On the Panel – The Amazing Spider-Man

Oct 22, 2014 | Posted by in Comics

Issue #8

Adventures in Babysitting

After the uneven setup in the previous issue of The Amazing Spider-Man this story really hits the ground running and lands us right in the middle of the action. The final preamble to Spider-Verse also comes here.

I’d been looking forward to seeing a team-up between Spider-Man and the new Ms Marvel ever since the first issue of her own comic mostly due to the similarities in the characters at their creation. Both characters are social outcasts, awkward teenagers and not natural superhero material among other things so a team-up was inevitable and bound to be interesting due to how they might relate to one another.

The Amazing Spider-ManI’m glad to say that this really doesn’t disappoint, the action is more or less from Ms Marvel’s perspective so Spidey is portrayed as being the expert hero who is more than capable of handling this problem. There’s also a really nice human moment where Ms Marvel is frozen in terror and unable to act which forces Spidey to take on a mentor role and encourage her to help him.

In true Ms Marvel tradition she becomes excited by the notion of recreating a famous move that Spidey performed with Captain Marvel and it gives her the confidence boost she needs to become involved in the fight. There is no character in comics -that I’ve read- with as unique a voice as the current Ms Marvel, I never get tired of how overjoyed she is at being someone with powers and being able to work with those she has idolised all her life. It’s really great to see how she’s starting to fit in with the rest of this massive universe of heroes.

Their combined objective in this case is to protect one of the Terrigenesis Cocoons from falling into the wrong hands which proves to be a challenge given how determined Dr. Minerva is to obtain it. It only gets more complicated when it hatches to reveal a baby that needs to be protected. Ms Marvel really proves herself by selflessly risking herself to protect her. She has committed selfless acts in her own comic before but it’s really good to see her development as a hero, with each appearance her confidence and skills are growing so before long she will be clear on the person she really wants to be.

It was also a nice touch that Dr. Minerva’s defeat was engineered by an observation made by Ms. Marvel and that observation being formed by her fanatical nature. The distance she used to have from situations like this made it a lot easier for her to recall facts about the Kree that she had read and put them into practice here. It was a really clever way for the villain’s plan to be foiled and was a great piece of lateral thinking from Ms. Marvel, I hope this will be something she will become known for as it’s really interesting stuff.

Once the dust settles and the newborn/newly hatched baby is returned to her family Spidey gives Ms. Marvel an endorsement of her potential as a hero by telling her she’s doing great. From the reader perspective it’s a really genuine sentiment as Peter’s early days weren’t too different to hers in terms of age and situation so we know this endorsement comes from the point of view of having been where she is and wishing he had the same encouragement. It’s also a nice reminder of how much Peter’s character has progressed since those early days.

That reminder ties into Spidey’s reunion with Clayton Cole aka Clash -from the Learning to Crawl arc in The Amazing Spider-Man #1.1-1.5 (I reviewed all but one of them, they can be found here)- who was a villain defeated by Spidey in his early days and is very down on his luck these days being forced to turn to crime since he can’t find legitimate work given his criminal record. Spidey arranges for him to work for Parker Industries and gives him a second chance to prove himself. This is another great moment as it shows Peter’s optimism in seeing the good in people as well as sticking to his promise to cure and reform super-criminals. It ties nicely into the issue raised in the last issue where he is urged to consider the responsibility as well as the great power running a company gives him to help people.

Silk has a brief appearance here but beyond seeing her new costume it’s hardly worth mentioning. I do believe she is getting her own comic series at some stage so her character might develop there, for now I’m not all that bothered about her and she doesn’t strike me as all that interesting.

My Brother’s Keeper

The final Edge of Spider-Verse story returns us to the world of Mayday Parker also known as The Amazing Spider-Girl. For those of you who don’t really know who she is, this will give you a summary but the short end of it is that she’s Peter and Mary Jane’s daughter in an alternate future set universe and she was a fan favourite when her comic was around. I always thought she was a good character so I’m delighted to see her again.

In terms of the story it’s much the same as many of these tie ins where Morlun breaks through to an alternate reality inhabited by a spider themed character of some sort and seeks to consume the totemistic energies of the native Spider-Person. This particular universe has 3 in the form of an older Peter Parker, Mayday Parker herself and the baby Benjamin Parker -presumably the son of Peter and Mary Jane- so Morlun has a lot to contend with but seems to have no trouble demolishing those he comes into contact with. Peter Parker puts up a valiant fight to save his family and ends up paying the ultimate price. The great thing about this universe is that Peter and Mary Jane are no different from their main universe counterparts so it’s very easy to identify with them and feel moved by the sacrifice. A selfless action like that is something Peter Parker is known to do instinctively and it’s quite powerful to see that Mary Jane choose to remain with him though it’s quite questionable that she would leave her young baby like that to die with her husband.

Mayday’s inclusion into this event could be really interesting as the main universe Peter will be able to see the potential that marrying Mary Jane could create and that might affect him in a profound way, on the other hand it could be glossed over but I really hope not. It’s too good an opportunity to pass up. It could also bring back an ongoing comic series for Mayday Parker which can only be a good thing.

  • 9/10
    Adventures in Babysitting - 9/10
  • 8/10
    My Brother's Keeper - 8/10


      Adventures in Babysitting

A very excellent issue of Spider-Man with a great team-up between two of Marvel’s best characters. The way Spidey relates to the new Ms. Marvel is everything I hoped it would be and the characters were written very strongly. I found it really clever to see the villain dealt with in a way that was both original and interesting as well as being informed heavily by the type of character Ms. Marvel is. There was also some nice payoff of the Clayton Cole character from Learning to Crawl.

      My Brother’s Keeper

The Spider-Verse tie in saw a welcome return to the universe of Mayday Parker and was a great reminder of how great the character and her world is. I’m very excited for Spider-Verse and hope as an event it will be a satisfying one.