel Comics)

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Observations

  • Still not a fan of Spider-People bursting forth from the carcasses of giant, deceased arachnids, but it does make for a cool visual).
  • Clone degeneration? New Warriors? Carrion? I’m in 1990’s heaven!
  • This issue is reminding me how much I’ve missed Scarlet Spider ☹
  • Kaine’s original look from back during the clone saga is still weirdly terrifying.
  • Gross! (…and pretty cool).
  • I will never get tired of seeing Spider-Gwen kick ass in her character’s old school outfit.
  • Totally shipping Gwen and Kaine.

Is It Good?

Confession #1: I am one of those people who whines about “event fatigue.”

Confession #2: I’m absolutely loving Clone Conspiracy so far.

The premise and main narrative of the event are plenty good enough on their own, but much like the superb Spiderverse, the tie-ins and spinoffs are knocking it out of the park, too.

Writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage do a ton of good stuff here. First off, we get a story that helps explain and contextualize what’s at stake in the main Clone Conspiracy book. What’s even better, however, is the exploration of Kaine and the great chemistry he has with Gwen. Their polar opposite dispositions somehow work to make them a perfect team. Slott/Gage also make great use of a heartbreaking ticking clock element, causing the reader to savor every minute of these two kicking ass together.

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As far as the art is concerned, the script provides Giuseppe Camoncoli a chance to do his usual beautiful work with a bit of amped up gore. He also deserves credit for the gradual changes we see occurring in both Kaine’s physical appearance and his emotional state.

About the only thing I didn’t like in this issue was how quickly (and conveniently) we moved away from what was otherwise a wonderful fan service moment. I’m all for these characters staying alive, but I’d prefer it not be because of the anti-climatic end to a long-awaited battle.

Other than that, though, Amazing Spider-Man #21 is an enjoyable and revealing piece of the Clone Conspiracy puzzle. It’s also proof that a big serious event stories can still have plenty of heart—and be a lot of fun.

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