The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #42

by Harlan Ivester on February 14, 2018

Main Story
 Dan Slott
Pencilier: Cory Smith
Inks & Finishes: Terry Pallot
Colorist: Brian Reber

Bonus Story
Writer: David Hein
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Ian Herring

Publisher: Marvel Comics

            The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #42 is kind of tricky to describe without giving it its due. It’s a fine book with a very forgettable story and decent art, followed by another forgettable story with good art. Its problem is just that so much of it is one of the worst things any form of entertainment can be: boring. If there’s one thing I hate for a comic book to be, it’s boring. This one has its moments, but its highs just weren’t worth the lows.

            Our story by Dan Slott revolves around Peter and Betty Brant trying to follow Ned Leed’s trail in the mystery of Blood Creek. It’s a recipe for plenty of reporter-cliché dialogue that you’d expect, like, “that cinches it…there’s a story here,” or, “whatever’s going on, the answer is in the past.” The dialogue isn’t all like this, but it’s harder to ignore the bad parts when the mystery – the real meat of the story itself – just isn’t intriguing. The answers and resolutions are obvious. You’ll see them coming a mile away. Cory Smith’s art serves the plot better than it probably deserves, even if I did find his style to be a little generic. I could’ve sworn Stuart Immonen was the artist until going back to double check.

            As for the secondary tale, Spider-Sense and Sensibility, it’s similarly a bit of a head-scratcher. Writer David Hein has Peter’s spider-sense working overtime for comedic effect that never really gets more than a subconscious smirk. Spoiler warning, I guess? This is a light-hearted story that doesn’t really do anything, so you shouldn’t mind: it’s a lot of build up for Peter to just blow off his loved ones that threw him a surprise birthday party and just go home and sleep instead. That’s it. It doesn’t say “The End,” or anything, so when I turned the page and the story was done, I thought I had surely skipped a page on accident. I truly have no idea what this story was trying to accomplish. Artist Marcus To makes it look good, even if Spidey does occasionally have the arms of an orangutan, but it’s hard to appreciate it all when colorist Ian Herring really loves light shades of brown and yellow. They’re everywhere. This story looks like it was drowned in an Instagram filter. It’s like looking at a desert.

            You’d think with a whopping total of 55 pages, I’d have more to say about this book. But like I said, it’s boring. It’s forgettable. If you read this, you’re not going to think about it ever again after putting it down. The conversations are trying to be smart and snarky, but fall flat. The pace is stretched out with unsatisfying pay off. If you’re thinking of picking up this book, just wait until it’s on Marvel Unlimited. Anything that happened in here, you’ll be able to understand elsewhere in one simple sentence. Don’t bother.

Our Score:


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