Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #14 Review

The endgame.

Spider-Verse has left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I got some genuine character moments that wouldn’t have been possible with only one Peter and on the other, high octane action has sometimes deprived this event of the depth it needed to be truly enjoyable.

And that is what rears its ugly head as Spider-Verse comes to a close.

First of all, the artwork is terrific! Guiseppi Camuncoli and Olivier Coipel make an awesome combo, and it shows in every panel. These two have helped Spider-Verse be the visual spectacle it ended up as.

But when you go to the writing department, problems crop up. Rushed pacing, weird reversal of stakes – everything wrong with event comics are shown here.


The first group of panels deserved a lot of breathing space and didn’t get it.

Lady Verna deploys a group of Green Goblins aka Norman Osborns to attack Jessica Drew and Spider-Gwen. Mindful of the fact that in most of their worlds, Peter lost Gwen thanks to Osborn’s machinations, he tells her to back away and let him take on the Goblin.

But Gwen refuses, and knocks the Goblin attacking her out – then thanks Peter of 616 for giving her the benefit of the doubt.

This could have been handled so much better. An event stands as much on its explosive moments as it does on its heartfelt ones. This sequence shows a change in balance with Gwen moving out of her victim labeling – but by making it rushed, it looses a lot of the emotion it needs to evoke.

Anyway, in the inner sanctum of the Inheritors, Daemos mourns his father’s death as he blasts the Weaver’s prophecies saying that his father would outlive him (even though in the last issue only, we saw him say the opposite. Continuity error!), only for Jennix to come up with a crystal-like reservoir holding his essence that is sadly in need of a clone body.

Morlun first of all kills the Other – making sure it can never be host to any more Spider Totems. Then he wounds Silk, making sure the Bride is destroyed. I wonder whether the Weaver’s statement of ‘unwanted luck’ points to the Spider Sense?

But just as he moves to attack the Scion aka Ben Parker, he is interrupted by the Spider Army. While Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Girl take on Daemos, Peter goes in to personally square with Morlun.

Reinforcements come with Karn and others – while this is a good moment (especially seeing the smug smiles of the Twins go away), it again feels too rushed given only an issue ago Karn was the enemy and this role reversal happened in a tie-in.

Morlun goes to kill Ben to end the Spider line but finds Spider-Ben has switched the baby with Spider-Pig (totally naked). More help comes in the form of Spider-Man 2099, Lady Spider and the Robot Leopardon, leading to an amusing quip from the Japanese Spider-Man.

Spider-Girl gets the crystal housing Solus’ essence, and even as she threatens to break it, SpOck kills the Master Weaver.

Everyone is shocked, especially Morlun – given the Weaver’s importance to the multiverse’s foundation, Otto’s actions could have doomed them all.

Enraged, Morlun attacks Peter and starts draining his life source, only for the latter to take them to the radioactive Earth 3145. With Morlun’s greater sensitivity, he is weakened but Peter offers him Ezekiel’s shelter. Peter himself has no strength left, but Silk’s timely arrival prevents his death.

Mayday spares Solus and a confused Daemos is grateful but doesn’t understand the concept of mercy. All of the Inheritors except Karn are thrown into the radioactive wasteland after Morlun.

Even as everyone takes stock of what has happened, Cindy aka Silk and Peter have a private moment – only holding hands, no roughness. It’s been a long day.

But there is so much we still don’t know. What did the Weaver mean by his cryptic mutterings when Morlun was ‘killing’ the Other and the Bride? Is Kaine actually dead? And what will be the implications of the Master Weaver’s murder? What will happen to Otto?

There are too many questions raised in this issue that prevent it from being and end point to this event, only making it a stop to get on for the next one.


Slott manages to craft a good enough event, but it goes through numerous highs and lows before ending on the lower end of the satisfaction spectrum.

Rushed pacing contributes a lot to the underwhelming ending, though the artwork is fantastic.

Ultimately, this event ends like most of what Slott has done – an excellent premise ruined by an over-long issue count and pacing problems, even though there are some nuggets of gold scattered throughout the event.

So, I give it 7.0 out of 10.

+Some excellent artwork
+Each major character continues to have a distinctive voice
+The concepts

-Rushed pacing
-Underwhelming ending
-Too many questions raised for this to be a contained event

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