Review: The Amazing Spider-Man #659

Published on April 27th, 2011

“Professor…what’s another word for pirate treasure?”
“Why I think it’s BOOTY.  B-B-BOOTY!”

Just so you know, Professor Booty by The Beastie Boys is the theme song to The Amazing Spider-Man #659.  I recommend listening to it while readingthis issue.  I did, and I felt that it improved the experience.  Not just because Spider-Man and Ben Grimm reference the song in this issue, but because it just, plain fits.

The Amazing Spider-Man #659 has Dan Slott credited as creating the story with Fred Van Lente on dialogue and Stefano Caselli on art.  In the past year, no book has taken more of a turn from disappointing to mind-fuck-awesome like The Amazing Spider-Man.  Slott is truly redeeming this title in a fantastic way, and the decision to include Spider-Man into FF is really making up for the catastrophe that was the “death” of Johnny Storm.

asm-cover

So, in this issue, Spidey and the rest of the FF are back in the 616 universe (better known as the mainstream Marvel Universe) after hopping dimensions in issue #658.  They end up on an island in the Caribbean where a group of villagers (who can’t remember the real names of the Fantastic Four…heh, Mr. Elongated Man) ask the FF for help from a mysterious presence that has kidnapped all of their women and children.  Spider-Man is astounded when he sees that the location that they’ve all been carried off to is a mountain with a giant skull on it.  He has never been more excited in his life.  Ultimately, Spidey gets to check a few more things off his bucket list, when a horde of not just pirates, but ZOMBIE pirates come pouring out of the mountain and the FF have to fight them back. The ultimate cause of not only the multi-dimensional anomaly, but all the weirdness on the island ends up being something far easier to explain than originally thought, but still rather…Sinister.

Meanwhile, there’s some drama going on back home.  Carlie, Peter’s girlfriend, found out that he’s not away on business trips, as he’s been telling/lying to her when he goes off for secret hero stuff.  To put it mildly, she’s cheesed off.  In an act of drunken spite, Carlie and her roller derby team members head to a tattoo parlor where Carlie gets a certain Goblin inspired piece, positive that it’ll, again with the putting it mildly, irritate Peter.

This book just keeps getting better and better since Slott came on board.  Honestly, I’m almost getting tired of it.  DAMMIT, SLOTT!  You’re too fantastic  for your own good!  I understand that he only did story duties on The Amazing Spider-Man #659, but the direction it’s taking is still really great.  It’s all stuff that’s new for Spider-Man, which he desperately needs.  The whole “Brand New Day” maxi-event that preceded Slott’s run wasn’t much more that a re-hash of everything that had already been done with Spidey in the past.  Van Lente’s dialogue in this issue is flat out awesome!  It’s funny, creative and just plain fun to read.  I love getting this goof-ball side of Spider-Man.

Caselli has really brought it to another level in regards to the art.  It’s so energetic and fun, it really suits Spider-Man well.  He captures movement exceptionally well.  They need to keep this guy on board The Amazing Spider-Man for as long as possible.

Long story short, if you skipped The Amazing Spider-Man #659 this week, you have done yourself a gigantic disservice.  This issue is everything a Spider-Man book should be, but at the same time, takes Peter off into a new direction that hasn’t really been done before.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com