Amazing Spider-Man #673
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stefano Caselli & Frank Martin
Few writers could pull off such a scene tastefully (think Austin Powers), but Dan Slott manages to do so by exploring the humor of such an event. The Hercules panel alone is worth the price of admission.
Thankfully, though, Slott’s storytelling ability extends beyond nudie jokes and the amazing spider-scribe weaves several status-quo-altering events into the “Spider Island” epilogue. Kaine, for one, looks as though he will indeed be the new Scarlet Spider in Marvel’s upcoming title of the same name (due out in January). Where he’ll be based is still up in the air, but more on that should be revealed in next week’s Point One #1 collection.
Perhaps an even bigger development is Carlie Cooper discovering that Peter Parker is Spider-Man and promptly ditching him. How was she able to figure this out in spite of the “psychic block” spell that Dr. Strange placed on the world to keep that identity hidden following Pete’s unmasking during 2006’s Civil War? Well, as Strange explains to Pete, he inadvertently revealed his spider powers to everyone during “Spider-Island” — they just haven’t made the connection because everyone had spider powers at the time.
Anyways, the takeaway here is that going forward, people still don’t remember he unmasked during the Superhero Civil War, but they can now learn his identity, so he has to be more careful again. And, of course, Pete being single again sets up the possibility for the Peter/Mary Jane relationship to be reinstated (don’t say you never saw that coming).
Overall, this is an excellent epilogue to an exceptional event storyline — one Marvel should learn from (along with the X-Men: Schism event) with its universe-wide events going forward. Slott maintains a steady pace despite having minimal action, shifts the status quo while keeping fans on their toes, and plants seeds for future Jackal storylines (Surprise! He didn’t actually die, one of his clones did.).
Caselli’s art pops off of the page, and is made even more brilliant by the coloring work of Frank Martin. It’s a bit different from the more cartoonish work of Humberto Ramos, and more along the lines of what I prefer, but both artists are amazing in their own right and I’m continually stoked that they’re both on my (full disclosure here) favorite book.
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