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The Amazing Spider-Man #22 Review

Review by Paul Bowler

Writer Zeb Wells continues to lift the veil on the mysterious crisis and consequence that kicked-off this new run of Amazing Spider-Man with such a compelling quandary – what exactly did Peter do that turned his fellow superheroes against him and sent MJ into the arms of another man? Well, following last issues cataclysmic return of Benjamin Rabin, The Amazing Spider-Man #22  has a lot of ground to cover as Peter and MJ find themselves teleported into an apocalyptic version of New York City and pursued by the Mayan god of mischief and death, Wayep. Essentially the issue is a flashback to events of a year ago, events which would in turn prove the catalyst for the new status-quo Zeb Wells set out for Peter and MJ at the start his Spider-Man run. What we get this issue isn’t necessarily all the answers we’d hoped for as Peter and MJ receive some unexpected help to find shelter, take stock, and form a Spider-Verse-hopping way out of their predicament.

However, newer readers may still be scratching their heads over exactly who Benjamin Rabin is and what he could possibly have to do with everything that’s been going on with Peter and MJ. Well, Rabin was last seen nearly a decade ago in Amazing Spider-Man #557, where Spider-Man thwarted his plan to become the Emissary of the Mayan god Wayep. 

The crazed mathematician then spent years plotting his revenge, which in turn culminated in the devastating series of events we now see unfolding in the flashbacks of this story-arc. Phew! Once you get your head around it the narrative kind of makes sense, but it still feels pretty surprising why Wells has chosen to place such an obscure foe at the centre of whatever Peter did. Zeb Wells writing is pacy and exciting as Spider-Man valiantly goes toe-to-toe with a raging Wayep, the dialogue also feels more on point this issue than of late, but as we’re still only halfway through this massive storyline we clearly still have a long way to go before all the pieces of the puzzle can fall into place.

Now, the quality of John Romita JR.’s artwork has varied somewhat over the course of this run, although he does seem to be back on form again with this current story-arc. The action is pretty fast and furious and JRJR’s pencils strike a seamless balance between the frenetic pace and dramatic action. Likewise, Scott Hanna’s bold inks and colourist Marcio Menzy’s vivid pallet of color nicely complements JRJR’s work, and it seems that the magic themed narrative and alternative dimensional setting has enabled the art team to draw on far more creative vigour than we’ve seen of late.

You know, when this series isn’t getting bogged down in yet another Marvel Comics event, crossover, tie-in, or whatever Amazing Spider-Man can really grab your attention and run with it. As creative teams go, Zeb Wells and John Romita JR. do seem to work well together. Recent issue of ASM have seen Peter claiming he now thinks of MJ as more like a sister to him and he’s also seems to have rekindled his romance with the Black Cat, both are moves that have divided fans and critics alike. Even though I’m not fully on board with the direction the book is taking with the characters, there’s clearly a lot more behind the events that has alienated Spider-Man from his friends and is keeping Peter and MJ apart – especially where magic is concerned. So far there is a sense that we are only just scratching the surface of it all. I’m still willing to give Wells and JRRJ the benefit of the doubt for now and I think Amazing Spider-Man #22 is certainly a step in the right direction. 

About The Autho

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook