Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Color Artist: Marcio Menyz
Cover Artists: Arthur Adams & Alejandro Sánchez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Spider-Man has been through a lot. Peter’s had to deal with Kraven starting a new grand hunt. The Chameleon trying to assassinate Dr. Doom and kickstarting a big conspiracy. Super-villains coming back from the dead and multiple teams of them along with a reformed Sinister Six trying to beat the daylights out of him. And just everything involved with Kindred. It’s been a lot for Peter, and now in Amazing Spider-Man #75 he’s trying his best to take it slow.
This comic picks up immediately after the Kindred saga concluded, but it feels like a major misstep. This comic feels rushed, like it’s trying to get Peter back into action as quickly as possible while setting up the new “Beyond” storyline for the series as soon as possible. Not to mention the re-introduction of Ben Reilly as “Spider-Man” feels similarly rushed. It’s like the creative team is trying to move past Nick Spencer’s storylines and get their idea sprinting out the door as fast as possible.
For those looking for a sense of closure with any of the other characters wrapped up with the Kindred storyline, you won’t find it here. The comic does a fine enough job establishing a more tired and weary Peter Parker who really needs some time to cool off and process what just happened with Kindred. The comic is pretty clear with its intent of depicting him as a Spider-Man who needs to step back for a little bit.
Well, the comic has the answer – Ben Reilly as the new and improved “Spider-Man”. Now, I’m not the biggest Ben Reilly fan, but the last time I saw him, he’s supposed to be in space with Iron Man fighting a resurrected Korvac. So, this appearance feels weird to me, but I have a feeling they’ll explain more in later issues. In this comic, Ben comes off far more cool, confident, arrogant even. He’s very sure of himself and his new “relationship” with the Beyond Corporation, who want to get into the hero game and do it “right”.
There are so many red flags with that idea, definitely with the shady portrayal of the Beyond Corporation’s main agent. The art by Patrick Gleason is great when it comes to the movements, characters’ facial expressions, and the action of course. The colors by Marcio Menyz also enhance the art and helps bring the comic pages to life.
Naturally, Peter and Ben catch up and it’s not the most heartwarming meeting. The exchange between them is well-written as it highlights the similarities and differences between the two. Especially their need, their commitment really, to be Spider-Man and help others even when they’re feeling down. Peter’s dialogue shows him as irritated but still understanding while Ben is upfront with Peter yet feels dangerously arrogant as he seems to be drinking the kool-aid when it comes to the Beyond Corporation.
The comic does a good job paralleling both Peter and Ben’s lives when it comes their costumes, their homes, their personalities, and their love interests. The comic does a fine job highlighting the major contrasts between both Spider-Men and where they’re at in their lives. Peter is somber and feels like he’s at a low point in his life, while Ben is full of energy and positivity with everything looking good for him.
This is where we get into the ending and Spoilers.
So, for those who saw the covers for future issues, yes, Peter is put out of commission in this comic book. The gamma irradiated U-Foes attacked Empire State University, for some unexplained reason, and a fight between them and both Spider-Men ensues. They got away and while Ben’s suit protected him from an attack, Peter wasn’t so lucky and has what I think is radiation poisoning or something. It looks like Peter will be hospitalized and Ben will take up being Spider-Man for a while.
While the fight looks cool thanks to the art, it makes no sense and hopefully the next issues explain why it happened. See, the U-Foes were last seen in The Immortal Hulk Vol #9 working for Alpha Flight to fight the Hulk. So, in this comic they went from Hulk response forces to attacking Empire State? It doesn’t add up, but the comic hints that the U-Foes had a secret motive for attacking, so the next few issues could explain it.
Amazing Spider-Man #75 feels like a fast comic that rushes to get the ball rolling on the new “Beyond” storyline. The main story is not great, it’s not terrible, it’s serviceable and does its job. However, it establishes the dynamic and parallels between Peter and Ben very well and distinguishes the two as separate heroes. The art team for the comic does a solid job here with Patrick Gleason on art and Marcio Menyz on colors. However, the Beyond storyline doesn’t seem to be that enticing, hopefully the next issue sells it better.