If you think about it, J.J. Jameson and Spider-Man have one of the most interesting relationships in comics. In Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s latest issue of Spider-Man, the two are forced to remember all the crap they’ve been through. It’s therapeutic in a “Wow, that’s an unhealthy amount of hate I had for you Peter” sort of way.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley have rejiggered Spidey’s life in ways that make it feel fresh but also continue to homage classic tropes in the series. In this latest story arc, it appears Jameson is a big part, as well as Kingpin who opened up their series on New Comic Book Day. That makes this issue paramount as far as where we go from here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Someone is messing with Peter and Jameson’s minds and they’re not happy about their new friendship. Arcade is involved, but Spencer has cleverly made him more of a consultant than the main villain. This puts a mystery spin on the heroes’ predicament while they attempt to suss out some meaning in their forced relationship reflections. The entire setup makes some sense and allows Spencer to recap the tumultuous relationship between these two and even force Jameson to admit he literally tried to kill Peter. It’s a relationship that would only make sense in comics and is honored well here.
This issue continues to revel in the past while spinning things just enough to make them feel fresh. I’ve said it from the start and this issue continues that trend with a ’70s villain that pops up. I can’t say I’m familiar, but I’m on board. It seems trendy these days for writers to bring in lesser known and sometimes laughably bad villains so as to build them up and make them worth a damn. This issue is taking a step in that direction.
Ottley draws yet another good issue. I love how chiseled Spider-Man is and Ottley is a master at making him look strong. Jameson’s almost psychotic expressions ring true as well focusing in on his over the top nature very well. The use of color by Laura Martin is well done here too clearly defining the mental flashbacks the heroes go through as past events.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This issue serves as a heavy dose of recap. Even in the opening pages, the story recaps how Spider-Man and Jameson got into this mess and that was just last issue! On top of that we get recaps of Jameson’s awful ideas throughout the years to kill Spider-Man so if you’re a seasoned reader you’ll be a bit bored by it all. That’s because there isn’t much developed from these flashbacks. Jameson admits he messed up here and there, but there isn’t a clear purpose to any of it, yet. The villain may reveal why this is happening after all, but without a clear purpose, it’s hard to care.
Is it good?
Another good issue that J. Jonah Jameson fans can’t miss.
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!