Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado and Joe Caramanga deliver another fantastic issue of Spider-Man in a run that is already becoming classic.
The heist of the century is ON! Who are the Thieves Guild of New York? Spidey might die trying to find out.
Amazing Spider-Man #8
Written by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Humberto Ramos
Inks by: Victor Olazaba
Colors by: Edgar Delgado
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramanga
If you have been reading Spider-Man since Nick Spencer took over, then you already know the scribe was meant to write the Ol’ Web-head. Spencer has a knack for capturing that perfect Parker inner monologue and it’s especially evident in this issue. The story starts with a free-falling Peter telling us “I usually love this”, then reveals that this current ‘flight’ through the city is not of his own doing. That one-on-one approach to Pete’s voice is arresting and grabs you. But Spencer, ever the clever narrative trickster, then takes us out of that moment and jumps into the introduction of a mysterious new group of villains, The Thieves Guild and it’s leader Odessa Drake. The Guild has been stealing equipment (including cleaning out the Hall of Costumes in Avengers Mansion) from some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes and everyone wants to know why. New villains are always a great idea and by having the Guild be a threat to the Marvel Universe as a whole nicely ties this title to the overall 616 universe without having to be part of a big crossover. Drake and the Guild may seem a little typical at the moment, but Spencer has pulled the rug out from under us before; something is brewing with these guys for sure (again just look at what they are stealing).
We also get to see Spencer write some of Marvel’s biggest characters (even for just a panel or two); there are fun moments with Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Tony Stark, and Jarvis as they find out their stuff is missing (a Dude Where’s My Car moment with Ghost Rider is a highlight). The stakes are high but these quick scenes are plaid loose, fast and fun. They speed and advance the narrative perfectly.
Mary Jane is also fleshed out more in this chapter. She a character that has had many changes in recent years, yet Spencer is able to make all of those work as a way to giver MJ growth.
But back to Pete. Throughout the issue, we get a sequence of Peter and MJ on a date and it’s classic for all the great reasons. Spencer creates perfect chemistry between the two as they share ice-cream at a food fair. Their newfound romance does not feel forced. It feels natural, organic and real. Two old friends finding out they love each other.
This being a Spencer comic, it has to end on a cliffhanger. And the reveal that…SPOILER ALERT…Spidey had his web shooters stolen (hence the issue opening freefall) is fantastic. When you toss in a last minute appearance/attack by the Black Cat, you get pumped for the next issue.
If anything is missed in this issue it’s an appearance by recent regular cast member Fred Myers/Boomerang. Fred is quickly becoming a fan favorite and he is definitely missed here.
Humberto Ramos is a very energetic and atmospheric artist. When you add Victor Olazaba’s inks and Edgar Delgado’s colors, you get a perfect package for this title. Ramos excels at Spider-Man poses and anatomy. There is an animated feel to his Spidey that adds so much energy to an already energetic character.
Olazaba’s inks solidify the images, giving them weight and texture. And Delgado’s colors create a mood and feel that jumps off the page (just check out the palette in the nightclub sequence that introduces Odessa Drake.
A shout out must be given to letterer Caramanga, who has some neat narration boxes and clear, easy to read font. It’s a subtle thing but it adds to the reading experience immensely.
Amazing Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s best current titles. Spencer and company continue to make Spidey engaging, fun to read and sort of the totem pole of the Marvel Universe. Not a book to be missed. Swing by your local comic shop and grab this up before the Thieves Guild gets to it!