Amazing Spider-Man 568-573

New Ways To Die

After reading and re-reading the the six issues of "New Ways to Die", I've given it a three star (three asterisk?) rating. Now I'm wondering why I did that. The tale seems to have the elements of a four star rating. So I read it again. Twice. Nope, this is just definitely  three stars. But why? Let's start with the good stuff. . .

First of all, art is by John Romita Jr. JRJR has a style that makes difficult drawings look easy, resulting in unique panels that seems to flow into each other. Definitely a plus.

The foundation of everything that happens in the arc is the arrival of Norman Osborn and the Thunderbolts in New York city under the guise of law enforcers. On this foundation is built two wonderful battles that run through the issues.  The first and most gigantic one is between Eddie Brock and Gargan/Venom. The second one is between Spider-Man and Bullseye.  The Brock/Venom battle  has Eddie Brock's own heartbreaking story as a backdrop - the focus on Eddie Brock as a person is just wonderful. The battles themselves are brutal showcases of power in the best comicbook tradition. Wait a minute, how can Eddie Brock even last one second against Venom/Gargan you ask? Anti-Venom that's how. Eddie Brock's newest guise, and his sort of team-up with Spider-Man,  is worth checking out. At one point Venom/Gargan fuses with Gargan's old alter ego of the Scorpion, really brilliant.  If the Venom/Anti-Venom fight is about brute power, the Spider-Man/Bullseye battle is about skill and smarts and shows our hero at his best.

That's pretty much what I consider the strength's of the run. Oh, and early in issue 568 we get to see writer Dan Slott emphasize Spider-Man's strength. With all the focus on agility, spider-sense and the webs it's easy to forget that Spider-Man is immensely strong.

These six books are definitely a solid read. So why not a higher rating? You know how it is when you've got the best, finest ingredients but he final dish just didn't live up to expectations? That's what happens here, the story just didn't mesh very well. I suspect that the six-issue length of it prevented the work from having the focus I'm looking for in a four star work - the sub plots are all over the place and distracting.

Posted by  Pete Albano - April 22, 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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