Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Sara Pichelli & Jim Towe
Color Artists: Nolan Woodard & Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover Artists: Arthur Adams & Alejandro Sánchez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Ben Reilly is The Amazing Spider-Man, and he’s being backed by the new Beyond Corporation to be the best superhero he can be. However, on his second day of the job, Ben comes across an old foe of Peter Parker’s: Morbius, The Living Vampire. Now, Amazing Spider-Man #78 shows how the fight goes between the new Spidey and Morbius.
For fans of Kelly Thompson’s writing style, they’ll get more of that here as we see the quirky personalities in all of the characters except for a few. Readers will continue to see this in the characterization of Ben Reilly, his narration boxes, and especially with the characters Misty Knight and her partner Colleen Wing. Those two in particular have the most “quirky” interactions and dialogue in the comic, so Thompson fans can expect a lot of that from them here.
Ben Reilly pretty much takes a back seat in this comic after the first act, and readers won’t really see much of Ben after the fight with Morbius. He’s pretty much out of commission after that, but the comic isn’t done with him. The comic does use that time to show how things are going for Peter, and there’s some slight progress in his condition, but nothing too serious. Ben pops back up again but not in any significant manner other than to set up the next big fight with another familiar Spider-Man super-villain.
The comic continues to display the obvious shady nature of the Beyond Corporation, from the Ben’s handler Marcus to the head of the company’s super hero development, Maxine Danger. Let’s just say, her treatment of Ben’s situation of being bitten by Morbius further demonstrates her unscrupulous and unethical personality established from the previous issue. Overall, she is not Ben’s friend, or his ally, merely his benefactor. Now, not everyone in the Beyond corporation is like that, but this only goes for the forgettable staff members, none of the main ones.
The comic also continues to push a couple of mysteries for the Beyond storyline. First is Morbius’ strange abrupt return to super-villainy as the characters keeps iterating how he recently reformed. Which begs the question of what or who is causing him to act this way and why was he targeting Ben Reilly. Second is the true intentions of the Beyond Corporation itself, but that’s explored through a couple of characters, not Ben Reilly himself. It’s possible the mystery behind Morbius’ attack could be related to the U-Foes’ recent attack that hospitalized Peter, but we’ll see.
There is a surprise appearance from another prominent Marvel superhero, which also furthers the mystery about the Beyond Corporation. Clearly the “Beyond Board” story writers have an actual plan for this storyline and it’s good to see that it’s coming through in the comic. So, we’ll see how it all unfolds in the upcoming issues as Cody Ziglar (yes, that’s his name) takes over writing for the next couple of issues.
Amazing Spider-Man #78 continues the Beyond storyline with some interesting setup for the next few issues. The fight between Ben Reilly and Morbius kicks off a new mystery around the Living Vampire, while showing off some more of the shady Beyond Corporation. It even sets up more things that will be going on in the Beyond storyline, as well as new match up between Ben and a familiar Spider-Man villain.