Every superhero worth a damn has just lost a prized possession: Captain America’s shield, Thor’s hammer, and Spider-Man’s web-shooters. Something is up and a master thief guild is behind it all. Who better to help collect these prized possessions than Black Cat? At least that’s what Spidey thinks!
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This is part two in the “Heist” story arc which continues Nick Spencer’s excellent run on the character. If the first arc and the last issue are any indications Spencer is working hard to add new layers to the Spidey mythos while delivering on the classic quip-happy Spider-Man. Plus Mary Jane is back, but she discovers something truly life-changing in this issue you won’t want to miss.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is like a love letter to Black Cat while also expertly pacing the main story as well as new developments very well. We get a full flashback of the Black Cat and Spider-Man relationship while also getting an interesting new focus for Mary Jane. Spencer continues to write an excellent series here, never forgetting the supporting characters. In the last issue, we got a taste for how powerful the Thieves Guild is and here we get some much-needed answers. I’m content with how the story plays out even if it means getting the full experience after reading a few issues in a row. Spider-Man and Black Cat get to do some mission work–and we finally get more page time with Spidey in the suit–giving the book a superhero feel some of the previous issues have lacked.
The most fascinating thing about this issue, however, involves Mary Jane. I don’t want to spoil a thing so I’ll just say it offers an interesting therapeutic element to the Marvel universe that’s intriguing. Much like DC Comics’ Heroes in Crisis, this issue ponders how folks would cope in a world where superheroes are running around and flying overhead.
Humberto Ramos and Michele Bandini pencil this book with inks by Victor Olazaba and Michele Bandini and colors by Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega. This issue delivers big time on the visuals, complete with superhero cameos that are excellent as well as the always well rendered Spidey under Ramos’ pen. He has a way of making Black Cat sexy, but not exploited, which I love. Flashbacks continue to be excellent as they were in previous issues and the camera placement in the Mary Jane scenes keep your interest right in focus.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m still waiting for a reason to care about the Thieves Guild. A much-needed backstory is delivered in this issue, but there isn’t enough done as of yet to make them feel permanent and therefore not just a flavor of the month. We’ve yet to understand how they stole all the superhero swag, which leaves a big hole in their impressiveness.
Is it good?
This is yet another excellent issue in Nick Spencer’s inspired take on Spider-Man. Fans new and old will love this series because it’s so ingenious with its ideas. This is a series as clever as your favorite Spider-Man quip and then some. This continues to be one of the most refreshing Spider-Man series in years.
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