The return of the Rose is quite a surprise, and I am thrilled to see him back in the Spider-Man books again. Of course, Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man isn’t the ongoing Amazing Spider-Man comic series, but it’s a fun read for a one-shot tie-in all the same. I sometimes get worried about tie-in comics, but this one and the Death of Doctor Strange one-shot are entertaining reads that let the hero be part of the event, keep the character’s voice, and accomplish something worthwhile.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1!
Anthony Piper, Ze Carlos, Erick Arciniega, and company come together as the creative team in this comic, and they take the baton and run with it. If you’ve been reading the Devil’s Reign main story, you might have been very worried for Ben Reilly; I know I was. The issue picks up perfectly with the Human Torch and Thing’s actions from issue #3 of Devil’s Reign and continues the story. Yet be aware if you are reading the Amazing Spider-Man main series, this issue will occur before issue #86. I’m glad that they found a good home for this as Ben did take quite a beating in Devil’s Reign, and this will do a great job of getting Ben back into continuity for his story over there.
As I talked about earlier with character voice, this issue did a great job of keeping Ben sounding like Ben, and it also did a great job of making me appreciate Marcus Momplaisir. Marcus is Ben’s handler in the Beyond Corporation. Anthony Piper wrote Marcus as a character who cares for Ben, and I also get that vibe from Amazing while making Marcus a significant part of the story. Marcus goes out into the field to find Ben Reilly, and it doesn’t feel like he is there to collect the tech but actually to check on the man.
Our main narration comes from the Rose, and it is a deep peek into his mind and how it all works. I love that he gets used as he was a fun villain back in the day, but I hope that he will find his way into the main series. Rose, aka Richard Fisk, plays a part here where he is unknowingly helping his father, and it seems that he will make a vital play by taking Spider-Man out of the game. We see him turn the screws on Spidey, but luckily there is always that escape. The relationship between Ben and Marcus is where Anthony Piper finds a great way to keep the conflict going.
We’re treated to a great collision of characters with Rose, Ben, and Marcus, entertaining with funny wit and superb action. Anthony Piper’s script does give Ze Carlos plenty of room to play with the movements and character drama. Ze does some fantastic close-ups that showcase a range of emotions from the characters’ situations. There is also a page (22, if you go digital), where Ben jumps back into the fight, and honestly, if this gets a second print, I hope they use that as the potential cover.
This one-shot does a great job of taking Ben’s story from Devil’s Reign, giving it a solid, entertaining conclusion, and then folding him back into Amazing Spider-Man. It provides the Rose with some fun moments to shine and shows just how far a Spider-Man will go for his friends.
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