Review: Amazing Spider-Man #5 – Lady Troubles
Amazing Spider-Man #5 is the second Original Sin tie-in issue to be tackled by writer Dan Slott and his regular team. The story of the other person to be bitten by the self-same radioactive spider that gifted Peter his powers continues, as do the plans of Black Cat against Parker.
Silk (Cindy Moon) was introduced last issue in her first full appearance and is pleasingly already coming off as a natural fit to the world of Spider-Man. It’s almost like she’s always been here. It shows off Slott’s ability to characterise a supporting cast for Spider-Man. It remains a shame then that the traditional supporting cast – arguably the heart of Peter Park – have been so much side-lined throughout his run.
Meanwhile, parallel to Silk, the story of the villains Black Cat and Electro suffer as their motives become less focused. In previous issues we’ve seen Black Cat pursue Peter because of a vendetta she gains while Doc Ock was in control of his body. Now out of nowhere this issue starts with her staking a claim for a stake in New York’s organised crime and the execution feels jaunted, not to mention how it distracts from her immediate plot with Peter. When she explains her motives about earning her stake by being the one to finally break the spider, it comes off like something from a ‘how to be a villain’ text book. It’s basic villainy that we’ve all seen so many times.
The books funniest and best moment comes when Anna Maria Marconi unknowingly stumbles upon Peter and Silk continuing to get acquainted. They google together and it’s very funny. Peter and Cindy are given a very natural rapport, and their back-and-forths throughout the issue are a particular highlight.
Edgar Delgado’s colours blaze reds under fire, sizzle electric blues under Electro’s bolts, and provide mood when dimmed for Peter’s intimacy with Silk. He manages to keep everything vivid and buzzing with colour during all of the various places the book goes to. While Humberto Ramos’ art continues to be too cartoony for my personal tastes to do the dramatic moments any real justice, he does capture an exceptional range of facial expressions. Also, his thick lines keep the panels very clean and easy to read. This isn’t perfect throughout though as the panels becomes a bit hard to pick details from when Electro’s lightning bolts are being fired. It is likely deliberate, and a matter of opinion whether you like the effect or not.
Ultimately, I like Spider-Man best when Peter’s life really sucks. There’s been a massive status quo change for him lately, but all things considered he’s come out of it doing pretty well for himself. He runs his own company, has the attention of a few women (for better or worse), his loved ones are as safe as his chosen life allows them to be, all in all even with Black Cat and Electro in mind, life post-Ock is going Peter’s way and that makes for less engaging reading for me.
As events escalate towards Spider-Verse there is genuine excitement for the future. For now, Amazing Spider-Man continues to offer much of the same with each issue. As a reviewer it can become difficult to find new things to say about a book from one issue to the next, especially when the art is the same, and the plots have very much the same faults and the same shining moments. This is the case with Amazing Spider-Man’s current direction. Its quirky moments and sheer vibrancy carry it while a routine lack of depth stops it from being great.