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The Amazing Spider-Man #6

Review by Paul Bowler

A new story-arc begins: The Dark Kingdom! Peter Parker’s company Parker Industries is brining cutting edge high-tech to the world, it also equips S.H.I.E.L.D, and the Uncle Ben Foundation offers humanitarian aid all over the world. Following the battle with Zodiac and Scorpio in the UK, The Amazing Spider-Man #6 finds Peter Parker back in Shanghai, where one of Spider-Man’s deadliest villains has returned: Mister Negative! What is Mister Negative’s plan, and how has he got two fan-favourite Marvel heroes to join forces with him?

Its another busy day at Parker Industries filled with plenty of new innovations and action-packed web-spinning for Peter Parker in Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #6, where, following a flashback to a well organised breakout of a high security prisoner on Stronghold 1: the department of justice prison transport, writer Dan Slott kicks off the story in earnest as we find Peter enjoying a brief respite from his executive role and wall crawling duties on the rooftop of the Shanghai branch of Parker Industries. After a quick Spider-Sense tingling white-knuckle ride in the Spider-Mobile, things get a little more complicated for Peter, as business and politics become awkwardly entwined, before news of the arrival of Mister Negative means its time for some Spidey action!

The Amazing Spider-Man #6 Cover

This issue covers a lot of ground in a short space of time, but it doesn’t feel rushed though. The opening flashback is handled really well, it’s a good way to reintroduce Mister Negative, and the surprise of having him teamed up with Cloak and Dagger is another neat twist – especially with the unexpected role reversal of their powers.

Matteo Buffagni’s art is also very good, each scene is well presented, the characters are all nicely defined, and the page layouts stylishly convey the fast-paced action. Mister Negative is also an intersting villain, its great to see him return, and his powers certainly makes him one of Spider-Man’s more unusual adversaries. I like the contrast Buffagni’s art highlights between Peter’s high-flying business life and his wall crawling adventures as Spider-Man. There’s some awesome Spider-Mobile action as well, I love that car, it always looks stunning, and that wrecking ball scene is sure to leave you with a big silly grin on your face!

I’m also really pleased to see the return of Cloak and Dagger in this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. Dan Slott has really brought a new spin on the characters here, especially how their powers have now been drastically altered by Mister Negative. The artwork of Matteo Buffagni really captures the essence of these characters perfectly, they dominate every scene they appear in, and colorist Marte Gracia employs subtle shades and tones to great effect throughout to make this one of the most impressive looking issues of the new series so far – and let’s not forget that gorgeous cover by Alex Ross as well, this one’s a real stunner!

Amazing Spider-Man #6 gets The Dark Kingdom arc off to a great start. Dan Slott is on great form once again, his writing always seems to draw me into the story, and he has a great handle on all the characters, which together with Matteo Buffagni’s art and Marte Gracia’s colors, makes this another standout issue. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this story develops, especially after that cliff-hanger ending, and to finding out exactly how and why Cloak and Dagger are now working for Mister Negative.

Publisher: Marvel / Writer: Dan Slott / Art: Matteo Buffagni

Colorist: Marte Gracia / Cover Artist: Alex Ross