If we were going to rattle off Spider-Man’s biggest rival, surely the Green Goblin’s name would come up. Spider’s have always had problems with goblins. Hobgoblin, Demogoblin, Red Goblin, Green Goblin. It seems like every few years a new goblin comes along to wreak havoc on Spider-Man’s life. Amazing Spider-Man #90 gives us a battle between the Goblin Queen and Peter Parker. If you’ve been waiting for Peter to step back into the spider suit, today is your lucky day. Patrick Gleason is the writer of this issue. He’s joined by Mark Bagley on pencils, Bryan Valenza, Dijjo Lima and Andrew Crossley on colors and Joe Caramagna on letters.
Amazing Spider-Man has had several writers filling in on the title since Nick Spencer left. For this story arc, Patrick Gleason takes on the writing duties. Gleason is lucky enough to be writing both Peter and Ben in action sequences this week. At this point Peter is no longer in a hospital bed and has donned his costume again to take on Queen Goblin. Gleason uses this issue to show us how heroic Peter actually is. Even though he’s not ready for battle and still injured, he risks his life to save Black cat and fight Queen Goblin. While this is going on, Gleason builds on the mistrust between Ben and Beyond. After sending Queen Goblin after Janine, Ben has finally had enough of Beyond’s antics. Gleason has Ben turn off his locator and officially hide from Beyond. This is a big step for Ben. He’s been going back and forth on whether he should end his relationship with Beyond due to them being shady. Gleason gives us an issue of Spider-Man where characters overcome their inadequacies and doubts. Whether it’s standing up to an evil corporation or digging deep to help your friends, this issue works because Gleason lets heroes be heroic.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mark Bagley. Having Mark Bagley on this book is a trip down memory lane. His pencils on Ultimate Spider-Man are legendary. One of the things Bagley does so well this issue are his scenic backgrounds. As Ben swings Janine past a bridge early on in the issue, Bagley draws the huge bridge in the background perfectly. We see a burning building in between the wires on the bridge and smoke in the air. Action sequences are easy on the eyes as the panel structure is easy to navigate. Bagley still has a distinct style that resonates with Spider fans. issues like this one continue to show he’s one of the best.
There are a few colorists on this issue, but the majority is handled by Bryan Valenza. The colors for this issue have great contrast in the first few pages. Valenza has to have many dark colors due to the night sky and the smoke from the fire. Valenza allows Ben’s red on his spider suit to pop out as a vibrant color on a dark image. Around the middle of the book, the colorist changes. The colors get lighter and the colors Peter’s spider suit looks a little harder. There almost seems to be a texture to the colors as he swings Queen Goblin with a web. Although different colorists are used for this issue, the change in style isn’t so different that it takes you out of the issue.
The letters by Joe Caramagna contribute in many ways, but none more important than seeing the classic “Thwip” as Spidey shoots his web. As Queen Goblin uses her Goblin’s Gaze, Caramagna enlarges the world bubble to emphasize the importance of her power. These are all nice touches put on an issue by a true professional.
Amazing Spider-Man #90 is an issue that has some good character moments while also moving the plot forward. Gleason is putting our heroes in a position to finally give Beyond what they deserve. Any fan of this series has been waiting for this moment, and Gleason is delivering. Amazing Spider-Man #90 is out at a comic shop near you.