Amazing Spider-Man is back, baby, and while Marvel has released books digitally-only the last two weeks, real, physical, floppy comics are finally available in shops now! This week, “True Companions” part 3 is out, and Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley pit a giant alien against Boomerang and Spidey. Witness a shoddy, but an admirable attempt at saving public property!
This is a fun issue when you realize at its end what the entire point of the giant alien is. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a fun wrinkle to add to Boomerang and Spidey’s life. To get there, this issue focuses on Spider-Man and Boomerang attempting to curtail a giant’s wrath on innocent New Yorkers. The buddy comedy of Boomerang and Spider-Man is the main feature, with a Kingpin sighting to boot.
Much of the joy of this issue comes from Ryan Ottley’s exceptional pencils and the bright fun colors by Nathan Fairbairn and Dee Cunniffe. I can’t get over how well Ottley draws Spider-Man’s webs — they’re super detailed and dynamic as they flow across the page, which always adds depth to the page. Ottley is quite good at creating drama and energy via sharp angles and dynamic positioning of the panels. Inks by Ottley and Cliff Rathburn make the characters and feature elements in a panel pop, too. Ottley’s rendering of Spidey is exceptional. I would put him in the top-five Spider-Man artists ever thanks to the details in the suit, but also the sharp edges of Spider-Man’s face.
Unfortunately, this issue lacks depth or interesting character drama. It just feels like more of the same — Kingpin hasn’t changed much, Spider-Man must bend over backward to save the day, and Boomerang is his usual dopey self. I can’t shake the frustration of never getting any progress on who Kindred is or why we should care. This story arc reads like a filler story to play up the Boomerang relationship and not much more. It’s a long way of getting a silly sort of element wedged into Spidey and Boomerang’s apartment life and not much more.
This is a good looking book, but ultimately a long-winded way of adding a silly element into Spider-Man and Boomerang’s life. This issue, and the series as a whole, reads like it’s meandering and untethered from a greater purpose or direction. Here’s to hoping the series gets back on track after its first great arc and gives us some answers about Kindred before it’s far too late.