Amazing Spider-Man 549-551

Someday They'll Be Doing An Entire Set Of Official Handbook of The Marvel Univers Featuring All The Villains That We're Rip-Offs Of The Green Goblin Sigh

This three issues form a story arc that is meant to introduce the new villain Menace. Obviously, he's a big deal. The only thing is - he isn't. He's a rip-off of the Green Goblin. No, wait a minute, Hobgoblin is the Green Goblin rip-off. Menace, well, Menace is a letdown from the ASM creative team. I was hoping Brand New Day meant new villains or a return of some great classic rogues from the old days. But this, this is bad - a new villain with absolutely nothing original about him.

There are some pluses here. First, Jackpot. She gets lots of panel time in 549. She's sexy, beautiful, the costume design is innovative, particularly the pants. I just like looking at her.

Fast forward to issue 551. There is a scene there where a hostage gets killed because of a rookie mistake by Jackpot. It's handled supremely well by Guggenheim. The pacing was just right, the death was sudden and jolting  and we get a sense of not only Jackpot's lack of experience but Spidey's years as a veteran superhero. Brilliant.

Also noteworthy is Jason Keith's colors in 549. Spider-Man is so vividly red he jumps right out at you from the page to be matched by Jackpot's white and green.

Issue 550 focuses on Menace who, I repeat, is a Green Goblin rip-off. Keiths vivid hues are replaced by Peru's more subdued coloring. Larocca is a great artist but on this issue his J. Jonah Jameson looks like Walter Matthau with Hitler's moustache. I kid you not. I'm all for varied artistic interpretation but when I have to look at a familiar character and do a double take before I can place him - that's not good.

551 focuses more on the greater Civil War storyline which I enjoy. It shows the government going after the 'unregistered' Spidey, and, as I said, the action sequence at the end closes out the arc nicely.

Posted by  Pete Albano - June 21, 2011

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Other Amazing SPIDER-MAN Stories

546 : Peter Parker vs. J. Jonah Jameson

547-548 : Mr. Negative

549-521 : Menace

555-557 : Mayan God

559-561 : Paper Doll

562-563 : The Enforcers

565-567 : Kraven's Daughter

568-573 : New Ways To Die

589 : The Return of the Spot

617 : Whatever Happened To The Rhino?

625 : Rhino vs. Rhino!

652-654 : The Scorpion

655-656 : Black spider armor

657 : Spider-Man and the Human Torch

658 : The FF

659 : A pirate adventure

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