Amazing Spider-Man is back this week, directly spinning out of Peter Parker’s takedown of the Queen Goblin in the last issue. Now Peter is teaming up with Ben Reilly, Beyond Corporation’s Spider-Man, to take out their many experiments-turned-weapons. The problem is, Ben is not in his right mind as Beyond has taken his memories and he’s having trouble focusing. Kelly Thompson takes over on writing this issue with art by Sara Pichelli, and things get really weird.
As they should, at the Beyond Corporation’s Supervillain Program facility. This issue opens with Peter and Ben inside and soon they’re webbing up a lot of colorful and angry enemies. They’re experiments gone wrong, (way too wrong, judging by some of their fart powers), but as we learn early on enough web can go a long way to finding a resolution.
Thompson probes Ben’s mental issues well here, in ways we’ve seen like with Ben’s point of view seeing a void where faces are, but also his fear and confusion. Both Spider-Men are necessary to get the job done, but it’s quite clear Ben is in need of some serious help.
Thrown into the mix is a major threat by Maxine Danger–the woman running the show at Beyond–that plays into a surprising twist by the end of the issue. There are a few callbacks in this issue that make the journey to get here feel earned, adding the enjoyment. You get the sense the Beyond Board writing team planned and plotted things out well enough so that somewhat minor jokes or gadgetry in previous issues would pay off later in issues like this.
Continuity hounds might question Peter’s strength, which was a major thing for him to overcome in previous issues. I suppose he’s at full strength now, but with no rest and not a sign of him tiring in this issue, it seems like an oversight.
Art by Pichelli with Fran Galan and colors by Brian Reber is super fun. There are many creative creatures and enemies for both Spider-Man characters to fight. Maxine looks great in her evil-looking top with matching earrings, too. The character acting is strong as well, especially Ben’s confusion and fear throughout. You really feel for him as he’s trying to make sense of things and fight through his confusion. It’s hard to tell where Galan’s lines end and Pichelli’s begin, which is definitely a plus. Some pages look a bit more rushed than others, but that’s the nature of a thrice monthly release book.
Reber gives the book a darker tone, which allows the variety of villains to pop with color and add to the weirdness. The characters are fighting in a rather nondescript and bland warehouse which helps make their suits pop.
Joe Caramagna supplies tons of great sound effects and Spidey tingles throughout. Ben’s puke sound effect is particularly well done.
It’s the team-up we’ve been waiting for as Ben and Peter face off against a treasure trove of colorful villains. Amazing Spider-Man #91 continues to build towards Beyond Corp getting what they deserve and Ben hopefully getting some peace.
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