Amazing Spider-Man 656-656

How Important Is The Spider-Sense?

When I was riffling through issue 655 looking at the Marcos Martin art I wasn't very impressed. It was a bit cartoony and simple. As I read through the issues, my initial impression of the art began to change dramatically. Marcos Martin has the incredible ability to convey depths of emotion just by how he draws a face. This is most evident during the beginning part of 655 which is the funeral of Marla Jameson; the whole first half of the issue is presented with no dialogue or narrative boxes. Martin had to tell the story through his art alone and he does so wonderfully.

The second half of 655 presents a dream sequence which initially confuses  me but careful re-reading brings out two aspects of this part of the issue. The first aspect is the flashback nature of the dream sequence. Long-time Spidey readers will surely like this treat since it runs over some key parts of Spider-Man history. The second aspect of the dream sequence asks a question every bit as serious as it is old : If you capture a killer without killing him and he escapes and kills again. Are you partly at fault? This is a very serious question that ties both issues together and a big part of why I have given this story an 'Exceptional' rating is how Dan Slott handles the resolution of this issue and how his introduction of this question has given the story such depth.

If you missed the ending of the story arc before this one you should know that Spider-Man lost his spider sense at the end of that arc. I know that this ability allows Spider-Man to second guess punches and dodge bullets; what I didn't know, and what is made clear in 656, is that spider sense actually helps Spidey to avoid snagging weak structures while swinging around. Spider sense is a major capability and a major loss, the beginning pages of 656 brings this home. To compensate, lab genius Peter Parker does something I've always wanted to see - he creates body armor. It's not the best design - as you can see on the cover of 656 - but it is satisfyingly tough.

Pacing is perfect in this story and plot is interesting; Martin's art enhances the tale. I loved it. 

Posted by  Pete Albano - May 2, 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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