Dan Slott and Christos Gage, Writers
Humberto Ramos, Penciler
Victor Olazaba, Inker
Edgar Delgado, Colors
After several months of Spider-Verse, and before . . . ugh . . . Secret Wars, we get a brief break from INTERNET BREAKING MEGA EVENTS, and receive a welcome story taking place during a normal day for Peter Parker. Normal being a relative term, of course.
Things start off with a beautiful full page of Spider-Man dodging out of control reptiles in the Central Park Zoo. Actually, they’re not out of control, but under command of The Lizard . . . wait, that’s not The Lizard . . . it’s The Iguana.
I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Spidey fan, but I did have to look up The Iguana on Marvel’s wiki. The Iguana first appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man way back in 1979 when Curt Connors was experimenting with a method to remove The Lizard from his system. During his testing though, Doc Connors unintentionally mutates a normal iguana into the monster we see fighting Spider-Man in this issue. Interesting twist on The Iguana is that he has all The Lizard’s abilities, but none of the humanity of Curt Connors.
Anyway, this short research on The Iguana is largely unnecessary because he’s dispatched by Spider-Man within the first half of this book. Their battle is fairly entertaining though with Peter battling the super-villain while also taking calls from Aunt May and his irritated partners at Parker Industries.
Key takeaway from this fight is that Spidey is not at full strength due to Morlun sucking out some of his life-force at the end of Spider-Verse. So, there’s one lingering consequence from that mega event. We’ll see if that carries over to Secret Wars, or if the end of this story arch will drop it.
Once The Iguana is defeated, Peter rushes off for a crucial meeting in order to win a big contract from New York’s Department of Corrections. Of course, rather than being solely motivated by money, he intends to create a program designed to fully rehabilitate and help super-villains. Standing in his way though, is a rival company run by none other than Liz Allen and the Molten Man. Their intentions are clearly for profit, which is at odds with Peter’s vision.
Sensing Parker Industries will win the contract, Molten Man hires The Ghost to put Spidey’s company out of business “permanently.”
Following the end of Part 1, we get a bonus, side-story involving the Black Cat. Not much here, but it does attempt to better explain her motivations and new, deadly attitude.
As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s nice to have some non-MEGA EVENT Spider-Man stories. Slott and Gage keep Issue 16 zipping along quite, and we also get reacquainted with some of the supporting cast.
Also, after the boring villains starring in Spider-Verse, it’s fun to see the likes of Iguana, Black Cat, Molten Man and Ghost causing problems in this issue. Ghost in particular is a welcome addition, as he was a great character back in one of the old Thunderbolts series.
The art here is very solid, and often gorgeous. The fight with Iguana looks spectacular, and even the more humorous panels of a frazzled Peter arriving at the last minute for his business meeting are impressive.
Lastly, Am I bad person for disliking Aunt May? I’m not a fan of her “cool, active” old woman persona anymore than I was her old doddering one. She’s a character who seems to add so little to the story, and it’s not like Peter Parker is lacking in supporting players. I doubt if Marvel will ever remover her, but I wouldn’t complain if she quietly and completely slipped out of Amazing Spider-Man.
Fun mini-arch in this issue as Peter Parker returns to a post Spider-Verse life. I enjoyed the story presented, and look forward to reading Spidey up through Secret Wars. Hopefully he’ll survive as is through that upcoming saga.
Tags: Amazing Spider-Man, Dan Slott, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man