Amazing Spider-Man #667
“Spider-Island Part One: The Amazing Spider-Manhattan”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Carlos Cuevas
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Carlie reveals to Peter that she now has spider-powers. The Jackal hosts a gathering of mobsters (who have also gained spider-powers), at which he gives them a variety of Spider-Man costumes and promptly turns them loose on Manhattan. As the bridges and tunnels leading out of Manhattan are closed, Peter and Carlie (separately) swing into action. Meanwhile, the FF and the Avengers have joined the fray. As Spider-Man arrives, his teammates mistake him for yet another marauding crook and clean his clock as Madame Web looks on.
- Mary Jane refers to the Clone Saga. Yes, I’m shameless about that.
- Peter addresses Aunt May as “Mom”. I can’t think of another time in almost fifty years of comics that he’s done that off the top of my head, and yet it came across as perfectly normal. And make no mistake, in every sense but the biological, May is his mother.
- The citywide chaos in the second half of the issue is wonderfully depicted.
- Madame Web is already referring to these events (in-universe) as “Spider-Island”. While it’s not hard to believe that the media, for example, might call it that in retrospect (and I believe the events of Maximum Carnage have been mentioned by that name on occasion), but to do so as it’s just getting started feels weird.
- Mistaken identity? Really? Not one of Peter’s teammates can recognize his voice? I realize this is going to be cleared up in the space of two pages next issue, but come on!
As much as I’ve complained about constant team ups in my previous reviews, in this case it was actually appropriate for the Avengers and the FF to show up. Not only that, but it lends a sense of gravity to the situation. As long as the focus remains on Peter and his supporting cast (as opposed to turning Spider-Island into a story about the Avengers-who-just-happen-to-include-Spider-Man), I have no complaints on that front.
To lift the veil a bit, I like to read a comic twice when I review it, and issues like this are the reason why. When I first read this issue, I was somewhat underwhelmed. After all, when you think about it, there’s not a lot that happens here. It pretty much boils down to Carlie revealing her newfound spider-powers and the Jackal turning a legion of spider-powered hoodlums loose on New York. However, on the second read-through I simply enjoyed it more. Perhaps it was a victim of its own hype (a risk you run when you put a hashtag on the cover), or perhaps I lost sight of the fact that this is, after all, still the beginning of the story. But whatever the case may be, I saw something the second time that I missed the first. Is the issue perfect? Of course not, but the fact remains that it is certainly better than I initially gave it credit for.
But the bottom line is that, despite my criticisms I’m not only still on board for Spider-Island, I’m optimistic. And I’m not the only one. For more coverage of Spider-Island on Comic Booked, check out this round -up of the event to date from Skott of Fables, our other review of Amazing Spider-Man #667 by Seth Jacob and the most recent edition of Bullet Reviews, which includes write-ups of both Amazing Spider-Man #667 and Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #1. And as always, stay tuned to Comic Booked!