Amazing Spider-Man #9 sees Spider-Man and Black Cat work on repairing their complicated friendship while Mary Jane goes on an important journey of her own.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Spider-Man and Black Cat have an extremely complicated relationship over the last five years or so. From Superior Spider-Man to Felicia’s stint as New York’s top crime lord, there’s been a lot to address. They’ve cleared the air as much as possible with Black Cat cleaning her act up, but not before one last hilarious complication.
Spencer decides to double-down on the awkward history these two share before moving forward. Their team-up is a welcome one, fitted with all the classic makings of a Black Cat/Spider-Man mission. Spidey’s commentary on every step of their plan is hilarious–of course.
Felicia Hardy isn’t the only past-lover-housecleaning that Nick Spencer decides to do, Carly Cooper is back in the city as well. Her catch-up with MJ is a wonderful break in the action. Carly was a major character for a decent chunk of Dan Slott’s run, getting to clear the air and see what she’s been up to was a nice touch.
She’s one of the only people that MJ can relate to in terms of dating Peter and knowing his “thwip thwip” life. The support group she recommends to Mary Jane is an extremely juicy development. Spencer keeps adding new subplots to juggle and it’s layered this young run, making it a much more full serving of story that isn’t just Spider-Man. Also, it’s an absolute joy to see that it’s Jarvis who runs the support group.
The Lookups is a crucial addition to Marvel Comics canon. Hopefully it’s not something we see strictly in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, this group needs to become a constant throughout the entire 616 universe. This is also an important journey for MJ to embark on now, and one that readers will be more than willing to join her on.
Humberto Ramos delivers the standard that we’ve grown accustomed to from his Spider-Man work–which is fantastic as always. Having him back on for this specific story makes it feel more like home as we get back to a more classic Spider-Man book. Michele Bandini’s flashback pages are a beautiful and non-intrusive contrast to Ramos that maintains the flow of the story. Bandini also provides her own inks alongside Victor Olazaba.
Colorists Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega smooth the transitions over. They make this a juicy and colorful read without stepping on each other’s toes. It’s actually hard to tell that there’s even multiple artists, colorists, and inkers on this issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #9 is another fantastic issue, what a streak to open a new series. The Thieves Guild proves to be an exciting antagonist for our favorite web-slinger. Their plot to steal all of the superhero tools to claw their back into relevancy is enthralling. Spider-Man and Black Cat’s adventure and relationship development is handled flawlessly and should slap a smile on longtime fans.
MJ’s journey is not only crucial to this book and character, but to the Marvel Universe at large. In all of comic books, there is no more important superhero love interest than Ms. Watson. Introducing “The Lookups” was wise if Spencer is going to legitimately sell their relationship to us after all the history of why it hadn’t worked out before.