Amazing Spider-Man #67 Review

by Charles Martin on June 02, 2021

Amazing Spider-Man #67 Review
Writer: Nick Spencer
Pencillers: Marcelo Ferreira w/ Carlos Gómez
Inkers: Wayne Faucher w/ Marcelo Ferreira & Carlos Gómez
Colourists: Morry Hollowell w/ Andrew Crossley
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Teresa Parker kicks this book off with super-spy action, busting into a Symkarian "black site" prison to talk to the Chameleon. She's in a "shoot first and then ask questions" mood.

Back in New York, Peter Parker catches the details of Betty Brant's pregnancy, reconciles them with his knowledge of Ned Leeds' ridiculous comics history over the past few years, and panics.

And we discover that Pete's lab partner who invented the Clairvoyant, Jamie, is stuck in a personal Breaking Bad scenario, with supervillains eager to glom onto his future-predicting tech.

The development of these wide-spread plot threads shows off author Nick Spencer's talent for artful recapping, reminding the reader of "that thing that happened three months ago" and "that thing that happened six months before that" and "that thing that happened two years ago" and weaving an intriguing plot out of the results.

Silver Sable and the Foreigner get a cameo appearance, foreshadowing their probable roles as the links between all these stories.

Visually, this manages to be a pretty exciting book, despite the recap- and conversation-heavy script. I'm unsure about just how much of it Carlos Gómez drew: just the Doc Ock stinger? More? If he did contribute to the main story, he did an amazing job of harmonizing with Marcelo Ferreira's dominant style.

That style takes the ball from the writer and runs with it, using cinematic blocking and exaggerated facial expressions to dramatize the plot developments and clarify their import to the characters -- and also thereby to the reader. It's a bold artistic strategy, but it's not entirely successful. 

I'm usually the biggest cheerleader in the world for emotive faces. But the Peter-Betty coffee shop scene reminds me that I can get too much of a good thing. Betty's face goes past animated into manic, and Peter's reactions (his gestures particularly) seem a touch too melodramatic. 

The artistic finish meets an extremely high standard, though. Inker Wayne Faucher helps the artists play with heavy shadows, particularly in Teresa's prison scenes. Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley use a wide spectrum of colours to keep the different settings distinct. They also do excellent work on facial shading, supplying subtle shadows and highlights that put the finishing touches on the line art.

This is a well-orchestrated ensemble drama. Nick Spencer has shown us before that he can juggle a lot of plot-balls, swap smoothly between viewpoints, and lay consistent groundwork toward distant payoffs. In fact, this new plot-tapestry feels a little too similar to what's come before.  

Once again a variety of villains are exuding menace and ominousness, promising to spring their traps on Peter or his supporting cast along varying timelines. And Peter Parker swings through the middle of it, helpfully explaining the import of the foreshadowing, less the protagonist than the curator of the Spider-Man Museum.

I don't review ASM regularly or follow it as it's published. I'm comfortable waiting for it to reach Marvel Unlimited. And I don't worry about "jumping ahead" like I am this week, because I know Nick Spencer's Spidey will give me a comprehensive explanation of what I'm looking at. And that's not entirely a good thing, is it?

This issue is at its best when it dares to break the mould established for this volume. Teresa Parker narrates the start of the book, bringing a refreshingly different voice to the reader and holding out the prospect of seeing something new.

It is -- mostly -- business as usual as ASM kicks off the "Chameleon Conspiracy" arc. Beautifully illustrated villains vamp and gloat, smugly foreshadowing the awfulness they're about to bring down on the heroes. Those heroes (also beautifully illustrated) react with appropriate shock and surprise, but they seem (Peter Parker in particular) a little too passive. We can only hope Teresa bucks the family trend of playing the spectator; she's off to a promising start at the beginning of the issue.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Jamie the Clairvoyant Guy turns to super-crime to handle his mom's medical bills. I wonder what Marvel's international readers (and its international creators) think about these nightmare scenarios that can only happen in the only developed country where healthcare costs are scarier than the diseases that incur them?