If you don’t know, it’s an exciting time to be a Spider-Man fan. Fans got an extra-sized finale to Nick Spencer’s run on the character last week and this week we get the very next issue in extra-sized format with the brand new creative team. Patrick Gleason and Zeb Wells headline the start of a new story with Ben Reilly as Spider-Man, but what happened to Peter Parker and why is Ben back? All will be revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #75.
This issue opens features Peter Parker still reeling from the events of the last issue. You can read how Peter’s morning went in the preview, but it goes from a distracting web-swinging morning to encountering another Spider-Man who has the gall to shush him. This paired with a slightly frightening flashback scene sets up a rather uneasy transition for Ben Reilly as Spider-Man.
As we’ve seen in the Free Comic Book Day Comic, Ben is working for the Beyond Corporation and they have plans for Spider-Man. This issue shows off a few of Ben Reilly’s new abilities thanks to that corporation as well as some fantastic scenes between Peter and Ben. There’s enough here to establish Ben’s new take on Spidey and why he’s moving forward as him too. Plus, by the end of the issue, we get a cliffhanger that logically pushes him closer to taking over the mantle.
Gleason renders both similarly, but with a different swagger that’s appreciated. There are also some fantastic bits with the new costume that’ll make you fall in love with this slight variation on the Spidey costume. Colors by Marcio Menyz make Ben and Peter’s first encounter truly special thanks to the autumn setting and the great use of shadow through the trees to create a calming cool feel. The seasons are changing and the visuals help convey that.
Wells writes great dialogue here establishing Peter and Ben’s voice apart from one another. There’s plenty of wisecracks too, though, which is exceptionally well done when they both quip in an action scene. There’s a hopefulness to both Spider-Man characters, but more so with Ben, since he isn’t coming off so much death and damage.
Also in this extra-sized issue are two backup stories. The first is by Kelly Thompson and Travel Foreman and the second is by Zeb Wells and Ivan Fiorelli. Both add new complexities and characters that’ll be woven into Ben Reilly’s new role as Spider-Man. These backups help establish Ben’s role as Spidey is here to stay as the real world is being done to flesh out character dynamics and story.
There are some elements that don’t quite add up which are more faults of the previous arc. Why Peter would be so emotional over losing Harry, for instance, when he knew he was just another clone seems a touch off. There isn’t much time to show Peter relent against Ben’s move to become Spider-Man making his point of view on the matter somewhat fuzzy.
Amazing Spider-Man #75 is a hopeful, fun, and exciting new direction for the Spider-Man franchise. Considering the last two years Peter Parker has had, this issue does everything it needs to in order to move Ben into the role. Given the attention to details new and old along with the strong character work and dialogue, this is a genuine Spider-Man comic and a great way to turn the page on a new era.
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