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Amazing Spider-Man #511

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Sins Past, Part Three"

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Mike Deodato (p), Joe Pimentel (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Peter struggles with the revelation that the pair that has threatened him and the people he cares for might be the children of Gwen Stacy, we see he takes steps to investigate the evidence available. However when he's given what he feels is indisputable proof, Peter tries to reason with the pair looking to kill him, but they seem bound and determined in their hatred of him.

Comments:
I'm not quite sure what it is about this story but frankly it's not grabbing me as much as it really should given J. Michael Straczynski does look to be giving the apple cart a good shaking. Now part of it could be the simple fact that there is an underlying sense that the story hasn't quite managed to emerge from the feeling that it's gimmick driven, and that when one takes a step back to really consider the story it's a pretty thin. It also has Peter willing to make some pretty major leaps based on evidence that could easily be manufactured, and J. Michael Straczynski needs to do a better job of painting the picture that Peter is looking at, as the entire set-up has the feel that someone is playing with him, and yet he seems perfectly willing to travel down the path that is being laid out before him, without displaying much scepticism. I mean a letter that Gwen wrote him suddenly arrives in the mail accompanied by a pair of mysterious characters that are trying to kill him and yet Peter looks to be blinded by the obvious elements of the mystery rather than consider the possibility that it could all be an elaborate deception. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that J. Michael Straczynski has confined the character to a path that makes Peter look downright gullible, and this makes it harder to become engrossed in the whole affair. Still, I will concede that J. Michael Straczynski does look to have a set path for this story, which is always a welcome feeling when one is reading a status quo shaking story like this.

Mike Deodato is a very solid artist when it comes to the quieter moments of the issue, as there's a lovely sequence in the early pages where Mary Jane pretends to be asleep as Peter prepares to head out, and Peter's anguish when he violates Gwen resting place made for a powerful sequence. The last page shot of Mary Jane is also a stunning image, that is almost photorealistic. However the art is less successful when it comes to the action scenes, as there's a shot where Spider-Man takes on Hulk-sized dimensions when he clashes with the young woman attacking him, but the later panels make it clear they are roughly the same size. Still there is a great action shot where the character avoids a hail of gunfire through an outside window.



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