Amazing Spider-Man #526

Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Reckoning
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Guest Writer: Reggie Hudlin
Pencils: Mike Deodato
Inks: Joe Pimentel
Color: Matt Milla
Cover Artist: Mike Deodato
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Publisher: Dan Buckley

As a reviewer, sometimes it’s hard to take preconcieved issues with a writer and look at what they do on one book as NOT the same as what they’ve done on another. So with Reggie Hudlin, I’ve had to remove preconcieved notions of the man who wrote House Party 2, and as far as my roommate is concerned, destroyed Christopher Priest’s Black Panther run, and read his Spider-Man with an unbiased eye.

It would have been very easy to hate this issue if it was bad. Thankfully, it was acceptable for me to like it since it was pretty good.

STORY!

Now if you haven’t been following the last month or so of Spider-Man stories – Peter is dying of something terminal. We don’t know what, and I really am to the point of not caring. That, in fact, might be their idea though. If they bring all Spidey fans into a gentle state of ennui, we might ignore the fact that Spider-Man has come down with ‘mystical cancer’ for lack of a better term.

Thankfully that’s not what’s supposed to be important in this issue. This issue is solely about living your life. Peter keeps going out. He keeps trying to be the good guy despite everything. He knows that his days are numbered, and realizes that it is only the things that he does that define him as a living person.

That’s when Morlun attacks.

The rest of this issue is a reminder of what Morlun was to Spidey when he originally appeared in JMS’ Amazing Spider-Man. He is a relentless killing machine, and will do anything to take down Spider-Man. He would even go and remove something Spider-Man needs very badly.

Something that might actually change the way Spidey will ever be viewed again…

Then the book ends… because cliffhangers sell comic books.

Let me tell you that the first few pages and the last few pages are all you need to make this a good book, with a fight sequence in the middle. Either way, it’s good writing from Hudlin.

ART!

This is by far my favorite Deodato issue so far. The intensity that he uses for the fight sequence is completely different than how Romita Jr. did it the first time. This time, given Deodato’s exaggerated realism, it feels as if these two larger than life characters are having an epic movie battle.

With the use of bleeding layouts that pour out onto the main pages and panel sizes that define each action completely, and all I can say is that it’s enough for me to forgive the fact that Deodato draws unnecessarily realistic musculature.

OVERALL!

So what’s left? Well JMS is getting the end of this entire story, and I promise you that Morlun isn’t dead by the end of this issue.

How does it all get resolved? I really have no idea. Though I’m looking forward to what is guaranteed to be a plot-heavy storyline at the end.