AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18
Written by Dan Slott, Christos Gage
Art by Humberto Ramos
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 6, 2015
Ghost’s assault on Parker Industries continues, with the safety of the company’s executives in danger and the future of the business in jeopardy.
Slott & Gage craft an issue that feels like it is providing a needed shake up to Parker Industries, but it lacks some fire. At no point does it feel like anyone is in danger from Ghost, a C-list villain at best, and that may be part of the problem with the issue. Peter gets some good quips in, there is some continued tension with Sajani, but in the end the main story of this issue feels like it is maintaining the status quo…with a little rubble thrown in for flavour. While this issue is not poorly written, the main story is quite predictable and the consequences of Ghost’s terrorism had next to no effect on me. The future of Parker Industries is certainly up in the air, but the dramatic impact of the events of the primary story of the issue didn’t hit home.
The backup story, however, was a great way to close out the comic. The fire I thought the main story was missing? It’s all in the backup, a tale with fire to spare (literally) and a truly ominous way to break before Secret Wars. The Black Cat’s ascension to crime lord has been a fun progression for the character and the lack of danger presented by Ghost is made up for with this vicious look at Felicia Hardy. Black Cat could prove to be a worthy adversary for Peter and the amount she knows about his personal life adds a level of danger to their relationship and her new role. There are fireworks in the few pages of this backup, and I found it to possess all the strong storytelling I wanted from the main tale.
Humberto Ramos’ is as consistent as ever, though I found his work in the backup to be superior to the main tale. He adds sizzle to Felicia’s eyes that was lacking with Ghost, and in the main story there are some awkward panels with Sajani. He closes the issue out on a very strong note with the backup and I look forward to seeing him work more with Black Cat as his style and her look go well together. For the most part, his pencils are exactly what you’d expect from Humberto Ramos working on Amazing Spider-Man by this point, and that is a good thing.
Amazing Spider-Man #18 is a bit of an odd issue in that the backup story eclipses the primary tale, even though the main story includes events that should be surprising and thrilling. Those events unfold in a manner that is a little too straightforward and the main story lacks pizazz, but I’d argue the backup makes up for it. Secret Wars is coming and who knows what the effect on ASM may be, but I’m looking forward to the eventual battle between Felicia and Peter.
The Verdict: 7.0/10