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Review of Amazing Spider-Man 558 (3 stars) May 8, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

As mentioned here, this begins the return of the reviews of Amazing Spider-Man. This issue itself was actually a little odd. The first half I didn’t really enjoy, while the second half was quite entertaining. We start with Peter having nightmare about Freak, before later telling Aunt May his plans to get an apartment. He feels guilty about leaving her alone, and almost seems to regret his decision. Just another example of the wonderful world of Brand New Day, an at-the-very-least-twenty-five-year-old Peter Parker doesn’t want to move away from the home he grew up in. Remind me again how his character has improved? To add insult to injury, Aunt May is secretly happy about him moving out. Too bad we couldn’t hear the rest of her thoughts: “Finally, he’s going to grow up and move out again. If only he would’ve married that wonderful Mary Jane girl, his life would be so much better. Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be…”

Later, we get another Spider-Blooper as Spidey gives his cell phone number to Doc Connors, and we are reassured that he has a prepaid plan, and therefore his name is not registered with that number. What about January, when Betty called him and reassured him that his shortness of minutes wasn’t a problem because she “was in his five”? No prepaid plan that I know of offers perks like that. Moving on, we get the first enjoyable scene as JJJ seemingly comes to realize what Marla did was truly for the best. Things turn south again as Peter tries to save Hollister from Goblin Rip-off 2.0. This is the blessing and curse of Spider-Man quips: when done well, they can be witty and remarkably memorable lines. When not done well, they can be cheesy, groan worthy, and annoying. Unfortunately in this scene, they were the latter.

Finally, Spider-Man decides to leave Menace in attempts to meet Dr. Connors at Freak’s location before he emerges from the cocoon. Like any good superhero tale, Spidey arrives just a fraction too late, and must confront this new, seemingly invincible, Freak. Here we finally get the smart Spidey witticisms, and a fun fight between the two. Of course, it helps that Freak is the only character I like in this Brand New World, his addictions to drugs is played so well that what should be a sad story is actually quite funny. Said drug addiction is what finally defeats him in the end, and Pete and Curt are able to put him in stasis. The final page shows multiple reactions to the Menace attack, and we finally see that Freak was not taken away by a Hazmat unit, but by a truck belonging to Oscorp, hinting that Freak will likely play a role in the upcoming Norman Osborn/Venom/Anti-Venom story. I think this issue further reinforced my feelings towards BND: I have no problem with several parts of the reboot, such as a the return of Harry and the de-unmasking, the parts that are just plain annoying are the loss of the marriage and the de-maturing and de-evolving of Peter’s character.

-LOTRKing

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