Last week’s Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom changed the status quo of Spider-Man’s life and where he goes from here. Enter issue #66 out this week, and Spidey’s still reeling from what he learned about Boomerang, Kindred may get murdered, and Kingpin is stronger than ever. Just another day in the life of Spider-Man, I guess.
As a direct continuation of various plots, this issue touches on nearly everything Nick Spencer has been developing in the series. It opens with Kindred getting attacked by Baron Mordo with absolutely no way to defend himself or escape. It’s looking bad for Kindred, but since he’s pure evil that should be fine with a lot of characters in this story. Cut to Kingpin embracing his son The Rose, and one could surmise this book is about power changing hands. And all the while, Peter must face down his superhero friends who helped him aid Boomerang.
The main focus of this book, though, is parents and their kids. From Kindred and Norman Osborn to Kingpin and Rose, to a few surprises along the way, Spencer is playing around with the old guard — otherwise known as the mainline characters — and the newer, younger characters. It’s unclear what the point is between all these connections and new parent reveals in the issue, but it’s certainly overt enough to be laying the groundwork for something down the road.
This issue moves the needle ever so slightly for each plot and character, however, making it a transition issue more than anything else. You can see how new plots are added while others end or get a check-in to remind us they aren’t forgotten. There’s a cliffhanger that may make you throw up your hands after the years of teasing going on, but you should probably be used to it by now. One might guess who this character really is given the next issues cover (or if you read the solicitations), but it definitely feels like the creators are toying with us.
Speaking of creators, Mark Bagley continues to remind us he’s one of the greatest Spider-Man artists ever. He doesn’t get to draw a lot of Spidey — a common thing in Spencer’s run — but when he does it’s as iconic as ever. There are a lot of characters that pop in and out of this issue since it juggles so many plot check-ins, and Bagley does well with every single one. There’s good detail in environments, costumes, and vehicles, which aids in the realism. Emotions run high, even for Kindred who has quite a ghostly mask (or is that his face?), and Bagley capitalizes on these moments.
Spider-Man’s life is never simple, and that shows in Amazing Spider-Man #66. The series seems to be disassembling its pieces to set in motion a new direction, and for that, this issue is an exciting chapter. Amazing Spider-Man has become a puzzle to solve, which helps make the complicated web of its narrative more interesting to read.
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