The Amazing Spider-Man #18 Review

by Harlan Ivester on March 27, 2019

Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorists: Edgar Delgado & Erick Arciniega
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            After a fantastic first issue and an overdue rereading of Kraven’s Last Hunt, I was pretty excited for Part 2 of Nick Spencer’s “Hunted” story. Part 1 was so intense and had so many great callbacks to moments that made KLH so iconic, while also having a story that differed enough that it hasn’t been obvious where it’s going. Sadly, Part 2 feels like a noticeable decline in several ways when compared to its predecessor.

            This issue still has some neat callbacks to KLH that die-hard fans of that story will get a kick out of; there’s some intriguing man vs. nature scenarios and then more specific references. Still, those things are kind of more fan service or tributes than anything else. They don’t really make the story. Anyone hoping for something that’s contained and will read really well in a trade like KLH will probably be disappointed, as this story is taking some breaks to set up Creepy Centipede Guy. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but it’s worth noting for people that are here for Kraven himself. I couldn’t personally shake the feeling that this issue didn’t spend enough time moving things along in the present, so I hope it will still have enough time to give us a satisfying story. Maybe I’m wrong and this will read as an excellent trade, but for now, it’s hard not to feel how much things slowed down here compared to last issue. And once again, Peter spends more time than is necessary reminding us how he got in his current predicament. It’s admittedly a lot less than it has been, which is appreciated, but I just don’t think it needs to be there at all.

            Humberto Ramos’s art is all over the place here. Sometimes it’s great and he nails what he’s going for. Creepy Centipede Guy has (in his very short lifetime) never looked more menacing, with such an aptly unsettling smile. Mary Jane looks just adorable in some panels… And then there are the others. There’s one in particular that’s a flashback of her dancing, and I kid you not, it’s almost as unsettling as Creepy Centipede Guy. Her limbs are so much longer than they should be, she looks like she belongs in a body horror movie. Spider-Man himself looks so weird in all of his appearances. He’s too skinny and his body is just kind of shaped like a potato. I’m not in love with it, but I typically enjoy Ramos’s work. It’s just strange to see it so… rushed in this issue. This chapter spends most of its time setting up an aura of dread, and Delgado & Arciniega’s colors are a crucial part of that. Going back to Creepy Centipede Guy’s gut-turning smile, it’s upped by the moonlight falling on MJ and the shadows cast around her and her unknown guest. The street lights barely illuminating the chase in Central Park similarly elevate the fear of all the victims. The shading usually isn’t very smooth, but its changes are in places that make sense, so it still looks totally natural.

            As I said, Part 2 of Hunted is a considerable drop in more ways than one. The events that transpire just don’t hold your attention as well as the previous ones did, and the artwork takes a serious turn into wonky territory. Anyone who isn’t a fan of Ramos’s work already will likely not be able to enjoy this issue at all. It’s a shame, but we still have enough issues left in this story for things to get back on track. Here’s hoping.

Our Score:


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