Amazing Spider-Man #692

by lucstclair on August 22, 2012

In honour of Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary, this issue has 3 short stories paying homage to the world’s greatest super hero and also introduces the world to Spidey’s first ever sidekick (in training)… the exceptional (best I could come up with) Alpha! Featuring the Avengers & the Fantastic Four! It’s Spider-Man’s birthday and in 1962, no one had ever seen a super hero quite like Spider-Man. Peter Parker looks remarkably good for a 65 year old man, that’s because if you know anything about comics, is that characters don’t age the same way normal people do. If they did, than aunt May would be well over a 100 years old. For the purpose of this special milestone issue, I’ve broken down all 3 stories into 3 individual reviews and I saved The Outcome at the very end for all 3 reviews. And now to quote the Joker “And here… We… Go!”


The Team

Written by Dan Slott (Avengers : The Many Faces Of Henry Pym, Mighty Avengers : Dark Reign), Dean Haspiel (Cuba : My Revolution, Opposable Thumbs : Vol. 1) & Joshua Hale Fialkov ( I, Vampire Vol. 1 : Tainted Love, Echoes HC). Illustrated by Humberto Ramos (X-Men : Supernovas, Impulse Vol. 1 : Runs In The Family, Crimson : Loyalty & Loss), Dean Haspiel & Nuno Plati (Marvel Girl). Published by Marvel Comics


Alpha : Point of Origin

The Pros

When a freak accident at Horizon Labs caused by a demonstration of “Parker Particles” goes haywire, a young student name Andy Maguire gets caught in the blast and starts manifesting strange kinetic powers of energy projection, super strength & flight (sound familiar?). Soon enough this once unpopular kid starts to get some much appreciated attention and the next thing you know, he’s Spider-Man’s new sidekick super hero the Avengers dubbed as Alpha.


Sooner or later this story was gonna happen. Batman has Robin, Captain America has Bucky & Green Arrow has Speedy (o.k. bad example). I’m not sure how I feel about this new development, Spidey has always been a solo fighting hero. I predict this Alpha kid will stick around with Spidey until his training’s done and a year from now will have his own monthly series entitled Alpha Flight… no wait.  Alpha’s name is Andy Maguire, Toby Maguire + Andrew Garfield get it? Like a lot of teenagers his age, he’s shy, ignored by his peers & flunking his subjects. After his transformation he becomes cocky, arrogant, eager to please & is a bit of a bully.

Reed Richards explains that there are 2 types of powerful beings in the universe that need to be monitored, the omega-level threat (Hulk, Sentry, Phoenix) and the alpha-level threat, beings that could eventually grow to become omega-level threats. Hence his super hero code name. Richards and Dr. Modell assigns Peter Parker to groom Alpha into being a spokesperson for Horizon Labs, after all it’s his experiment that nearly killed the boy. But it’s as Spider-Man that Peter will teach Alpha the ABCs on being a super hero. Needless to say, this attracts an old school villain to the story which we’ll see more of with the next issue. Regular writer Dan Slott writes this interesting new chapter of everyone’s favourite wall crawler and introduces some new characters for good measure. The fight with the Fantastic Four is pretty fun, especially with the Thing threatening lawsuits about trademark battle cries. On and off penciller Humberto Ramos does a terrific job with his wild & crazy style of illustrations that look as gorgeous as ever. His milestone cover also looks great.

The Cons

Alpha’s powers & abilities doesn’t leave much to the imagination as his powers are generic and all too familiar. Hopefully as the character develops, so will his powers.

Spider-Man For A Night

The Pros

This is a cute story that takes us way back to pay tribute to the events portrayed in the Amazing Spider-Man #50. Spider-Man quits his super hero gig and dumps his costume in a trash can, but a fleeing burglar tries to escape a cop, finds the costume & slips it on to avoid getting caught. This bumbling wannabe criminal is really a grand-father trying desperately to find cash to pay for his grand-daughter’s expensive medical bills. It’s a heart warming story with a moral and some goofy looking illustrations.

The Cons

It’s a very straight forward story and the illustrations look a little too much like Mike Allred’s style.


Just Right

The Pros

Spider-Man is on his way to a scientific lecture and makes a few bad judgment calls and madcap situations along the way. Probably the funniest story of all 3, as writer Joshua Hale Fialkov gets Spider-Man in these embarrassing situations fuelled with Nuno Plati’s almost Manga looking illustrations & pastel like colours.

The Cons

Although some parts were very humorous, this is definitely the weakest of all the short stories and could’ve easily not get the green light.

The Outcome

This was a difficult comic to rate. On one hand it has cool cover, the main story is great, the second story is ok & the third is not so good. On the other hand 5.99$ is way too much money to spend on a single comic and could’ve of easily been just about Alpha at the normal price of 3.99$. I’ll let you make the choice.

Our Score:


A Look Inside