Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #674

 Posted: 1 Jan 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)


New York just survived the Spider Island event and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Everyone except Peter and Carlie Cooper, who broke up after she realized that he was Spider-Man.

Story 'Trust Issues'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #674
Summary: Vulture
Arc: Part 1 of 'Great Heights' (1-2)
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Klaus Janson
Lettering: VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Frank D' Armata

The story begins with a goth looking young man screaming as he falls out of the sky. Characters off panel discussed “letting him go” in very matter of fact terms. One voice told the others to find a new pigeon.

At the Port Authority bus terminal, police were turning away tourists that came to gain spider powers. A young man called BS on the cops, saying if the infestation was over then they wouldn’t keep them out. Randy Robertson was present to tell the crowd that he’d had spider powers and it was awesome, until he turned into a monster. He tried to talk about his latest youth outreach program but the kid walked away. The kid walked away, looking into the sky and a goth woman said she saw that look all the time. He wanted to swing like Spider-Man but it was beneath him. Flying was much better.

In Washington Square Park, the police gathered around the body of the kid that fell from the sky. The chief blamed it on Spider Island, saying kids were still desperate for spider powers. Carlie Cooper disagreed with the idea that the spate of teen deaths were suicides. The chief assumed that the teens had been jumping to their deaths but Carlie asked where they were jumping from. The falls occurred too far from the surrounding buildings. The chief kicked her off the case just as a trooper arrived with an important phone call.

The Anti-Spider Patrol responded to a silent alarm and found evidence that someone had crawled up the building before breaking and entering. The robots entered the building to find Spidey standing over a dead body with his hands up. He tried to explain and reminded them that he’s an Avenger but they opened fire anyway. Dodging the bullets, he silently thanked his spider senses for returning.

Wilson Fisk was less happy, as he took out his frustration on the architecture of his headquarters at Shadowland. He’d had spider powers, his men had had spider powers and they’d been taken away. Hobgoblin taunted him, saying he was a 980 pound weakling. Kingpin called him insufferable and Urich explained that he’d met a girl. A member of The Hand arrived to tell Fisk that Tiberius Stone had arrived. Kingpin was unhappy to see him, as his previous invention had destroyed Fisk Tower. Stone blamed Hobgoblin for the tower’s collapse and Urich offered to turn him into a nerd-kabob. Stone showed Kingpin the blueprints for spider sense jammers, created by Horizon Labs. Max Modell didn’t want to sell them but Stone offered them to Fisk.

Uptown, Spider-Man was still dealing with the Anti-Spider Patrol. It wasn’t too hard, as Peter had been the one to upgrade their armor. The police arrived immediately after the robots were defeated and Spidey reminded them that he was an Avenger. The chief yelled they were not in the same side as Spidey had contaminated the crime scene. Spidey was investigating several high rise burglaries, making him think that the culprit may have been an untreated person left over from the infestation. The chief screamed that he’d been changed into a giant spider with webs coming out of his butt and it was probably Spidey’s fault. Spider-Man left, realizing that the cops were back to hating him.

In the Upper East Side, the teens were showing the new recruit the joy of flying. The new guy called himself Mitchell and the girl told him it was Michael now. They all had names based on angels. She was Angela Death and the guys were Lucifer and Gabriel. They told Michael that he had to earn his wings and they entered an empty high rise building. Two dead individuals were inside and they began ransacking the apartment.

At a nightclub called The Wake, Glory Grant was reassuring her date that partying after Spider Island was ok and a good thing. They ran into Mary Jane, who was on the dance floor drawing a lot of attention. Glory told Lewis to put his eyes back into his head.

At The Coffee Bean, Peter and Carlie were both looking into the high rise burglaries/teen deaths. They didn’t realize immediately that they were in the same shop but awkwardly agreed to work together.

In Chelsea, the teenage burglars returned to the Wake, telling the new guy to not draw attention to himself. Their boss didn’t want them to be seen taking off and landing. They said he could have anything he wanted in the club but they had to meet with the old man first. A guard let them into a room, where the Vulture was waiting to see what they’d brought him.

General Comments

I can imagine that this was a jarring change from Spider Island, which had been the previous story. The art was certainly different. Humberto Ramos had been the SI artist and he gave a very colorful and cartoony look. This story was drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli, which had a dark, sinister feel to it. There is a very strong horror movie feel to it. The fear of the falling kid on the first page is palpable.

The story is decent, it’s nice that there is a recovery period and aftermath from the human spider infestation. Coincidences are aplenty, with Peter running into Carlie and Glory seeing MJ at the dance club. Well, that’s nothing new. Pretty normal comic storytelling.

The final page is over the top, featuring Adrian Toomes sitting in a chair as he carves a pig carcass, which he fed to a vulture. There is moody and there is trying too hard.

Overall Rating

Maybe not for everyone but I enjoyed it. Toomes may not be the most powerful bad guy but he makes up for it with being cold blooded.

 Posted: 1 Jan 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)