The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #15
“Power Play Conclusion: Suit Yourself”
The current arc in The Amazing Spider-Man closes off with a finale that suggests maturity for Peter Parker with darker things to come for him.
I’ve really enjoyed this story for the most part. Regent was a really interesting villain back in “Renew Your Vows” so I’m glad that he has managed to continue on in some way. He hasn’t been all that interesting throughout this story arc but what he represents has a lot of value. There are hints that Peter and Mary Jane are starting to get inklings of the life they lived together in “Renew Your Vows” so it appears that those memories will soon become available to them and I’m curious to see what that will bring.
The big hook of this issue is Mary Jane coming to the rescue in Peter’s old Iron Spider costume. She has always been a strong, courageous and resourceful character so it makes sense that she wouldn’t sit on the side-lines while people she cares about are in danger. There was no need for a panel attempting to justify this by reminding the reader that she once wore an early version of Iron Man’s armour and had powers during Spider Island so has the skills necessary to use the Iron Spider suit. It would have been far more effective if Mary Jane simply put on the suit and went to do what she can. The attempted justification just felt out of place.
She is able to handle herself really well in the suit because she isn’t trying to defeat Regent on her own. Her plan is to buy Spider-Man enough time to figure out a way to stop him so she is completely on the defensive. It’s a really good strategy as she isn’t a skilled crime fighter so it wouldn’t have made sense for her to save the day completely. She manages to free Peter and Tony so that they can use their experience to beat Regent.
The fight featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man and Mary Jane in the Iron Spider suit taking on Regent is visually impressive. It’s bright, colourful and it’s easy to follow despite the number of people involved. I also like that Regent isn’t taken down in this fight and is shown to be a credible threat who has suffered a setback.
Some attempt is made to establish Regent’s motivation and how ridiculously deluded he is. Tony points out that there’s no way he can lock up every super powered person on the planet because they are appearing every day in the form of Mutants, Inhumans, Aliens, people with Cosmic abilities as well as people who are insanely skilled with different weaponry and martial arts disciplines. Regent refuses to admit that his plan can never work and genuinely thinks that he has to save the world from people with powers. He’s clearly insane and fully committed to what he has set out to do. I doubt this is the last we have seen of him and I hope not because I would like to see his madness explored.
Eventually Spidey manages to free all of the captured heroes and Regent is taken down. This part was really underwhelming as the scales tip so quickly without us seeing anything. The page featuring all of the heroes looks great but it would have been nice to see what happened next. I would have liked to see what powers Regent had stored in his body and how formidable those make him.
The end of the issue is really interesting from a characterisation point of view as Peter and Tony both see extreme versions of themselves in Regent’s actions. One thing that Peter and Tony have in common is their tunnel vision approach to problems. Each of them obsess over something and block out everything else in their lives. Peter has been guilty of that so many times in the past and he is finally starting to realise that. He talks about how he puts aspects of his life ahead of the important ones. Mary Jane had already moved on before he even realised that he lost her.
It remains to be seen if this revelation will be short lived or not but I really liked seeing Peter start to get his personal life back on track by focusing on being friends with Mary Jane. He’s starting to understand that his life is far too much for her but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be friends. I’m not really one for “shipping” but having Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird around his friends and family makes me think that they would be a good pairing. I’ve always thought that Peter Parker would be well suited to having a relationship with another hero. Someone like Black Cat is far too unpredictable but Bobbi could definitely work.
I could have done without the cliffhanger of Aunt May’s husband and J. Jonah Jameson’s father Jay in mortal danger but it is supposed to lead into the “Dead No More” story. I have no theories on who might be resurrected but I hope it isn’t Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacy. As far as I’m concerned these characters need to stay dead because they are so definitive in terms of establishing who Peter Parker is.
A mostly satisfying conclusion with some great action and some interesting personal revelations for Peter Parker. Mary Jane putting on the Iron Spider suit to help Peter and Tony defeat regent is completely in keeping with her character and works really well here. The defeat of Regent could have been handled better but having Peter and Tony see an extreme version of themselves through his obsession was interesting and I like that Peter is maturing enough to realise that his personal life is important too. “Dead No More” starts soon. What will it bring?