Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #535

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This story is part of an Arc: "The War at Home"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Having revealed his identity to the public, Peter Parker is dealing with being on the Registration side of the Civil War gripping the heroes of the Marvel Universe. After a tense battle with Captain America, Peter is coming to believe that perhaps he is on the wrong side, an opinion bolstered by Tony's recent behaviour as well as the death of Goliath and the cloning of Thor by the Registration side.

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #535
Oct 2006 : SMURF 535.500 : SM Title
Summary: Civil War
Arc: Part 4 of "The War at Home"
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  Ron Garney
Inker:  Bill Reinhold
Cover Art:  Ron Garney
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 Reprinted In: Civil War Chronicles #8

Mary Jane wakes up late in the morning to hear the television on, and finds Peter unable to sleepand worried hat he's made a mistake with his allegiances. He hears on the news that Reed and Tony got the military contracts for the new prison, and so he confronts Tony about it and wants to see the facility. Tony takes him to the Baxter Building, where Reed prepares to allow Iron Man and Spider-Man entry to the Negative Zone holding facility.

Iron Man gives Peter a tour of the facility, and explains how the facility works, why it's in the Negative Zone, and what happens to those incarcerated in the prison. Peter gets angry about Tony for his treatment of the prisoners and putting them into this prison, and the two get into a verbal fight over their differing views of incarceration for the heroes. The confrontation is a dark one, and full of resentment and suspicion. Peter and Iron Man return, and Reed tells Peter about his reasons for doing what he's doing, and upholding the law no matter what, and tells Peter a story about his uncle to drive home the point. However both men are affected by the story, and what it means and represents.

As Iron Man takes off to do some errands,Peter stealthily wakes up MJ and Aunt May, and tells them to get out of the building, and that he's made a big mistake. They hear a loud "Boom Boom" sound, and so Peter runs off, activates his suit, as Iron Man barrels through the wall and tackles Spider-Man leaving the reader with a cliffhanger of what happens next.

In General...

Although not quite as emotionally resonate and powerful as the last issue, this is still a pretty solid issue, which features another glance inside the superhero prison in the Negative Zone, and also some more insight into Reed Richards' thoughts during Civil War. This issue and the recent FF issue go together hand-in-hand (as did the last issue), and read together it works quite well. Peter's finally making a choice, realizing his mistakes, and confronting Tony Stark on the shortcomings of his ideas and his prison, and it's great to read. Many readers have remarked on not liking how Peter's been portrayed as a milksop underling to Tony, and here he definitely showed he's capable of voicing his dissenting opinion against his boss.

I feel like a broken record, but this comic just isn't the right fit for Garney. It just doesn't work like it should. The artwork is serviceable and gets the job done, but that's pretty much where it stops. It lacks the polish that it should have, and considering how important this comic is, it baffles me that a more talented and better artist isn't currently on this book.

Overall Rating...

A step down from last issue, the story was good but not as amazing, and the artwork was yet another disappointing letdown, at least in comparison with the story. If Straczynski wasn't as talented as he is, I might have rated this differently, but Garney just isn't an appropriate complement to Straczynski.