The Amazing Spider-Man #90 – Review

Gleason’s writing chops are nothing to mess with and pair beautifully with legendary artist Mark Bagley in a satisfying issue that I couldn’t put down, as far as verdicts go, you’re not going to get a better one than this.

The Amazing Spider-Man #90

Written by: Patrick Gleason
Artwork by: Mark Bagley
Published by Marvel
Released: 23/2/22

As a quick refresher, in the past couple of issues, Ben Reilly has been partially mind-wiped by those slimy rapscallions over at Beyond, the same dudes/dudettes that have unleashed the Queen Goblin on New York. On top of that, Old Peter Parker has managed to get back on his feet and is on his merry way to put an end to Queen Goblin’s reign of terror!

We begin with Beyond’s top dog, Maxine Danger tracing Ben Reilly as he swings across a bridge with Janine, who notices there’s definitely something off about Ben, which is where he confesses that he feels like he’s missing something in his mind (which, by the way, he totally is,  being brain wiped and all). He tells Janine that he just needs to focus and everything will be hunky-dory, but Janine knows that’s not good enough, it’s at that point that she spills the Intel she’s discovered about Beyond. Or rather, how they’ve set up the whole thing, sending out super-villains for Ben to stop so that they can get good publicity for themselves and their little Spider-man project. They decide that they’re going to take it to the top and go confront the big bosses at Beyond, but first, we’ve got some sweet, sweet action to attend to.

Pete is up in the skyscrapers, battling the new Queen goblin foe, which is where we get a ton of quality Spidey crack-ups, from getting confused with the X-men’s Goblin Queen to mentally crying for help as he barely manages to dodge the goblin’s blows. It’s moments like this where I feel Patrick Gleason really understands and gets the Spider-man character, I don’t feel like it’s one writer’s take on Spider-man, I just think of it as Spider-man, which is the best kind of writing. Of course, it’s great to actually know who’s writing a book by the tone it sets and dialogue and all the rest of the mumbo jumbo. But when it feels so much like the definitive, quintessential character, that’s when you know you’re doing a good job of writing a mainstream comic book. Obviously, it’s awesome to get some subversive material from creators not typically known for the superhero genre like, for example, Pete Bagge’s megalomaniacal Spider-man as well as a lot of other early 2000’s marvel books, which was a very interesting period for the company, but for Marvel’s flagship title, Pat Gleason does a fantastic job of realizing what readers want out of the main Spidey title. And speaking of what readers want, Mark Bagely is delivering some of his best work in the last 20 years in this issue as Spidey and the Goblin take their battle through offices, Spider-man billboards (with the Sam raising font, nice touch), and even subways. Every panel has energy inside it, there’s so much going on, but in a really good way, these pages are bursting at the seems with excitement and it really displays Bagely’s accumulation of skill on his 30-plus year tenure drawing the character. I, at least, got the sense that he must have really enjoyed penciling these issues and it shows great stuff.

Getting back to the story, the Queen goblin manages to use her unique “Goblins gaze” ability which she used successfully on the black cat’s last issue, which would have resulted in her death if not for the web-slinger arriving just in time. So Peter falls into the sea and goes through the whole “you’re not good enough” thing, but Spidey is able to defeat the hold it has on him, in his words “Doesn’t she realize self-doubt is kind of our thing?”. Pete manages to jump up out of the water and deliver the finishing blow to the latest addition to the Goblin Hall of shame.

Spider-man is able to get back onto the docks, where he meets up with MJ and the Black cat at that moment in all great superhero stories, where the previously split apart gang get back together again for the big finale, Peter is sent on his way to find Ben by his companions, but as we check up on Ben, he is kind of going a little bit insane, he’s not going evil insane, but Beyond have really scrambled his eggs to the point he doesn’t even remember Peter’s name when they meet up, but Ben pushes through it, and this installment ends with a page as awesome as when I found 20 pounds in a grid that one time, which means its totally awesome. Both Spider-men, suited up and ready to take Beyond down, Once and for all!


This issue was one of the best parts of Beyond to date, delivering all of those epic moments you know you love as we dive headfirst into what is bound to be an incredible final act of Spider-man: Beyond. Gleason’s writing chops are nothing to mess with and pair beautifully with legendary artist Mark Bagely in a satisfying issue that I couldn’t put down, as far as verdicts go, you’re not going to get a better one than this. Although if I had to make one small gripe, I would say that the Beyond company’s whole twist and game plan is a little predictable, but that is an issue that pails in comparison to all of the great aspects of this Spidey-saga. Join me soon for the next chapter!

9.5/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst



The Amazing Spider-Man #83 – Review

Pat Gleason does a fine job as the sole storyteller on this issue of The Amazing Spider-man and that’s worth commending. Well done beyond team!

The Amazing Spider-Man #93

Written and drawn by Patrick Gleason
Published by Marvel Comics
Released – 29/12/21

This issue of the Amazing Spider-man is a special one! Beyond board member/artist Patrick Gleason takes on scribing duties as well as art on this book. A story of heroic success and rising above his enemies…is not the story told in these pages, well, it kind of is actually…

Janine Godbe, Ben Reilly’s loveable girlfriend stares at a highly advanced screen sprawling headlines with Spider-man’s name across them as she sits in a pool. This scene, by the way, us about as much as we see from the Reilly side of the Spider-family. She talks to (guess who?) Marcus on the phone and then wanders off. Not a needed scene, but it’s good the book tries to keep intertwined with both Spider-men in the same issue instead of drawing away from the main arc.

Next thing we know, we’re in the hospital where Peter Parker, who has apparently totally forgotten about the crazy monster that tried to EAT him last issue, is being scolded for not being up to physical therapy. Luckily, these last couple of issues Peter’s been getting a lot better to the point where he can stay conscious and even be able to walk. Once the doctor leaves, however, his Spider-sense sets off and goes crazy, the imagery in this scene is pretty darn cool and Switches up the colorist to the renowned Nathan Fairburn who makes the scene look flatter but insanely vibrant and beautiful as Spider-man falls through his own brain. We get some more awesome imagery as a spider literally breaks through Peter’s face and a Spider-man-like creature walks out of his head (yep) into the distance.

Sometime after, the nurse once again confronts Peter about his physical therapy and she’s told he’s up to it as she hands him a package. Inside the package is an old, tattered Spidey-stume from, as the comic states, 2007?! That would mean that Spider-man has been Spider-man for at least 15 years. So that means that if we take into account that Spider-man was 15 when he became the web-slinger, he is now AT LEAST 30 YEARS OLD! THAT’S ANCIENT!!! (apologies to any readers in their 30’s and up, you aren’t THAT old). In my mind, Spider-man should be no older than 25-26, that’s not too young to be married or even have a kid and he’d still be considered young in the grand scheme of things (again, no shame for people in their 30’s, you’re in your bodies physical prime, enjoy it whilst it lasts!). unfortunately, however, his age does fit into marvel’s sliding timescale ratio, being that 4 years in real-time is one year in the marvel universe, so considering Spider-man turns 60 this year, dividing that by 4 we do actually get 15 years.

Sorry for my rantings but I just wish Marvel could do some sort of reset to make the characters younger, they have to do something at some point, or else in another 60 years Spider-man’ll be walking his kids down the aisle, which is not cool (or it could be, perhaps in an alternate universe). Aaaaaanyways, this is the point where marvel deems this the biggest Spider-man moment in years, that is, Peter Parker getting acknowledged in action!

Lounging on a skyscraper wearing a gown and slippers, he spots his first criminals of the night, a couple of star-crossed lovers who’ve just robbed a bank. Just a little side note, in this scene in particular l, the dialogue sounds a little janky and unnatural, I’m not sure how far Gleason’s writing career extends but some of the speech doesn’t sound like how a person would speak. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Tarantino characters sound totally weird but it works for the narrative, but this however was just a few errors that could have been ironed out. VERY if it sounds like I’m being a downer but that’s my biggest complaint with this issue and it’s VERY minor which should give you an indication on how good this issue is. Spider-man lands on the hood of the thieves car and as he prepares to shoot his web, his web shooter starts playing toy sounds, with Peter understanding the seller he had bought it from had reworked it to be a toy, and gets hit full force by the car as it thrusts into the wall, then taking a huge beating from the couple who would’ve been slim pickings a few weeks ago in Spidey’s life.

By some divine intervention, Captain America, an avenger who is likely busy with saving the world, just happens to be hanging around a New York car park and saves Spider-man from the terrible clutches of two Bank robbers! One of the robbers ends up shooting a bullet directly at Spidey’s head when it’s diverted by Captain America’s shield! However, in a moment that ca  only be summed up in the word “ooooooooffoowweech!” Spider-man gets totally spangled on the dome with America’s symbol of heroism. Aaaaand that was the end if Spider-man’s short-lived super-heroine return. Another dream sequence occurs where uncle Ben has a wholesome chat with Peter about heroes and that Spider-man looking creature from before emerges when a young Peter calls out the webheads name as the spindly figure lunges at him, he turns into Spider-man and bats the creature away and the issue ends with Peter waking up, crying NEVER!


Did this issue have one of the biggest Spider-man moments ever? Not really, on the other hand though, it was a really solid, action-packed issue with various qualities of coloring and one of the funniest Spider-man scripts in a while, this book did make me chuckle a couple times. Pat Gleason does a fine job as the sole storyteller on this issue of The Amazing Spider-man and that’s worth commending. Well done beyond team!

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on the 18/1/22



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

The Amazing Spider-Man #75 Review

Things look pretty rough for Peter but it makes for one heck of a story!



The Amazing Spider-man #75

Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Zeb Wells 

Artwork by: Patrick Gleason
Released on 6/10/21

Published by Marvel Comics 

BEYOND IS HERE!

So I haven’t been THIS excited for Spider-man in quite a while now, I was hyped when this new run started because we finally got a change up from Dan Slott to Nick Spencer and my favourite artist Ryan Ottley was on the book aswell.

However, as the series progressed, we lost Ryan Ottley (on Spider-man, he is still very much alive) around the halfway point of the run and the plots got a little stale (Kings Ransom and the Chameleon Conspiracy to be specific). The stories were in my opinion, more exciting than the previous run but lacking the constant state of epic-ness and energy that the book had seen before, but now, I think things are finally going to be… amazing (forgive the pun) once again. Let’s dig in!

This time around, the story starts with a young Peter Parker walking the streets of New York with Aunt May, blowing up a piece of gum. Aunt May realises she never bought that for Pete and asks where he got it from, Peter doesn’t understand what he did but said “it felt too easy”. They end up going back to the store and paying the store clerk for the gum and once they get home uncle Ben asks to talk to Peter, giving him a speech about the man who you are in private and that you can’t hide from him. Ben turns around, disfigured by a hole in his face with spiders crawling out of it and we soon discover it was just a dream.

Peter wakes up miserable over Harry’s death (last ish) and decides to go get some fresh air outside, on a specific building where its quiet and solitary, where he has nothing to worry about. I always like little things like this, they communicate to readers that Peter is a human being; he still faces problems and tribulation and has his safe spaces of his own to go to, they really drive home the “everyman” aspect of the character. Once he gets up onto the roof of this building he sees another Spider-man swing past?! Spidey throws a slue of tricks at the imposter but they prove useless; his webs bounce right of the shady character and they run right through the wall Peter pulls down on them. Following that, a spider looking device is deployed and wraps Peter up, allowing the doppelganger to escape. The device tells Peter that he will be let go in an hour and he should use this time to “reflect on his life’s decisions” Which might be the funniest thing I’ve read all year.

The following day, Pete runs into Ben Reilly (who last appeared in Iron man a few years back I believe but I’m sure you’re familiar with the character from the infamous clone saga storyline back in the mid 90’s). They talk in a restaurant and Ben reveals it was him who was running around the night before and that’s what he’s come to talk to  Peter about. The beyond corporation has hired him to be Spider-man after acquiring the trademark to the hero from the now defunct Parker industries (the company Otto Octavius began when he was in control of Peter’s brain, when Peter regained control he totally tanked the company and had to sell off all the assets although he was unaware Otto had trademarked the Spider-man name). Ben came to tell him that he wasn’t asking to be a Spider-man but that he will be, like it or not. After all, they both have the same moral code so its not like you can keep him out of the fight. Peter has no choice but to accept it and they go their own ways.

Ben returns to his penthouse in the beyond tower to his girlfriend Janine, who just got out of prison last issue. There’s a pretty nice moment where they take in just how different their living conditions are now from a few years ago until its interrupted by Reilly’s overseer of sorts to partake in some sort of session.

We cut to later as the (typically hulk villains) U-foes are carrying out a mission when Peter arrives on the scene to stop them, he makes a joke about the stench that X-ray carries when they reply that the joke wasn’t funny the first time when, all of a sudden, Reilly breaks through the debris under him. They team up against the villains and hold their own until X-ray let’s out an explosion of ionising radiation, reducing the area to Rubble; as Ben recovers (due to his radiation proof suit) and goes to re-group with Peter he sees that Pete’s been injured pretty bad and as he falls to the ground and blacks out, the issue ends.

Things look pretty rough for Peter but it makes for one heck of a story! Before I talk about anything else I just want to talk about beautiful wrap around cover by comic book veteran Arthur Adams! This cover was jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the solicited covers for the beyond books look incredible, in other news, I loved this book! Pretty sure this is my favourite issue of Spider-man since the red goblin arc in 2018.




I didn’t realise how much the title was coasting until I came out of it and beyond looks like a non-stop thrill rife and I can’t wait!!! I’m pretty sure they had me in mind when they made the series thrice-monthly if I’m being completely honest. Zeb Wells writing was funny, exciting and did a spot-on job of all the characters personalities and the like although Wells is no newcomer to ASM, he’s done several short stories in other spider-books and scripted the awesome storyline SHED back in 2010 with legendary artist Chris Bachalo. Patrick Gleason’s art in this book is really just brilliant, I love the way he draws Spidey but I just have one teeny, tiny nit-pick on the artwork which is that it can be pretty inconsistent. I double checked and he is the only pencilled on the issue but it looks like it can be two different styles at some points. In parts, peter looks in style with Gleason’s art but in others he looks like a 3-d tracing. It’s the only problem I’ve had with his art, I don’t know whether he gets worn out or if he’s just experimenting with different styles but when that’s my biggest complaint with a comic you know it’s good, it’s sooooo good. BUY IT!


10/10

Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst 14/10/21