Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man #675

Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli

The Amazing Spider-Man #675 (December 7, 2011)
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Klaus Janson
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

I don’t know why but there is something so off-putting about Peter Parker to me.

And if pop culture is telling me anything, everyone else seems to love him. I don’t find him relatable or charming or likable or even particularly funny. He seems like this guy who tries so hard to give off an “aw shucks” boyish charm that it appears bogus. I just don’t like him, all right?

Nonetheless, I wanted to read another Spider-Man comic because, well, he’s Spider-Man and he’s kind of a big deal. Don’t ask me why but he is.

I lost interest after The Amazing Spider-Man #667 so a lot has happened since I last picked up this series. Therefore I take full responsibility for only having a vague idea of what was going on in #675. Suffice it to say, Spider-Man and his ex-girlfriend Carlie Cooper are investigating a series of high-rise burglaries and suicide jumpers. So far, it had an intriguing mystery. Unfortunately, I found the interactions between Carlie and Peter (she knows his secret) rather forced and silly. I read some other reviews of this issue and everyone else seemed to love their interaction. Again, I’m just not a fan so I’m willing to say that the writing wasn’t terrible; it just wasn’t my thing. The atmosphere of Spider-Man comics never appealed to me and the Spidey brand of humor always struck me as juvenile. I know Peter is supposed to be an everyman character but to be honest, everything felt like something out of a sitcom in this issue.

Anyway, we find out that the Vulture has a team of malcontented teenagers doing his dirty work. Of course, one of the newer recruits still has a heart and is clearly torn about his role in violent crimes. I’ve seen this character before in comic books but nonetheless he served a purpose here. The mystery solving by Carlie and Peter was well crafted, along with her unease with the knowledge of Spider-Man’s actual identity. Of course, she came off rather catty when Mary Jane (Peter’s other ex-girlfriend) calls him with a tip and she insists he hang up on the phone. He’s your ex-boyfriend, Carlie, who cares who calls him? Of course, you’re a girl so you MUST care. No thank you, Slott.

The final fight scene between Spider-Man, the Vulture and his teenage minions wasn’t half-bad though again, there were several moments that I have seen in other comics, such as Peter stupidly pushing Carlie out of the way of the Vulture’s wrath. It was cool, however, to have Carlie be the one to figure out the Vulture’s weakness and help Spider-Man when he specifically told her to stay put. Of course, this is somewhat of a clichéd moment as well, along with the very ending when Carlie and Mary Jane have a heartfelt girl talk about their mutual ex-boyfriend. Peter senses this and panics and we all laugh, I suppose.

Camuncoli’s art wasn’t fabulous but it also wasn’t bad either. If anything, it simply belied the sitcom nature of the comic: I’ve seen this sort of art before, as well.

If anyone has any recommendations for truly great Spider-Man comics, I’d really appreciate it. I want to read more of him and figure out why everyone loves him so much.

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