Review: Amazing Spider-Man #644

Published on October 6th, 2010

At this point I feel as though I am the last one who has any hope for Amazing Spiderman. I have followed him on and off for most of my life. He has had many many ups and downs but right now the only thing that has kept me hanging on is the story. Will issue 644 make things better or will it be more of the same from writer Mark Waid and artist Paul Azaceta? Read on to find out.

ams644Ok look this series right now is not great and that is being mildly generous. It is beyond me why a title like Amazing Spiderman is getting this kind of treatment.Amazing has always been and will always be a Marvel flagship book and there is no reason why this book,Cap,Thor,Ironman,Fantastic Four,Uncanny X-Men,Hulk and Avengers should ever be bad…..ever! These books are the ones that made Marvel what they are.They define Marvel Comics. When I read one of these books I should be reading some of the best writers and artist in the comic industry. Right now I am not getting that at all. I will say right off the bat that the story , with it’s many short comings, really isn’t all that bad.

However a “ok” story combined with ok indie art does not a Spiderman book make. I don’t like bad mouthing Paul Azaceta as I can see him on a quirky indie book very easily working. Hell even that new set of Strange Tales works great for him. But to put him in this book is a bit of a joke.You need someone who can give you that jump off the page, frenetic artwork that just grabs you and says “hang on for the ride” and very clearly I did not get that from this book.

What I did get out of this book was seeing our lovable neighborhood Spiderman get put through yet another ringer but this time with a baby in his arms. It makes me wonder if that was the pitch..can you image “Ok guys lets put Spiderman through the ringer.” “Wait wait we have done that…lets put him through the ringer while trying to hold a baby!!!” That has got to be what it was like! Regardless Pete is still swinging through Mid town with a child under his arm and dodging any villain that comes along…if this were a live tv show you would get the camera man waving to “Buy Time”.While Peter is struggling  with this MJ, Harry and Lily have gone up town to hide in a Panic Room of one of MJ’s film friends. The logic in this is that if the group of Super Villains can’t find her then she should be fine in there.We then see Peter’s new, ughhh BLAND, love interest Carlie Cooper realizing that Peter is not any where near that coffee house and therefore must be fine so she does what any bland love interest would and just leaves….end of story.The only really great thing about this issue was that they reveal who the main villain is and it isn’t Doc Ock  ..it is actually Kraven.

Waid also builds up the tension really well at the end as earlier Harry leaves the group of MJ and Lily to go find the baby and Peter.The next time we see Harry it is at the end og the book out of no where and Peter (as Spiderman) swings down and tells him to take the baby to safety. Peter finished the fight with Vulture and looks down to see that Harry hasn’t moved. He swings down and investigates and finds that Harry was in shock because the baby had died during all the swinging which sets Spiderman off and of course he blames himself.After he swings of we see that it was actually The Chameleon in disguise and the baby is fine but seemingly the bad guys have won..mean while the readers (That’s Us Folks!!!) lose.

Final Verdict:I don’ t think this really needs to be said but just wait til this arc is over and we have a great artist back on board. Trust me on this.

Sheldon Lee

sheldon@comicimpact.com