Amazing Spider-Man #11 Review

by Charles Martin on December 12, 2018

Amazing Spider-Man #11 Review
Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciller: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colourist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Spider-Man rolls into the holiday season with this festive story about trying to put in quality time with family and friends. Of course, this is his first Christmas with J. Jonah Jameson insisting (VERY LOUDLY) on being his friend. 

What fun that will be, huh, Spidey?

The creative team does an adroit job calling in some all-time classic Spider-Man characters while respecting the dramatic upheavals the last few years have brought. Jameson's an ally! Fisk's the mayor! Dogs and cats! Living together!

At least Arcade is still awful. Sometimes I think Arcade's awfulness is the bedrock foundation of the Marvel universe.

This arc's friction kicks off with Jameson being extra Jameson, as usual. All of his common sense flies out the window the instant Mayor Fisk offers him a lifetime achievement award. He (Jameson) even insists his good friend Spider-Man will be there to present it.

An ego the size of Montana, that man has. The fun is just beginning with this story. Obviously, Fisk has ulterior motives here, but other antagonists are waiting in the wings as well. 

This issue gets another fine dose of the volume's original signature visual style. The action is exciting and the narrative flow is clear. The exaggeration used for regular human faces doesn't always agree with me, but I recognize that it's purposeful, talented, and polished to a high standard. And that same exaggerated style looks more and more appealing when the characters get less human.

I'm including Wilson Fisk in the "less human" category, which is supremely appropriate, huh?

The winter setting pushes the colours a little toward the drab, particularly in the final nighttime scenes. Earlier, holiday decor pushes back and adds some appreciated brightness to the proceedings.

I believe this issue's greatest strength is wholeheartedly embracing the latest developments in Jameson's circumstances. That's coupled with a consistent portrayal of his fundamental character: Jameson wants to be Spider-Man's partner now. And this issue revels in revealing just how much trouble that desire can make for Spidey.

I have a lot of confidence in the way this arc is starting. I expect it will continue to handle the split between plot circumstances and core characterization as wisely as it does here. Story developments push our favourite Marvel folks into endlessly fascinating new positions, but they stay our favourites because they always remain the same folks.

Amazing Spider-Man #11 kicks off an arc that promises to be all about the Jameson. Plenty of attention to both deep continuity and recent developments gives his characterization a lot of nuances here. This is a very engaging first chapter thanks to strong art and a fast, intriguing plot, too. As ever, ASM delivers thorough satisfaction and a mighty hook compelling you to read on.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
I'm deep-down delighted when 2018 Amazing Spider-Man has the same vibrant balance between spandex and soap opera that Lee and Ditko invented in the 60s.