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Amazing Spider-Man #519

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Moving Up"

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Mike Deodato
Inks: Joe Pimentel
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: VC's Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.25 U.S. / $3.25 CAN

Plot:
As Peter finds himself struggling with the idea that they've been left homeless, we see his Avengers connection prove to be invaluable as Tony Stark arrives and offers up a new home in Stark Tower. As Aunt May and Mary Jane settle into their new digs, we see Peter is a little troubled by the situation. Meanwhile we see that Hydra, the terrorist organization, is preparing to make a comeback, as we see they are prepared to shed their loser status and emerge as a force to be reckoned with.

Comments:
This issue introduces the title's new status quo as Peter Parker & his immediate family move into the Stark Tower, and this issue follows them as they adjust to this new living situation. Now given many of these elements were introduced in last week's "Marvel Knights: Spider-Man", this issue isn't as fresh as it might've been, as many of the scenes that we get in this issue feel like echoes of similar encounters that we saw last week (e.g. the tensions between Peter and Logan). In fact if there is one area of concern in this issue it's that the Spider-Man writers do seem to have a rather odd take on the character of Wolverine, as while he's always been a character with a bit of an edge, in the Spider-Man books one is left with the impression that he a dirty old man who is ready to jump any woman that catches his eye. However, since I don't really expect this love triangle to actually go anywhere, I'll simply chalk it up to a simple period of adjustment, as these writers have never used Wolverine before, so it's understandable that it would take them some time to get a handle on the character. The one area that this issue does manage to get right is the scene in the burnt out shell of Aunt May's house, as there's a lovely scene where Peter and Aunt May share a moment that does a wonderful job of selling their ability to pick up an keep going in spite of the losses that they have to endure. There's also a nice little scene where Mary Jane expresses why she's excited to be moving into the Stark Tower, though this scene does seem to be at odds with the tension that was on display last week. The issue also offers up a nice little sequence where we see J. Michael Straczynski attempts to remake Hydra into a dangerous threat, though the idea of dark versions of established Marvel heroes does have the potential to be a very cheesy idea.

Mike Deodato turns in a pretty solid issue, and he does a particularly impressive job on the out of costume sequences, as Peter's crushing sense of guilt is well presented in the early going of this issue, with Peter's expression when he discovers what Aunt May was looking for being a very effective moment. Now the art isn't quite as impressive when the costumes come out, as the group shot where Peter introduces his family to his Avenger teammates came across as a little stiff, and there was also some perspective problems that were a little difficult to ignore (e.g. Luke Cage coming across as at least a head shorter than Captain America). Still, for the most part the art does a lovely job of capturing the sense of excitement as the book embraces its new status quo, with the panel where we see Mary Jane's giddy schoolgirl reaction when she enters their new home being my personal favourite. The last page shot of the assembled Hydra was also quite impressive, as it made for a powerful closing visual.



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