Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #522

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This review was first published on: 2005.


Peter Parker has moved into Stark Tower with MJ and Aunt May. Hydra has resurfaced, with new tactics, new leadership, and a chilling new plot. Mary Jane has gotten into some hot water with newspaper tabloids, who have published a story about Mary Jane being involved with a late night romantic tryst with Tony Stark, after she was photographed entering Stark Tower late at night.

In Detail...

"Moving Targets"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #522
Sep 2005 : SMURF 522.500 : SM Title
Summary: Hydra
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker:  Joe Pimental, Tom Palmer
Cover Art:  Kaare Andrews
Staff Only
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #10

Peter Parker wakes to the sound of his cell-phone, as Robbie calls to offer his support to Peter, in response to seeing the tabloid story showing Mary Jane entering Stark Tower after hours. Peter goes to talk to her, only to get harassed by Logan, who Peter promptly shoves through an "unbreakable" glass window, letting him fall all the way down to street level.

Peter and Mary Jane talk over what happened, as MJ apologizes for the mess she's gotten them in. Tony Stark comes in, and tells Peter that the man he rescued the night before was most likely Hydra, as the man he took out was actually on Lascombe's private payroll. Jarvis tries to comfort May, by putting his arm around her, when he realizes his gesture and removes his hand. May tells him she didn't tell him to remove it, and he gladly puts it back. Logan comes back up the tower, relatively unharmed, as Tony wonders how the glass was broken in the first place.

Spider-Man goes to Lascombe's house, and puts a Spider-tracer on him, when for a moment he almost slips off the building. He attributes it to stress, and tails Lascombe, watching him from outside the building. He breaks in, and finds a Hydra outfit in the butler's room. He wanders through the place, and using his spider-sense finds a passageway leading underground.

He dresses in a Hydra outfit, calls up Tony Stark, and then descends into the lair. He tries to learn information by listening to conversations going on in the base, and discovers Hydra's plan is to launch a SCUD missile loaded with bacilli to poison the Ogalalla Aquiffer, which affects 8 states.

Spider-Man rescues a Hydra Agent who got into a fight over there not being enough evacuation room left to save his loved ones, and as Hydra's agents fire on him, tries to find an exit, only to end up in the experimental genetics testing room, face to face with the Hydra Avengers-Doppelgangers that the New Avengers faced two issues ago.

In General...

This was a relatively fun issue. The art is great for the seriousness of the plot, but never too dark that it takes away from the sense of fun. There's a lot of humour in this book, although you wouldn't expect it. Spider-Man hitting Wolverine out of the Tower is a great gag, and Spidey's monologue while doing his detective work is a riot. He's talking to himself because he's uncomfortable and nervous, so he keeps himself thinking about anything but what he's doing, and how dangerous it could be. His cracks about talking to himself and the Butler doing it really add some great levity to this story, which helps the story keep the pace and feel like it's going at a good clip.

Spider-Man is really acting smart here, which is nice to see, and it doesn't play down his intellect in the least. This is a great Spider-Man story, which showcases his detective work, his humour, and his heroism.

Overall Rating...

Fantastic art, and a punchy script which really hits the reader, and draws you in. The humour alone is great. It doesn't go to far, which is a hard line to tread, and never feels infantile.