The Amazing Spider-Man #84 – Review

This comic gave me everything I wanted. A hero and villain fight, character development, sharp humor, and a great cliffhanger.

Amazing Spider-man #84

Written by: Cody Ziglar
Artwork by: Paco Medina
Published by Marvel
Released – 5/1/22

THE DOCTOR IS IN!

Otto Octavius makes his sinister return in this issue of The Amazing Spider-man, but is he really such a bad guy? Yeah, he kind of is. However, the real question is: are Beyond worse?

Somehow, Doc Ock manages to slip into Beyond’s offices without tripping any mental alarms in the employees, it’s only when the turtle man (only people who read issue 80 will get that epic reference, and if you didn’t, there’s always my review on this very website you can skim through!) spots his ginormous octopus arms that they realise that they have an A-list supervillain in their office! It’s just a small thing, but the fact they put the turtle man back in the book as a cute little reference is a really nice touch and I can’t tell whether to feel rewarded for reading all these Spider-man comics or sad for paying so much attention, but screw you, Spider-man’s awesome.

So we end up getting another one of those flashbacks with Uncle Ben, where he has a webbed hole in his face, this is about the 4th one I think? And once we jump out of it, it just turns out to be Ben in therapy with Doctor Kafka, who, by the way, keeps on getting younger? Like seriously, if you guys go and look at her earlier appearances in the ’90s and 00’s she even has some white in her hair but over the years, she’s reverted into a 20 something-year-old, what’s up with that? Anyway, we check in on Janine as she and Ben appear to be going out for dinner which is a welcome touch as it shows the readers that these two are ACTUALLY dating, it’s something they haven’t actually done too much with Pete and MJ in recent years, it just makes it feel more authentic when they actually do stuff together instead of just being around each other a lot.

Cody Ziglar seems to have his strong suit set in character realism, in the past few issues he’s written of Spidey, we feel like these people are like us, and not just immortal gods that continue to be caught in an infinite loop of fighting super-powered enemies. Well, we would feel that way if Ben didn’t immediately get dragged into Beyond’s offices to fight Doc Ock! Before he goes though, he has to part with Janine and every scene that these two are in together makes me love them (agape style, not literally), and it kind of breaks my heart that this story is going to end in just 3 months time, I’m going to miss the couple and hopefully if they’re not dead in a Ditch by the end of this saga, they’ll get their own book someday? One can dream.

Octavius has taken Beyond staff hostage as he tries to attain Beyond’s central hard drive with all of the big, bad Intel on the company, let’s just call this the McGuffin of this book. Once Ock gets inside, he also gets a fantastically drawn Spider-man’s foot to the face as Ben shows up to tackle Otto for the first time since the clone saga, and even then it was his female counterpart so this is quite a cool sight to behold. Ock tells Ben that he’s only here for the info and things are looking up when Spidey slaps a mega cool anti-Doc-ock device on Octavius which causes his arms to go limo (insert funny ED joke here). But at this moment, in an incredibly cool moment. Ock just removes his metal companions and destroys Spider-man, using the control panel to barrage him with bullets and sonics, so this just in, Doctor Octopus just whooped Spider-man’s tooshie without his tentacles! And modern marvel veteran Paco Medina makes this brawl look astonishingly sleek, his Spidey looks so fluid and insect-like, he really sells the fast movement of the character and makes it look stunning as he does it.

Ben awakens to Marcus and Maxine Danger, the high up, scary boss of Beyond who assigns Ben to retrieve the Mcguffin at all costs, Ben continues to have problems with Beyond, or at least Maxine’s handling of it, but can’t rebel in fears of giving up his life and Janine’s freedom from prison and so his part in this issue ends with him accepting his mission. On the other hand, Octavius is far from done causing trouble for Beyond because THEY have assumed all of Parker Industries, the company Otto formed during his time as Spider-man (confused? Pick up Superior Spider-man!). His gauntlet begins once this book ends with him storming Beyond tower!


This comic gave me everything I wanted. A hero and villain fight, character development, sharp humor, and a great cliffhanger. Ziglar and Medina make a fantastic team and I’m twitching to get my next fix of two men with animal-based identities fighting about a company that stole one of their businesses assets (which they built whilst they had control of the other’s mind)! Come back into the Spidey corner soon when I blabber on about that for a few paragraphs.

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 23/1/22



The Amazing Spider-Man #79 – Review

Whilst it doesn’t boast the non stop, cataclysmic action of earlier beyond chapters, it’s still no pushover and serves as a great continuation of the latest Spidey super arc.

Amazing Spider-man #79

Published by Marvel comics on 25/11/21
Written by: Cody Ziglar

Artwork by: Michael Dowling

The latest chapter in the beyond arc sees Ben Reilly settle into his role as Spider-man as he struggles with the beyond corporation’s tight grip aswell as coming face to face with the new (and improved?) Kraven the hunter.


The creative team has yet again had another 2 issue change. Which I like the idea of, so far we’ve had Zeb Wells and Patrick Gleason, Kelly Thompson and Sara Pichelli and now we’ve got Cody Ziglar and Michael Dowling bring us the beginning of this short story featuring Kraven! Our story begins with a beyond corp party at a bar, when one drunk worker is leaving the party down an alleyway, a mysterious shadow overcasts him as we cut away to Ben having his suit fixed up due to his encounter with morbius (see my review on issue 78). Marcus (Ben’s supervisor) chats the usual dirt about how “beyond has sacrificed a lot for you blah blah blah”. After their conversation, Ben goes out to see Peter in the time he has spare before he has to go on an assignment.


MJ sits at Peter’s bedside as Ben enters through the window, I really enjoyed the little bits of chemistry shown between the characters in this book. I wasn’t aware of Cody Ziglar before reading this (I think he may have written some Spider-man books before) but his writing feels really natural, it allows the reader to feel more involved in the comic and view these characters as real people. Ben says his goodbyes and swings off to stop an armoured car robbery, after doing so, he gets a call from Marcus, who needs to Ben to stop by the home of a beyond board member in distress. Upon arriving, he finds the man dead on the floor but before he can investigate any further, his Spider-sense is set off, but its to late has Ben is hit by a huge explosion!


Kraven reveals himself to the bruised up Ben and gives him a good beating until he manages to find his way out of the building. However, when Ben is in free fall, he’s it with a mirage of poison tipped darts, which send him spiralling down to the edge of a building. Broken, Ben manages to muster up the strength to stand, but when he dies, he is faced with a 500 foot huge kraven monster God who is the result of Ben’s hallucinations, right?



This issue was a decent read, Ziglar’s writing felt totally smooth and human and was accompanied by some really nice artwork by Dowling. Whilst it doesn’t boast the non stop, cataclysmic action of earlier beyond chapters, it’s still no pushover and serves as a great continuation of the latest Spidey super arc.


Review by Leo Brocklehurst on 14/12/21

Web of Spider-Man #97 (1993) – Throwback Review

This book features some good, old school, 90’s fun. When everything was going great for the most part, when Spidey was married, Venom and carnage were the coolest guys around and clones weren’t on anybodies mind.

Web of Spider-man (1993) #97 (Retrospective)

Published in 1993 by Marvel Comics
Written by: Terry Kavanagh

Artwork by: Alex Saviux, Derek Yaniger


Welcome to this corner of the Spider-verse, to a time long, long ago. 1993. Horses were still being ridden and the world enjoyed blissful ignorance to the horror show that would be…Coldplay. Also, this issue of Web of Spider-man was released!

Web of Spider-man was the sister in-law to the Amazing Spider-man (the sister series being the spectacular Spider-man). It began in 1985 and for a while there, it was the more artsy Spider-title, featuring incredible ,then upcoming artists like Arthur Adams, Marc Silvestri and Mike Mignola. This was all well and good until issue 35 when artist Alex Saviuk jumped on board. Don’t get me wrong, his art is good and in later issues (around issue 100 and after) even great but his seven year stint on the book made it feel like the lesser Spider-man book on stands. His house style would have been no doubt perfectly adequate in other time period but then the 90’s rolled around. Artists like Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen and Mark Bagely were making waves with their electrifying pencils And even Spectacular Spider-man had legendary marvel artist Sal Buscema on the title leaving Web of Spider-man the weakest series. That’s not to say “Web of” was bad though, the issues before the one being reviewed here were part of the awesome Spirits of Venom storyline which crossed over with the spirits of vengeance book. And a few issues later, the 14 part epic maximum carnage was told in part in the pages of Web of. So with all that context out of the way, let’s get into this issue.


First of all, this issue marks a first appearance, being that of Nightwatch who appears in a weird scene where he introduces himself to some dudes on a beach.
The story is mainly centered around blood rose, the new moniker of…the rose. The issue starts with him taking down some gangsters in a particularly gruesome fashion for a Spider-man book. We then cut to Peter at the doorstep with Betty Brant who has dinner with the Parkers (which, at the time, included Peter’s ‘parents’). Just as a quick side note, this a time where Peter and Mary Jane were married which was the best part of Spider-man comics for about twenty fricking years and they ripped it away from us. WHY MARVEL, WHYYY!!! Sorry about that, just have some issues with Joe Quesada’s at a certain comic book publishers.


Once dinner is finished, Peter is being yelled at by Robbie Robertson when a huge explosion is hears from Fisk towers, Pete suits up and gets caught up in a bloody rampage that blood rose is making. Gunning down men left and right and throwing them out of windows until Spidey intervenes. Rose makes a getaway, or so we think until he shows up behind Spider-man with a hostage! Spidey it’s the hostage in the face with impact webbing (which was pretty funny), making him land on the webbed net outside the tower. Rose shoots at our hero until Spidey can get a couple of punches in when the tower quickly begins exploding and collapsing upon the pair. Outside, bystanders are evacuated as Spider-man breaks through the rubble. Stumbling upon Robbie and also, on a cliffhanger note, the Blood Rose!



This book features some good, old school, 90’s fun. When everything was going great for the most part, when Spidey was married, Venom and Carnage were the coolest guys around and clones weren’t on anybodies mind. The book was by no means bad, but just a little predictable, which is fine. If you have me a trade with 20 issues of Web of I’m sure I’d enjoy it, but then again it wouldn’t rock my world.

Epic Retro mega mono rating: 6/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst

The Amazing Spider-Man #76 – Review

This issue was another brilliant instalment in the Beyond saga, the writing tight and witty and the artwork fresh and vibrant.

The Amazing Spider-Man #76

Written by: Zeb Wells

Artwork by: Patrick Gleason
Published by Marvel Comics

Released on 13/10/21

Beyond continues here! Welcome back to the Amazing Spider-man, although at the moment, he’s not really living up to that title…because he is in hospital, so…not amazing. What IS amazing, however, is this issue! Let’s dig in

After the events of last issues cliffhanger, Peter has been hospitalised and is in really nasty shape after being in a radioactive-ly charged explosion in an encounter with the U-foes. The story begins with Aunt May talking on the phone to Peter, telling her what shape he’s in or so we think until May puts the phone down – realising it wasn’t Peter at all and we cut to Ben ending the call as he waits outside Peter’s bed in hospital. The doctor is stunned by the radiation poisoning Peter has contracted asking if they were on drugs (by the way, for the record, I always thought Spider-man had some sort of poison ivy esc. Tolerance to radiation, it was never stated but I just figured since he’s been Spider-man this long and hasn’t had cancer from the spider bite he’d be somewhat immune? Guess not. Maybe there’s a difference in ionising radiation to your standard radiation?).

Following this, Mary Jane runs into the hospital asking for Peter as Ben disappears and Peter starts convulsing! We hear him talk about a danger inside of him, we heard it at the end of last issue and we hear it throughout this one too. It obviously points to the radiation but that’s obvious, so I’m wondering if there’s some sort of deeper meaning? We’ll just have to wait and see i suppose.

Moving on from that, we see that Ben disappeared back to his penthouse in the beyond tower with his girlfriend Janine. His supervisor tells him he needs a contractual rest to which Ben states he needs to check up on Pete but is instead tasked to finish off the u-foes.

We then switch back to the hospital, where MJ and May are by his side. At this point in the story, Peter is conscious and talking to his family about the u-foes attack and Aunt May has some problems with the doctor and goes and presumably rips him a new one. Switching to Ben once more, he’s being suited up with the help of heroes for hire Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. I really felt like this scene is the beginning of beyond’s possibly sinister intentions, something I gather we’re going to be seeing a lot more of in upcoming issue’s.

Ben, before his supervisors have time to react, tells them to give him one hour before swinging to the hospital yet again. Ben runs into MJ who berates him for what happened to Peter. She eventually calms down and gets a chance to talk to Pete for a minute. Although bitter at first, Peter ends up giving him his blessing as Spider-man and they make good before Ben leaves, once he does though, Peter (in a moment I nearly laughed out loud at) checks with MJ that Ben is gone and when she says yes, he replies with “Because I can’t feel my body”. Once again, he begins to convulsed whilst Ben, oblivious, goes on the hunt for the U-foes with a new lease of Spider-life as Peter goes into a coma.


The U-foes are found conversing in a building when Ben bursts in, taking out vapour and X-ray. In fear, calls out Spider-man to which Ben closes the book with an awesome line. “Hell yes, SPIDER-MAN”.



This issue was another brilliant instalment in the Beyond saga, the writing tight and witty and the artwork fresh and vibrant. I can’t see this book slowing down anytime soon and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on issue 77! Stay tuned!!!



Review by Leo Brocklehurst on 20/10/21