Spider-Man possesses a host of superpowers, from super strength to the ability to stick to anything whenever he feels like it, but in my mind, it’s his spider-sense that’s the best of all. You can be the strongest hero in the room, but if you can’t sense a knife plummeting towards the back of your head, what good are you? It appears Nick Spencer is taking that spider-sense ability a step further in his latest story arc in Amazing Spider-Man, and in issue #37 we can see it in full force.
Appropriately titled “It’s time for a change,” this issue opens with Spider-Man lamenting about how he can’t save everybody and most of the time he’s cleaning up a mess after it’s too late. Time is on his mind too, because he has so little of it with Mary Jane who is still in Hollywood filming a new movie. Recently, Spider-Man acquired the ability to see possible future realities and it was quite handy for defeating Dr. Doom, but what if he used this ability in his everyday web-slinging crime-fighting? That’s the idea proposed and the meat of the story at work here.
Spencer weaves in some good J. Jonah Jameson scenes to mix up Spider-Man’s questioning of using his new future sensing ability. In these scenes, masterfully drawn by Ryan Ottley who makes eating pizza like some kind of gladiatorial game, Jameson’s new view on Spider-Man is woven in to remind us he’s pro-Spidey these days. He’s also pro money.
Ottley continues to show he was born to draw Spider-Man and Nathan Fairbairn’s colors give it all the bright and hopeful pop the series deserves. There are some great sight gags and the personality of the character always seems to be on point.
Thankfully, Spencer brings up the “Civil War 2” debacle of stopping crimes before they’re even committed, which will likely be on Marvel fans’ minds as he contemplates using this new ability. The creative team uses a 9-panel grid to show Spider-Man asking a bunch of heroes what they think he should do and that leads directly into his choice. It’s a nice way to transition from Spidey’s doubt to actual action. The entire last half of the book transitions well and is paced nicely, showing us characters we saw earlier in the issue getting saved by Spidey, then seeing Spider-Man go on a date, and finally some Kindred scenes to whet our appetites. It’s a good issue thanks in part because it juggles so many plots well. The cliffhanger should have every Spider-Man fan on the planet curious where Spencer goes from here. It’s a big deal and will likely affect how we view Spider-Man’s very origin!
I’ve been trade waiting for most of this series, but I’m on the edge of diving back into this series thanks to this and the great issue before it. The idea of Spider-Man utilizing a new way of seeing dangers is an interesting one given the spider-sense abilities he already has.
Now to see how the Parker-luck comes into play to ruin everything. That’ll be a delight to see.
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