It’s the awkward reunion we all knew was coming: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Not a clone or a robot, but the real(ish) woman from his past who is now back from the dead.
Amazing Spider-Man #23 (Marvel Comics)
- Once again, I am still completely floored by the sight of The Lizard playing soccer with his previously deceased wife and son.
- As unsettling as this current version of Ben Reilly is, he does manage to make me laugh quite a bit.
- I expected this conversation between Pete and Gwen to be intense, but these are some next level feels.
- I’ve always been #TeamMJ, but seeing these two interact makes me wonder…
- HA! Making fun of Kaine is always a good way to break the tension.
- Sorry Pete, that would have been more than enough for me.
- Clone or not, I really like this version of Gwen, too.
Is It Good?
First off, how great is it to have tie-ins like this that link up so well with the main event book? I won’t get on my soapbox like I did in my review for The Clone Conspiracy #4, but I’ll reiterate that this (and Spiderverse) are great blueprints for how to do a contained and impactful event series.
Moving onto the issue itself, there’s A LOT to like about it. My jaded self was half expecting Peter and Gwen’s big talk to be over-the-top and smarmy. Instead, they laughed, argued (both with excellent points), cried, reminisced, and ended things without a clear resolution—just like a real estranged couple would.
Their circumstances are obviously (and hopefully) a lot more dire and strange than what any of us have ever experienced, but even those aspects are handled in a way that it feels genuine.
You know all those nagging questions you have like “Could Peter ever believe that THIS version of Gwen—as opposed to the others he’s seen over the years—is real?” or “Does Gwen ever question if she is real herself?”
Those issues are addressed head on and from completely different perspectives.
About the only thing that didn’t feel authentic was the way Gwen addressed her final moments on the bridge before “waking up” again. While I appreciate and understand why it was written the way it was, it still feels much softer than what was set up in the backup story from The Clone Conspiracy #1.
And despite how riveting the dialogue is, things do start to drag after a while, especially when Gwen busts out the “I know why you wear the mask” cliché.
That being said, Amazing Spider-Man #23 is superb for the most part, particularly in how it ties into the events transpiring around it. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s artwork is somehow able to straddle the line between classic/old school and stylishly modern, which really is the perfect aesthetic for a story like this that features so many characters from Spidey’s past.
And those final pages—oh man. They will definitely have you screaming along with Peter at the top of your lungs…or maybe that’s just me. Either way, I’m not allowed in that coffee shop anymore. But event tie-ins as good as this one can have a place on my pull list anytime.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!