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'The Amazing Spider-Man' #33 is a dark turn for Peter Parker
Marvel

Comic Books

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #33 is a dark turn for Peter Parker

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #33 plays out like one big homage to ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ for better or worse.

Who had evil Spider-Man on their 2023 bingo card? That’s the case after the huge mistake Kraven made in Amazing Spider-Man #32, and now he’s going to pay dearly. Spider-Man already hates Kraven for burying him in “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” and while this is a clone of the original villain, it’s likely Spider-Man doesn’t care either way. He wants revenge; he wants to lean into his hate, and he’s going to get it.

The Amazing Spider-Man #33 is one long hunt, only Kraven is the prey this time. It’s quite clear from the scripting to the art this entire issue is an homage to “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” which should please longtime readers. Sure, we got an homage under Nick Spencer a few years ago, but can you homage one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever told too many times?

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Patrick Gleason draws out of this issue with great colors by Marcio Menyz. The dark book leans into Spider-Man’s rage and has a few iconic images. That includes a moment where Spider-Man slinks on the wall behind Kraven or when he screams at him under the black mask.

That’s right, the black suit is back, and while it’s not clear where Spider-Man had the costume, he’s donning it in this new emo-anger phase. Not much is explained regarding his state of mind or if he can even be cured. A brief scene with Norman Osborn relates his fear and possible aid, but most of this issue concerns Spider-Man playing with and torturing Kraven.

Amazing Spider-Man #33

Sad Kraven gonna be sad.
Credit: Marvel

I’ll admit, the whiplash of the last issue going from Spider-Man trying to save Norman to pure evil and now this edge lord dark turn in the rain is a lot. With superhero comics, I mostly just go with it, but it’d be nice to get a bit more explanation here. That said, it’s more of a one-off evil night out for Spider-Man, which is entertaining in its own right.

One of the more interesting things done in this issue is captioning, which takes on a mirroring effect throughout. That includes Norman, who appears to be hearing the goblin in his head again, but also with Kraven. He speaks to himself in orange and black captions as if he’s losing his own mind. There’s a bit of this with Spider-Man at the start as well, which gives the entire issue a nice theme of back-and-forth captioning.

As I said in my review of the last issue, this story arc is moving along too quickly. There’s no time to take in the moments, and instead, it rushes along with action and violent acts. I can see what the creative team is going for, but the why behind it all is absent. It’s also odd that Queen Goblin is completely gone, and there’s no hint of goodness in Peter. Is he completely gone, or will he snap back to good as quickly as he snapped to bad? The stakes don’t seem very high since moments like that can happen so quickly. What does it all mean? What is it all for? It’s unclear.

An example of the brevity at which this story arc explains things is obvious in one scene. Kraven points out he’s a clone, and thus, this isn’t some grand revenge for Peter being buried. When Spider-Man retorts, “Close enough,” it takes some of the wind out of the sails of this narrative. It’s nice the creators acknowledge it, but what is going on in Spider-Man’s head to make him attempt murder? Why does he care? Is he simply out of his mind?

The Amazing Spider-Man #35 reads like a good one-shot homage to Kraven’s Last Hunt, but there isn’t much meat on the bones. Visually, it’s stunning, with cool callbacks and dark moments, but none of this is tethered to the character’s internal struggle or motivations. It’s a loud response as Spider-Man loses himself, but to what end?

'The Amazing Spider-Man' #33 is a dark turn for Peter Parker
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #33 is a dark turn for Peter Parker
Amazing Spider-Man #33
The Amazing Spider-Man #35 reads like a good one-shot homage to Kraven's Last Hunt, but there isn't much meat on the bones. Visually, it's stunning, with cool callbacks and dark moments, but none of this is tethered to the character's internal struggle or motivations. It's a loud response as Spider-Man loses himself, but to what end?
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.3
Some killer visuals throughout
Interesting captioning showing dual voices in multiple characters
A nice call back to Kraven's Last Hunt
Not sure what it's all for, or even how long Peter will be under this spell since he was turned so fast
Losing sight of character motivations or even stakes
6
Average
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