Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #578

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: Adam Chapman (E-Mail)


Reeling from Hammerhead's recent appearance, and then his own "alliance" with the Punisher, Spider-Man could use some downtime. Little does he know that he's about to have some trouble and an unexpected stop...

Story Details

Spider-Man sits on a rooftop, under a makeshift webbing umbrella, while eating Chinese Food and looking at his fortune, which says "Today will be your lucky day." He scoffs at it, when suddenly a subway card drops against umbrella. He needs to get to Aunt May quickly, and perhaps now luck has given him the answer. After a switch to his street clothes, he discovers that there's just enough remaining for one ride, and then jumps down the crowded stairs with a ton of excitement.

He tries to get on the subway car, but is told to get on the next train by an imposing cop. A woman puts her foot in the door of the subway car behind the one Peter's trying to get on, and tells him to hurry up. He squishes into the busy car, and starts to talk to the beautiful model when suddenly Peter's spider-sense goes off. He ditches her, irritating and aggravating the woman who'd started talking to him. He starts to pull out his mask, when the entire car is rocked by a vibration, and crashes.

A flashlight is turned on, and shined on some of the wreckage, being held up by Spider-Man, his ripped and torn street clothes atop his costume. The other passengers grab the bodies of those he's protecting, and he lets that part of the car's roof collapse. A cop tries to pull a gun on him, so he quickly disarms him. Spider-Man is told that the car belongs to jurors in a case against a local crimelord. The entire car's passengers leave the car behind, and start walking through the tunnel. Peter thinks he recognizes one of the men, although he denies it. The ceiling gives way, as they realize they're still under the river, and water starts pouring through. The group scatter and run, and Spider-Man illuminates the area with his spider-light, and they start climbing up a ladder upwards.

Suddenly, Spider-Man is pulled up by the Shocker. The Shocker reveals that he's working for the local mob boss, to kill the jurors. The two men grapple and fight in the narrow ladderway, as the former passengers scatter below as debris tumbles down. Spider-Man uses Shocker's own gauntlets to send blasts throughout the tight ladderway, and the feedback causes a further collapse and explosion, which Spider-Man and Shocker narrowly survive.

Assessing the situation, Spider-Man realizes that the roof won't hold much longer, the access shaft has collapsed, and the water is rising fast. The man who Spider-Man thought he reconized reveals that he wants to apologize to him, for his son, and reveals himself as J. Jonah Jameson Senior...

General Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the newest addition to the Amazing Spider-Man writing rotation, Mr. Mark Waid. Not only does Waid bring with him a fun and interesting script, which starts out light-hearted and soon becomes a taut and intense tale of being trapped underground, but he has as his partner here Marcos Martin. I'm absolutely in love with Martin's artistic style, it suits this book perfectly by blending Ditko-esque art with Romita-esque artwork, and it works wonderfully.

Peter Parker finds himself needing to quickly cross the city during a very wet day, and thanks to a bit of good luck finds himself able to afford a subway ride to his destination. However, his good luck can't last forever, as soon the car is rocked by a vibration which sends the car off the tracks. Switching into Spider-Man, he must try to keep those in the car alive and help them escape the tunnel, and protect them from their mysterious attacker, as well as meet someone totally unexpected, with a connection to a long-standing supporting cast member.

Waid really shines here, his script is really well done, and as I just mentioned, manages a perfect balance, starting out light-hearted, and becoming more gripping and serious as the issue continues. It's just a good Spider-Man story, with nothing slowing down the natural momentum of the book.

But the real gem of the issue is the amazing art by Martin. There's some excellent work in here, the entire atmosphere and ambiance of the issue is special. That first scene of Spider-Man holding up the rubble of the subway car, in torn street clothes with his costume peeking out from underneath, it looks fantastic. That entire sequence does. Martin's a true talent, and I'm adoring his work on this title, it's very unique and memorable.

Overall Rating

This is a two-part arc, I think, and so far Waid is off to an excellent start. You can't go wrong with this issue, a great new arc, very accessible, with brilliant artwork and a very solid story.

 Posted: 2008
 Staff: Adam Chapman (E-Mail)