Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Federico Vicentini & Federico Sabbatini
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Cover Artists: Mark Bailey, John Dell & Brian Reber
All Hell is breaking loose as Kingpin declares open season on Boomerang, and all the major crime lords are taking their shot at him. But while Spider-Man has his hands full, the love affair between his buddy Randy Robertson and Janice Lincoln aka Beetle doesn’t go unnoticed, landing the pair in trouble with other super-criminals. However, The Amazing Spider-Man #65 shows what Robbie Robertson and Tombstone will do for their kids.
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One thing readers will notice is how fast this comic moves to get you right to what you’re here for. You’re not here to see Kingpin enlist Baron Mordro to “interrogate” Kindred, so it gets that over with in several pages. You’re here to see Robbie Robertson and Tombstone team up with Spider-Man to save their kids, Randy and Beetle. That’s this comic’s core strength.
So I’ll admit, I wasn’t sold on Randy and Beetle’s romance, let alone the focus of this story arc and this issue hasn’t changed that. I neither like or dislike them. Robbie and Tombstone working together, on the other hand, felt kind of cool, and I’d like to see more of that dynamic develop. Seeing these two bitter rivals try to work together was fun while it lasted, and seeing how they’ve changed since they last met felt like some kind of progress.
Thankfully, the comic doesn’t take too long to get into the action as the reluctant duo find where their kids are being held and the trap is sprung. But Tombstone displays some competent cunning here as he called in backup – The Syndicate. If you don’t remember, they’re Beetle’s all-female Sinister Six rip-off, and they’ve come to help save her.
Not too long after they show up, Spider-Man swings in to action and looking pretty darn heroic, while Robbie and Tombstone save their kids, and approve of their relationship – they secretly admit it’s supposed to be reverse psychology. The comic even has one of the main kidnappers allude to the Romeo and Juliet nature of their relationship. At this point, you get some cool shots of Spider-Man and the Syndicate fighting together, and some quirky jokes from some of the female super-villains, including Beetle.
The main weak point here is ironically Spider-Man and his narration. Nick Spencer tries to give this kind of semi-positive narration about inspiration for changing your ways, doing things other than fighting, etc. It feels misplaced and half as convincing reading it while Spidey’s punching bad guys’ lights out. Overall, the day is saved, Randy and Beetle are safe, and Spider-Man finally gets a win. Sort of.
After the fighting’s over, we get some wrap ups and setup for the final issue of this arc. Randy and Beetle decide they’re moving in together, only seconds after making out. Norman’s enlisting some help from an obscured patient in Ravencroft. Meanwhile, Peter’s out with Gog looking for Boomerang, while his narration sets up another team-up in the next issue with the Defenders, Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman, and Wolverine.
Amazing Spider-Man #65 delivers a fast ride to resolve this Romeo & Juliet kidnapping and get things set up for the story arc’s true conclusion. If you’re not sold on Randy & Beetle, this issue might sell you on Robbie & Tombstone working together. Maybe. But this issue’s real strength is how fast it gets you to the real meat and bones of this comic and straight to the action you want to see.