The Amazing Spider-Man #14 Review

by Harlan Ivester on January 30, 2019

Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler & Colorist: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Al Vey, Wayne Faucher, John Livesay, & Tim Townsend
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            This week gives us perhaps the weakest issue of Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man yet. While the story does manage to finally move some threads along that have seemingly been on pause, that’s not enough to stop the art from absolutely killing this book for most readers.

            I’m relieved to see that Spencer is finally picking up some of the old plot lines he started back in the first arc, like the Lizard and Peter going back to school, but this issue is still making me wonder if the side-tracked arcs are really the problem. For me, it’s a continuation of one from the last story: the stalling. So. Many. Pages. Are spent recapping what we already know. How much further would we be if those pages were spent actually moving things forward? I understand that timing is a tricky thing in the world of comics, but it’s not like this is the only solution.

            Bachalo’s art brought this book down several letter grades for me. It’s good for the first few pages when it’s stylized and has room to breathe, but most of the time, it’s crowded as hell and frankly, just plain ugly. I had no idea that I was even reading a conversation including Peter and MJ at the Conner’s dinner table until halfway through it. Usually characters look like total rush jobs, but occasionally they look like one of those hyper-realistic (to the point that they’re creepy) cartoon drawings. The inkers don’t seem to be able to do much for the art when the real problem is just how cluttered most pages are. The coloring is a little flat, and while it can work for a differently toned story, it feels here just a little out of place, especially in comparison to what came before.

            This is a weird one. There’s progress, but at the same time the story is meandering. There’s not as many endearing character moments that have made the series shine thus far. I don’t know what else I can say about the art. 95% of readers won’t like it. All in all, Amazing Spider-Man #14 is easily the weakest issue in the series. Oh, and who in their right mind is buying this cliffhanger? Nobody. Only serious fans of Spencer’s run should pick this up.

Our Score:


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