Image Courtesy of Marvel Comics
What’s up, everybody?! I hope you are all having a good week and are ready for another review. Today, as promised, I’ll be taking a look at issues #30 and #31 of “The Amazing Spider-Man”. This is an interesting couple of issues because it ties into the larger event that is “Absolute Carnage”. I know you all have been enjoying my coverage of that, so hopefully, this gets a similar response! Now, let’s not waste any more time.
I’m always a little leary when one of my favorite books decides to do 1 or 2 tie-in issues to larger events. Why? Because they tend to not be relevant to or as good as the event itself. Even though, in my opinion, writer Nick Spencer has been doing a good job with Spidey thus far, it seems that both problems are the case here.
So, the events of these 2 issues take place alongside the events of “Absolute Carnage” #4. Our hero is cornered in the back of a warehouse while trying to protect 2 young boys from a Carnage-possessed Norman Osborn. From the get-go, things are going south for Spider-Man very quickly. He stands virtually no chance against Norman.
It’s during this time that Spencer takes the opportunity to revisit key moments in Peter’s past where Norman has played a part. Including–but not limited to–the death of Peter’s first real girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. I’m pretty sure these flashbacks are meant to show all the times that Peter has overcome great adversity. Actually, it’s pretty blatant that that’s the purpose. However, as good as these moments are, I feel as though they’re out of place in a tie-in to “Absolute Carnage”.
Of course, by the end of #31, Spidey overcomes his pain and is able to beat Norman. I mean, what did you expect? Though this presents another problem. This single fight in the back of a warehouse somehow takes 2 issues. It didn’t need to. It easily could have come and gone in a single issue. The only thing that even mildly justifies the extension is the use of the flashbacks. But again, we didn’t need that many to get across the point of overcoming adversity. Every Spider-Man fan knows his past with Norman. Spencer easily could have condensed this down to a single issue. Spencer also doesn’t seem all that interested in talking about “Absolute Carnage”. Instead, he is content with dropping more clues about the identity of Kindred. Who–by the way–I have a pretty good idea about who he is. Though I won’t say yet in the event that more hints are dropped that contradict my theory.
At the end of the day, there are too many problems with it for me to be fully satisfied. The unnecessary length, the abhorrent use of flashbacks, and the seeming lack of interest in the story he’s telling, all lead to an overall letdown feeling. And that’s disappointing because I’ve been really pleased with the current run, aside from a few issues. And I really didn’t want that small pile of disappointing issues to get any bigger. Oh well. They can’t all be winners. The only reason I can think of for stretching it out is the fact that Marvel’s 2099 event is coming up real soon and Spider-Man is key to that. Therefore, Spencer is biding his time until the story that he’s interested in comes along.
To conclude, this was a disappointment. Not on the biggest scale, but disappointing nonetheless. So, the question is: can I recommend it? Not really. In fact, I’d say you can safely skip these issues and just pick up with #32. That’s my final verdict. So, to wrap this up, I’ll say that there won’t be any Spider-Man in the feed for a while because my next review will be for issues #32-#36. Those will tie-in to the 2099 story, which I will also be reviewing. In the meantime, you can look forward to some Guardians, Iron Man, and X-Men very soon. Until then, stay comical!