Written by: Nick Spencer
Pencils by: Ryan Ottley
Inks by: Cliff Rathburn
Colours by: Laura Martin
Letters by: Joe Caramagnan
So Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s first inaugural Spider-Man arc has come to a close and their ‘back to basic’ approach has, for the better part, really paid off. It’s been pretty refreshing to see Spencer re-evaluate what we know and love about Spider-Man, as well as reconnecting Peter with MJ and ramping up the classic Spidey humour!
Issue #5 rounds off the first main story arc which saw Peter Parker and Spider-Man literally split in two following an accident with the isotope genome accelerator. Peter learns the two won’t survive for much longer if separated, so (slyly) persuades his new roommate, villain Boomerang, to steal the device (inadvertently) for him, so he can merge back with his super counterpart and save the city from an army of Tri-Sentinels. Meanwhile the intentions of the mysterious shadowy villain start to come to light and we’re also treated to a very intriguing tease at the end of the issue!
As I’ve said throughout this arc, The Amazing Spider-Man has been such a fun read and Spencer’s mechanism of splitting Spidey and Peter has worked really well for the narrative, as we’ve had time to explore what normal life would be like for Parker. Oh and did I mention how much I’ve loved irresponsible Spidey? How hilarious is that guy! He genuinely has to win the award for the funniest line in comics this week with his quip about the delicious brand of instant rice! But aside from the brilliant humour, Spencer successfully explores and addresses the issue of Peter acting more guilty and bogged down by his past than usual recently, and I’m glad someone’s (hopefully) going to shift that balance back.
Ryan Ottley and the creative team have been phenomenal in each issue of the current run, and I really can’t wait to see more of their work! I particularly enjoyed the little nod to Invincible with the panel of a broken and bloody Peter Parker lying in the rubble. There’s also so much explosive action in this issue that they’ve really brought to life, especially the Tri-Sentinal attack.
The Amazing Spider-Man #5 rounded off the ‘Back to Basics’ arc in a neat way, bringing the story full circle and setting up plenty of future foes for Spidey to face. The main plot device of separating Peter Parker and Spider-Man didn’t last for as long as I’d hope for personally, but I can definitely see how this will impact Peter going forward. Overall I’ve been really impressed by this new collaboration and can’t wait to see where they take Spidey next!