The Amazing Spider-Man #36 Review

by Harlan Ivester on December 18, 2019

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Oscar Bazaldua
Colorist: Steve Firchow
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            If you were holding out for a satisfying conclusion to the thus far very lackluster 2099 arc in Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man, well, I hate to disappoint you. The issues leading up to this one haven’t been particularly exciting. Okay. They haven’t been especially funny. Alright. They haven’t given us anything emotional to grab on to. So what does the finale need to pull this off? An interesting, unexpected resolution to the conflict? That’s not here. Obviously, I love the main attractions here (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, and Doctor Doom), and yet, I just don’t care about anything that’s happening here. Maybe it’s another one of those things where the marketing made me expect something different and that’s why I’m disappointed, but I think it can also be something else. For that matter, why was this presented as a 2099 story? Why was Miguel even here (for two pages)? Maybe I would have the answer to that if I read the 2099 alpha and omega issues. I did read the Spider-Man 2099 one-shot. You’d think that would be enough. The very structure of this sort-of event makes it really hard to understand.  Anyway, I think it’s also worth noting that I had some problems with the way Spencer was writing Doom for most of this issue, but he pulls the rug out from under you towards the end. I can at least commend him for anticipating my grievances.

            I’m really not a fan of Oscar Bazaldua’s work. Something about the faces just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes they can be especially off-putting, when the face is at an angle that doesn’t matching where the head is looking. That kind of thing. His Doom is rather underwhelming. His mask makes him look kind of indifferent to his situation, whereas a great Doom should always look a little angry. Some of the action feels disconnected. There’s a part where Peter throws gas tanker at Doom with seemingly no effort. Maybe he did struggle; I have no idea how he did it. Steve Firchow’s colors are alright. I’m not sure what the proper term for it is, but they’re a little too bright on certain spots. Besides that, though, I actually think he presents the lighting and shadows really well. Skin tones can be really blotchy, though.

            Amazing Spider-Man #36 doesn’t give this arc what it needed to be redeemed. It’s hard to care about anything that’s happening, and there aren’t any real surprises in store. I think it’s safe to say that this is at the bottom of Nick Spencer’s stories on Spider-Man so far. The art is alright at best and otherwise jarring, and the same can be said for the coloring. If you read in trades, I would skip this one entirely. If you’ve been reading the floppies, prepare to be whelmed.

Our Score:


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