Tag Archives: spiderman

Amazing Fantasy #1 Review

Amazing Fantasy #1

Reviewed by Andy Flood, 8/8/21

Story:  Kaare Andrews
Art:  Kaare Andrews
Letters:  Joe Sabino
Released: 28/7/21
Published by Marvel Comics


If you’re in a comic shop and don’t feel even the remotest pull of curiosity when faced with an image of Captain America riding a winged lion, then perhaps you are browsing the wrong shelves.  The first issue of Amazing Fantasy has such an image on its cover and it really is one you have to hold in your hands to appreciate.

Granted, old ‘Cap’ looks a little different here, with Thor-like hair and beard and Conan-esque garb.  But the shield is there, albeit peppered with arrows.  The whole composition of the cover, from the languid pose of the supple elf-maiden to the hyper muscled orc (?) and Cap bring to mind the classic sword and sorcery art of Frank Frazetta and maybe even a little Boris Vallejo.

The whole cover is gleefully anachronistic, and I love it.  From the title font down to the brief cover pitch, it instantly conjures up the feel of the pulps of old.  Indeed, the original run of Amazing Fantasy (originally titled Amazing Adult Fantasy) harkens back to the post-pulp early ‘60s, and while primarily being famous for featuring the first ever appearance of Spider Man, had previously featured some excellent, weird and wonderful stories from Stan Lee, illustrated by Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby!

It is perhaps fitting then, that this new book contains not only numerous nods to Marvel history but also stars Spider Man alongside Captain America.  Joining them is Black Widow, or perhaps more accurately here, ‘red-room’ era Natasha Romanoff.  Kaare Andrews has elected to use World War II era Cap and teenage Spidey in this awesome story.

Aside from the letters and editor credits, this title is very much a one man show, and Kaare Andrews makes sure it is a seriously impressive show, at that.  The opening scenes of ‘Arrival’ show us Captain America on what seems to be an ocean-bound escort mission during WWII.  Disaster soon strikes and the Cap is transported to a strange new world, lit by twin suns and populated by fearsome beasts.

We then change pace, tone and art style to join a young Black Widow in the depths of the Red Room programme.  Soon after experiencing some of her harsh reality, we shift over to join everyone’s favourite webslinger, mid-fight with the Green Goblin, just before he is similarly whisked away to find himself in hot water surrounded by odd, misshapen creatures.

This whole book is a love letter not only to Marvel but also the many early pulp fantasy and science fiction stories which informed a lot of later entertainment.  Kaare Andrews uses his shifts in art style to take us from one era or scene to another, with changes in line work and colours very effectively charting a course through the chaos until our three protagonists all arrive in this strange new world.

As the action unfolds and builds towards the climactic closing pages, we are left with a sense of wonder and discovery but also with questions as to the exact nature of our heroes’ experiences.  Is it real, a shared dream, or something more… permanent?


Verdict


‘Arrival’ is a superb opening issue for this 5 book run.  The standard cover is worth the price of admission alone (there are a few nice variant covers around, too).  As a comic creator, Kaare Andrews is openly flexing here, showing off his considerable talents to bring us a tale worthy of that awesome cover and a gathering of some of Marvel’s most popular characters.  This one is highly recommended.  I can’t wait for issue 2!


Review by Andy Flood, 8/8/21


The Amazing Spider-Man #71 Review


Review by Leo Brocklehurst 30/7/21

Written by:
Nick Spencer
Artwork by:
Federico Vicentini
Federico Sabbatini
Released 28/7/21 Published by Marvel Comics

SINISTER WAR CONTINUES!!!
Nick Spencer keeps the action on max whilst also giving us some character development, and at the SAME time, keeping us on edge as we see our side plots converging into one big, three year in the making, pay off.


The art (mostly done by Federico Vicentini) has been consistently good these past couple of issues, contributing to the books speedy pace with a cartoonish yet scratchy style. We also see a newcomer in the pages of this issue, Federico Sabbatini. Their art is more kid friendly than Vicentini’s and is reminiscent of the all ages books marvel released in the late 2000’s, not bad by any means however and serves it’s purpose.




The most interesting part of the book is MJ and Mysterio taking a trip through each others history, where we get to see some nice flashback art (by Vicentini). This scene includes some ret-conning when discussing MJ’s therapy in various points of Spidey history. The section culminates in Mysterio leaving MJ in a theatre in order to fulfil his “big scene” in the sinister war. Following this, MJ is approached by Kindred and we are left on a cliff-hanger.


The other plot running throughout this issue involves Harry Osborn (not kindred) and Carlie Cooper trapped in a cell at an unknown location. In this book, the door actually opens and they exit, being confronted by an unknown person or object. Amidst all this, Kindred, hides out in an abandoned ambulance, presumably the one he died in (Which begs the question, after he died in it, did they just leave it in the street? Looks that way in the issue.)


Verdict:

Issue 71 of Spencer’s Spider-man is a pretty solid and exciting read. It leaves the readers on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the next part of sinister war whilst deciding to focus on the supporting cast.

8/10


Review by Leo Brocklehurst on 30/7/21

The Amazing Spider-man #70 Review


The Amazing Spider-man #70Review by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Federico Vicentini


Released 7/7/21 Published by Marvel Comics

“And answers? Well, we’re ALL looking for those, aren’t we? (…) But we may not like what we find when we GET them”.

Spider-man’s latest fixture is a great book that excites and hypes you up for the next big event of Spider-ness. A perfect prelude with raising stakes and a theme of questions running throughout.

The writing by Nick Spencer is able to set the stage for a storyline that feels like it might actually shake things up for once. Hopefully rectifying Spencer’s biggest flaw in his Spidey run: the lack of change. As you read it, it flows great and is fine for fun little Spidey stories that you can relax to but in the big picture, not much has changed. Sure there have been SOME for sure as it’s almost impossible to go 70 issues without changing anything but it has been an incredibly slow rise. Beginning with Sinister war however, things are looking up for Spidey readers and this issue is evidence.

As I said before, the theme of this issue is one of questions. MJ wants answers for Carlie (who is locked away in a cell with Harry Osborn (double bracket whaaat???) in a place we’re not even sure is on earth at this rate) , Carlie wants answers for Harry, Doc Ock wants answers about things taken from him and Spider-man wants answers on just what is going on??
The lizard and Curt Connors have been separated and the sinister six have vanished, escalating worries around the city and on top of ALL of this, it looks like Mysterio is back in town!!

The art in this issue, done by Federico Vicentini has almost a smooth, manga like style and flow whilst also looking messy and rough. I thought it accompanied the fast pace of the book extremely well; rushing to the big BANG to kick it all off and I can’t wait to see how beat up Spidey gets this time around.


Verdict:

Spencer’s final story is about to explode into the stratosphere and this issue is drenched in pure anticipation and fast paced, action packed artwork that is sure to entice readers into Spidey’s biggest threat yet.

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 9/7/21


The Amazing Spider-man #69 Review

The Amazing Spider-man #69Review By Leo Brocklehurst


Writer:
Nick Spencer

Artists:
Z.E Carlos
Carlos Gómez
Marcelo Ferreira


Released 24/3/21 Published By Marvel Comics

Spider-mans latest adventure is what you would expect of Nick Spencer, just more and more escalation leading up to the finale. In essence, it’s a cash grab so you can see the ad in the back for the giant sized one shot final parter, not a bad cash grab by any means, but a cash grab. The Spidey team decided to do this with the previous “kings ransom” storyline; an enjoyable story that doesn’t finish in its own book. Its a little annoying but that’s nothing to do with book itself.

The writing (scripted by spencer) is on point, witty and even funny in parts. (The smashing pumpkins joke in particular). The art shares the same rotating cast as last issue and like last issue, to varying degrees of success. Zé Carlos’ work shines especially, it reminds me of the spectacular Spider-man show in the way that it flows so nicely and feels quick and swift.

Carlos Gómez, is a great artist who is unfortunately given the most artistically boring arc of the book. Not to say that the Betty and Ned story is boring, it’s actually pretty interesting but I can’t really fathom it going anywhere except for them both leaving for some quiet place in Europe so that the two characters are taken cate of for a few years and don’t have to be brought back (granted, it would be cool if their baby turned out to be and evil , universe consuming God). The final artist, Marcelo Ferreira is very hit and miss and results in so-so  art that looks a little odd.

With almost all the negatives out of the way, the book is all in all pretty great. The most interesting plot line involving the clairvoyant features a great fight scene where Spidey actually gets his butt handed to him and the villains win. An interesting twist ensues in the form of the Jack o lanterns (along with most of the criminals in the foreigners crime filled casino) turning out to be working for the finisher. This finally ties the Theresa Parker side plot to the clairvoyants and will therefore provide us with a satisfying conclusion in “giant sized the Amazing Spider-man: the chameleon conspiracy” which is unfortunately a separate book and won’t be concluded in issue 70.

This issue was not a stand alone book. It fits perfectly into it’s story and will probably flow better once it’s collected on trade form. All in all, a solid continuation of recent issues that will be enjoyed by Spidey fans everywhere. Check it out!


7/10

Now that this fun little story is over, we will be returning to big picture, life shattering, sinister six filled action in next month’s SINISTER WAR……


Review by Leo Brocklehurst – 4/7/21

The Amazing Spider-man #68 Review

The Amazing Spider-man #68

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Marcel Ferreira, Carlos Gomez and ZÈ Carlos

Released: 9/6/21
Published by: Marvel Comics

The latest instalment of Nick Spencer’s Spiderman run is a real treat for die-hard Spidey fans. The story is exciting and the artists (for the most part) provide excellent work to bring said story to life.

This is the second part of the “chameleon conspiracy” so I wouldn’t advise readers to begin catching up on Spider-man with this issue, but if you’re a regular then this issue is better than its predecessor by a long shot. Spencer continues a few of the plot threads from the previous issues like Betty Brant’s pregnancy and Teresa Parker’s run in with the chameleon and the finisher(?). The finisher being the man that was sent to assassinate Richard and Mary Parker, succeeded but died in the process, or so we thought. It makes for an intriguing mystery that I for one am seriously interested In solving.

 The artwork in this section done by Marcelo Ferreira is probably the weakest in the book, he also does a page or two of the peter/Betty plot line in which some very…. interesting facial expressions are depicted. The rest of the art for the Peter/Betty segment however, pencilled by Carlos Gómez looks great, particularly the hobgoblin splash page. And the reveal of (the real???) Ned Leeds was a surprise for sure!

The main chunk of the issue is a continuation of the clairvoyant plot that has been running for about 30 issues now which has taken centre stage in the past couple of issues, it follows Peter’s ESU partner, Jamie as he attempts to capture a device called the catalyst which will power another clairvoyant that villains Chance and the foreigner are blackmailing him to create. As the heist inside ESU begins in this issue, a welcome appearance from one of the most obscure spider-man villains is made. Slyde! Who made his first (and one of his only appearances) way back in AMS #272. The artwork in this portion, pencilled by ZÉ Carlos, is the best in the book, it looks youthful, fresh and electric. With plenty of poster worthy pin-ups. Of Spidey.

The issue wraps up with Spidey’s intervention in the heist being intercepted by Chance, foreigner and their pumpkin minions. After the main story, we get another tease for this summers upcoming Spidey event, sinister war. This issues back up portrays doc ock recruiting sandman with stellar as usual art by Mark Bagely. Building further anticipation for kindred final assault on our beloved hero. 

Verdict:

All in all, this issue is great, one of Spencer’s best issues since Ryan Ottley’s departure. Definitely a solid pick up with stellar art.

9/10

Review by Leo Brocklehurst 11.6.21