Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #423

Background

The long-drawn out (as I've been saying for the last few months) feud between the Rose (who is actually employed by a certain would-be underworld kingpin named Fortunato,) and the South American mystery man named the Black Tarantula rages on. Lately, the Black Tarantula has enlisted the aid of the Dragonfly and her ninja brethren, while the Rose recharged the powers of Electro!

Story 'Choices!'

In this issue, Electro becomes the villain he was always meant to be. To be specific, he wipes out the band of ninja (painfully referred to throughout the book as "ninjas") that he was hired to wipe out, and he brings our amazing hero to his knees. Peter Parker, the once proud Spider-Man, is forced to beg for his life.

However, instead of focusing on Electro living up to his potential, this book takes a personal look at Joe Robertson. It appears that Robbie's getting his priorities muddled, chasing a story instead of hurrying himself and his wife out of danger. I hope that we see Robbie take more responsibility for his actions real soon.

General Comments

The only Electro-related problem I have with this story is that he seems a little too powerful. I always liked Electro (as I like nearly all of Stan Lee's early Spider-Villains) because of his human flaws. After last issue illuminated his past so well, we see Max turn his back on his insecurities. What happened to the self-conscious human dynamo, who once spent an entire storyline trying to improve his vocabulary to hold his own against the diction of Doc Ock and Mysterio?

Also, after cheering myself hoarse upon seeing Phil Urich last issue, he appears to have receded into the nether-realms of the Marvel Universe once again. This ish tragically lacks the little extras that made ASM #122 so much more fun.

And then there is the issue of art. I don't know why, but the pencilling in this issue is far inferior to Joe Bennett's work in recent issues of Spider-Man Unlimited. Hopefully next issue will be a little better. Due to "something decidedly weird" (alias Flashback Month), the long-awaited ending to this little storyline will have to wait for three months. And we complained with the clone saga...

Overall Rating

Two disappointed little webs.