The Amazing Spider-Man #41 Review

by Harlan Ivester on March 11, 2020

Writer: Nick Spencer
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man has been really all over the place. Just a couple of issues ago we were facing off against the Foreigner and Chance, working for SHIELD. For the life of me, I can’t remember why. Here I am now, just having finished an excellent new issue bringing the focus back to Spidey and Boomerang once again. #41 finally tells us what the Kingpin’s beef is with Fred, and it’s a deep cut: the Lifeline Tablet, from way back in the Romita Sr. run. I can appreciate Spencer’s love for Spider-Man lore through any decade, and the how and why of it all feels very in line with the character involved. This does remind though, that I really hate how much time this book spends recapping previous events. Granted, we get a neat spread out of it when Peter recounts his own history with the McGuffin, but I can’t help but think about how drawn out some elements of this run have been and what a precious 2-3 pages could mean for us readers. As for the writing of the characters, this story is mostly just Spidey and Boomerang, and it’s no surprise that their exchanges are wildly entertaining.

            Ottley’s on this issue, and I don’t know what else I can say. He’s awesome, okay? There’s a seemingly tangible depth to his action-heavy panels, and the calmer moments are occupied by wonderfully expressive and dynamic figures. Cliff Rathburn adds my favorite touches to the final page, featuring another deep cut: Gog. He’s a monster, so of course Ottley and Rathburn accentuate his rough edges and grotesque features. Nathan Fairbairn maintain’s the book’s quality with distinct, most vibrant shades in each sequence that give the book a lively tone, perfect for a Spider-Man story. His work is a little more subdued when compared to other popular colorists of today (not that I don’t love what they do, too), but it reminds me of older comics when “flat” coloring made a page pop more.

            Despite Spencer’s insistence on recapping what we all know in valuable page space, Amazing Spider-Man #41 is a strong addition to his run. By leaning into the cringe-inducing yet lovable nature of Spidey and Boomerang’s relationship, he gives us a story that is brisk and comical while still being genuinely intriguing. Similarly, by working together to make each page striking , the art team reinforces what makes the book fun. Readers will be happy with this one.

Our Score:


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