Amazing Spider-Man #680
Writers: Dan Slott & Chris Yost
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli [Pencils], Klaus Janson [Inks], and Frank D’Armata [Color]
Mayor J. Jonah Jameson’s son, Col. John Jameson, is performing repairs outside of the Horizon Labs space station Apogee 1 when suddenly he loses communication with the Horizon Labs science team on Earth–as well as his dad, who is visiting the lab.
As is typical, Jonah flips out and the team discovers that all systems on the station are failing. As is also typical, Peter Parker rushes off in typical Peter Parker fashion, as he knows the Fantastic Four and space emergencies are their forté.
Of course, the Parker luck plays its hand and the only one home is the recently-back-from-the-dead-though-he-never-really-died Human Torch, who Spidey catches in the middle of a… somewhat compromising situation. I won’t spoil it here, but it’s fairly amusing and all ties into Johnny taking the night off to catch up on all of the pop culture events he missed while he was “dead.”
Anyhow, Spidey convinces a less-than-serious Torch to tag along to the space station with him, where they discover something “Sinister” is afoot…
Overall, this is another stellar issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Am I surprised that Dan Slott had help from Chris Yost with writing this? Not really. He’s been putting together the huge “Ends of the Earth” storyline featuring the return of the Sinister Six and the potential death of Doctor Octopus. (Yeah, I get it. They killed Doc Ock in the ’90s during the “Clone Saga,” too. That death, however, was pretty cheap and undeserving of a character who rivals Green Goblin as Spider-Man’s biggest enemy.) Anyhow, the writing here has the perfect balance between humor and seriousness, not letting the one-upsmanship and one-liners between Spidey and the Torch overshadow the gravity of the plot.
Giuseppe Camuncoli, Klaus Janson, and Frank D’Armata do a great job of conveying all of this in their art, as well. Jonah’s bug-eyed expression of panicked rage on page 4 perfectly captures the emotions of a parent whose son is in grave danger, especially when you factor in that Jonah is still probably grieving his recently-murdered wife, Marla. In fact, practically every panel in this issue featuring Jonah is a hit. Hell, this whole issue is gorgeous.
If you weren’t already excited for “Ends of the Earth,” the panels of Doc Ock in this issue might change that. Never before has he looked so menacing. If this is just the lead-in to that story, you really have to wonder how big the endgame is.
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