Spider-Man and Black Cat are teaming up for some rest, relaxation, and plenty of drama in Joe Kelly and Terry Dodson’s two-parter guesting on the series. With Dark Web recently wrapping up, Amazing Spider-Man #19 feels like a return to basics for the wallcrawler, from the banter to his girl troubles. That’s right, Peter can’t get out of his own way when it comes to women in the latest issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #19 opens with Black Cat and Spider-Man fighting the “Soho Scorchers” and having a decent go of it. Soon they’re resting on a rooftop for a moment and reflecting on how they could really get away. Given the very different types of luck Peter and Black Cat have, it doesn’t take long for their little trip to go south fast.
It’s abundantly clear when you read this issue that Kelly understands Spider-Man in ways many writers seem to miss. From his nerdy love of science to his awkwardness to the “spider splaining” banter, the character is accurate to the legacy and fun-loving. That includes his trouble with girls. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but Peter can’t catch a break.
Dodson’s art is expressive, with some stand-out reaction shots from Mary Jane and Black Cat. There are faces that you just don’t see every day, and they enhance the drama or comedy in scenes. Throw in some poster-worthy panels, like the first full page splash, or a fun panel with Black Cat and Spidey swinging, and there’s a lot here that feels event-tier in quality.
The main conflict in this issue involves White Rabbit. You could call what she’s pulling together a villain’s operation of the less dangerous kind, but it amounts to a super-powered team by the end of the issue. The characterization of White Rabbit is great here, with a heavy dose of personality from the weirdos she’s got paying her. It’s a unique idea for a scheme, though it doesn’t make a ton of sense if it were ever operational. It’s also a natural next move for White Rabbit, given her past with gadgetry.
If you had high expectations for Black Cat relationship drama, I’d say curb those expectations. Yes, Zeb Wells had them smooch in the big milestone issue, and the cover talks about a date, but it’s anything but. Heck, the cover features ninjas, which aren’t even in the comic. Some might feel slighted, but that’s comics.
A bigger gripe is that this issue reads like a two-parter, leaving the best moment in regard to the “problem” to be fixed for the next issue. A problem arises when you realize the fight scenes are extremely short and are more like false starts. That goes for the opening, which is a page and a half long, and a brief moment of confusion later on involving White Rabbit’s scheme.
Amazing Spider-Man #19 is a fun side-quest post-Dark Web that has fun with Spidey while perfectly capturing the character’s spirit. This is a lighthearted start to a two-parter that’ll please longtime fans.
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