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Review Group Week 215 - AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #626

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Starlord
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Postby Starlord » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:51 am

thefourthman wrote:Amazing Spider-Man #626

Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos

I love Spidey. I'm a bona fide junkie. I got the fever for the flavor of a... well you get the idea.

The Spidey Trust has its ups and downs. The problem with having a rotating stable of creators on a book is that voicing becomes an issue. This is not as big a deal when there are three different books - you can get different insights to the character. The problem with there only being one book is that you are trying to generate one narrative and any discrepancies become glaring.

Gale was the first big problem. His issues generally brought down the average for Brand New Day - his stories were tired, his Peter all wrong and his ideas generally felt out of place with everyone else's. Next Guggenheim became the whipping boy. Oh, by no means were his stories as bad they just lacked the same level of fun as the remaining trustees. Now Van Lente takes his turn at the bottom of the heap.

I like Van Lente. Action Philosophers and Comic Book Comics are pure geek thrills. His Hercules has been on of Marvel's hidden joys - well until he got overly wordy recently.

Here, though, Peter is just off. He's trying to be the goof that we all know and love, but it just doesn't work. The dialogue is clunky and the inner monologue clumsy.

Then there are the problems with the story. Why would the recently ruined Parker be going to take pictures he won't be able to sell? (You could write it off as Michelle not knowing about his job woes, but she makes it clear that she knows later on.) Why does Michelle give in so easily to Parker's charms after years of being aggravated with him? What the hell is all that Hood stuff about anyhow?

Then there is Gaydos. My Spider-man is a four color marvel. He jumps out of the page. The lines are crisp and exact. It is supposed to be a fun book and the art accentuates that - whether it is Ditko, Romita or Martin behind the pencil.

Gaydos does none of these things. Spider-man almost seeps away in the book. He hides in the dark. I know I sound like a fuddy duddy, but I don't get making Spidey a dark book. Sure, for a arc or a mini, it is fine. I loved me some Dark Reign. Gaydos just exudes gritty noir to me and at the end of the day, Spider-man is not a grimy crime book. It is wise cracking spandex euphoria with a hint of relativism (druggie friends, job woes, girl troubles). The dark should be on the outskirts of the book trying to get in, not overwhelming the entire attitude of the book.

To be honest, I feel like an American Idol judge. The writing isn't that bad. The story not unusual or out of place. The art is even good in its own way. All of it certainly sounds good on paper, but there is something about the execution that I just don't get. It feels like a train wreck to me and it's all just painfully average.

Score - a unanimous 5


extremely well thought out review. I can't disagree with any of that and I strongly agree with what you said about the art. It does not fit this book in any way shape or form. I'm like you. I want those popping colors and the brightness that is the world of Spidey. Lately when I get the issue I can barely stand looking at the pictures. Yet, I love the style in Luke Cage or Spider-Man Noir. It fits there.
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Postby spidertour02 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:15 am

starlord wrote:extremely well thought out review. I can't disagree with any of that and I strongly agree with what you said about the art. It does not fit this book in any way shape or form. I'm like you. I want those popping colors and the brightness that is the world of Spidey. Lately when I get the issue I can barely stand looking at the pictures. Yet, I love the style in Luke Cage or Spider-Man Noir. It fits there.


See, but for one issue I think it fits. This was a down-and-dirty kind of story, so a dirty art style works in a sense. Granted, I'm not a huge fan, and I dislike the colors as much as you do, but for a one-off story it's fine.

I have a bigger problem with people like Max Fiumara and Paul Azaceta doing multiple issues ...
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Postby thefourthman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 am

spidertour02 wrote:See, but for one issue I think it fits. This was a down-and-dirty kind of story, so a dirty art style works in a sense. Granted, I'm not a huge fan, and I dislike the colors as much as you do, but for a one-off story it's fine.

I have a bigger problem with people like Max Fiumara and Paul Azaceta doing multiple issues ...

But I think that has to do with your dislike for their art work. I don't Azaceta is the best match either, but they have a playfulness to their designs that works for both worlds, the gritty and the bright four color world.

Gaydos wouldn't look right colored another way. It is part of his style. Just like I don't want Sean Phillips being a regular on the book either.

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Postby ****** » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:24 am

Sean Phillips doing an issue of Amazing Spider-Man?

:drool:

Had this had more traditional/house style art, I probably would have been as bored as the rest of you.

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Postby Punchy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:59 am

Spider-Man lends himself to the widest variety of art styles of any character. I love that in one month we can have Gaydos, Fiumura, Azaceta and Martin.

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Postby Potter Who » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:04 pm

Not the best issue by a long shot, but I enjoyed the art, and Peter and Michelle improving their relationship is a good thing IMO.

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Postby Zero » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:11 pm

The Amazing Spider-Man #616 - The Sting

I like Michael Gaydos' art. I like Spider-Man. Unfortunately they go together like oil and water here and the bland story makes the most of neither of them.

While Peter Parker's relationship troubles have cropped up in the odd issue of ASM I've read over the last couple of year, this was the first issue that really hung on them and I was a little lost. Can't blame the book for that but the fact that it didn't make me want to find out more about the story indicates that it's a boring one and needs sorting out. The Scorpion plot is generic two as a pair of heroes have a misunderstanding and them team up to fight some generic villains. Why bother using Tombstone, The Hood and Bushwaker when nothing they do couldn't have been accomplished by any three nameless characters? It wasn't even funny, and when Spidey and a writer best known for fun books can't crack a smile for me, then something has gone a little bit *very* wrong.

Like I said before, I like Gaydos' art but he doesn't really fit superhero art very well. The skulking around in the shadows parts are easy enough on the eyes but the fight scenes look awkward and posed. Fine art for a crime book or something talky and grim like Alias, but the light moments here look gloomy. Bit of a mismatch here.

I like the writer, I like the artist, and I like the character but the story here doesn't play to the strengths of any of them. Nice cover though.

2


Urrrrgh.

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Postby Dragavon » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:55 pm

MrBlack wrote:While I normally frown on this sort of thing, I am not reviewing another Amazing Spider-Man book. We just reviewed this two and a half months ago and after seeing how that utterly predictable story played out I am not supporting this title in any way, shape, or form again.

EDIT: I hope you take no offense to this Dragavon. I know that some people have really loved this title since Brand New Day, but it has never clicked with me on any level.

I think I picked a book that might get the fewest amount of reviews. :lol:
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Postby doombug » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:15 pm

As usual I read a different book then some of the group :lol:

Amazing Spiderman #626

Michelle aka Pete's roomate gets herself into a bit of trouble as she goes after one of her clients who is doing something stupid. Meanwhile Peter is at the same location running into Fred Van Lente's scorpion who apparently got a costume change and a new attitude. (I remember the last time we saw her, she aged or something.)

Anyways the issue is a fun mix between in costume and out of costume insanity. Though there is one thing that bothers me...The Hood. I just don't like thuggish hood being wrote at all. I prefer the more cunning scumbag we saw in the bendis books recently and the one jeff parker, dwayne mcduffie and BKV wrote.

Gaydos art is strong here and Michelle looked a lot like Jessica Jones in a few panels. I've honestly e njoyed Fred and Joe's work on the book most lately.

All in all you get a 7.5, not the best story and not the worst. 8)
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Postby Eli Katz » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:23 pm

Are Peter and Michelle romantically involved?

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Postby Punchy » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:09 am

Eli Katz wrote:Are Peter and Michelle romantically involved?


They had sex once after Aunt May's wedding, and the Chameleon confused things, but not really.

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Postby Old Man » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:05 am

There are any number of books coming out next week that might deserve to get the Review Group treatment. With a quick skim of the list, I see at least 7, maybe 8, that I wouldn't mind reviewing.

But one book stands out as having a big neon sign flashing REVIEW ME!

Blackest Night #8.

I fully expect to see a lot of 4s, 5s, and 6s because of the hate factor, but that's my choice.

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Postby thefourthman » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:06 am

awesome!

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Postby Old Man » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:08 am

amlah6 wrote:Amazing Spider-Man #626

Overall: 10


Anyone who rates this a 10 has just rolled a -2. You are now amlah4.
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Postby thefourthman » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:13 am

Old Man wrote:Anyone who rates this a 10 has just rolled a -2. You are now amlah4.

:lol:

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