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Amazing Spider-Man #52

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2003
By: Ray Tate



"Dig This"

Writer: J.Michael Straczynski
Artists: John Romita Jr.(p), Scott Hanna(i), Dan Kemp(c)
Publisher: Marvel

The Amazing Spider-Man is still stuck with a creature that has no hope of existing according to science fiction. Fantasy as mentioned would have a different set of rules to follow, yet a greater amount of thought went into the second chapter pitting an undead, gamma irradiated gestalt against modern day mob boss Foreli.

The biggest improvement can be found in Spidey. We see him to be always thinking about the innocent who might get trampled in the way. We see him combine experience and intelligence into one formidable weapon; he logically deduces that the nature of the creature through the clues he can see. We see him do something he hasn't considered since the beginning of his career but for the intended satisfaction of another. Furthermore, Spidey is without being annoying genuinely funny.

The supporting cast generates more comedy. The cops and the wise guys amuse, and they both get a kick out of Spidey as do the innocents he seeks to protect. It’s nice to see The Daily Bugle hasn't poisoned everybody's mind.

His love for Mary Jane comes through in warm, sweet scenes, and here is where I break with Accomplished Bulleteer Marv Wolfman. I truly believe to a certain extent you can have the heroes grow up and change. The marriage between MJ and Peter works as long as the writer supports it. The upswing in Peter's life isn't damaging to Peter's characterization. In fact, the change acts as a welcome breather and reward in a life that has seen enough tragedy for an entire extended family let alone one man.

Artwork by John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna and Dan Kemp amazes and delights. The fight scenes excite, and the scenes with Peter and M.J. evoke a tenderness that belies the more stylized comic book look that certainly supports the lighter, comical scenes. I'm constantly awed at how much emotion Mr. Romita can weave from Spidey's face even when covered by a full-face mask. Were you merely to leaf through the book and ignore the crackling dialogue, you can just by observing the artwork still understand the emotions at play.



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