With the opening arc of the series in the rearview mirror, and the beginning of Spider-Verse still a month a way, Dan Slott splits the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man into two wildly different stories. The creative team uses the opportunity presented by having two stories to provide readers with a fun tale that features a historical team-up with one of Marvel’s newest sensations while being able to keep the forward momentum heading into the biggest Spider-Man event in recent memory. The end result is another solid issue in what has been a long line of quality issues for the title.
The lead story plotted by Slott, and scripted by frequent collaborator Christos Gage features part one of a two part story that sees Spider-Man team-up with the new Ms. Marvel for the very first time. As expected, the results are a lot of fun. When Ms. Marvel first launched earlier this year the adventures of Kamala Khan felt more like the early trials and tribulations of Peter Parker than arguably any comic book series Marvel has ever published. It was clear early on that the characters would work quite well together, and many readers have been waiting for the two to meet. The historic team-up isn’t some overly hyped meeting that Marvel has tried to turn into some big event, and in a way it feels a bit inconsequential. What Slott and Gage are able to do however is keep to the spirit of both the Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel characters by delivering a fun story that harkens back to some of the classic Marvel Team-Up issues. This is highlighted by the perfect title for the story, Ms. Marvel Team-Up.
While the meeting of the two characters may be looked at as an important moment years from now, the story itself is a light romp that highlights the best of both Peter and Kamala. The story features Doctor Minerva trying to steal an Inhuman cocoon while impersonating Captain Marvel, and both heroes find themselves on the case. The plot itself is a nice tie-in to the origins of Kamala’s powers, but it’s really the characters that shine. Gage, having handled the writing duties on Avengers Academy, has shown that he is able to write teenagers very well. His handling of Ms. Marvel is no different. Whether it be Kamla not feeling completely comfortable with her powers, or her reaction to meeting Spider-Man she comes off just as loveable and awesome as she does in her own series. The plot is a bit on the light side because of the backup, and it is hard to tell how much more they will be able to tell next issue. The important part is that Slott and Gage found the opportunity to to fit this extremely fun meeting between Spider-Man and the new Ms. Marvel in before the epicness of Spider-Verse kicks in next month.
Whereas the opening story is lighthearted, the Edge of Spider-Verse backup is anything but. In Edge of Spider-Verse: Web of Fear we are formally introduced to Spider-UK, one of the newest recruits of the Captain Britain Corps. He Billy Braddock of Earth-833, and he feels that something is off with the Omniverse. As he scans the Omniverse in the Watchtower Scrying room he is horrified to see Morlun and his family slaughtering “Spiders” from different universes. One of these incidents in particular will be of note for long time fans, as Earth-1983 (a nice joke with the designation) features a few recognizable faces meeting their demise. After reading this story it is clear that Billy Braddock was introduced to readers in Amazing Spider-Man proper, and not the spinoff miniseries for a reason. It looks as if Spider-UK is being setup to play an important role in the coming months thanks to the Captain Britain Corps, and their duty to protect the Omniverse. There’s also a tie-in to the events of Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers that was not only a nice touch of continuity, but also played an important role in thrusting Billy into what should be an important role in the upcoming event. Overall, the second story was the Yin to the first story’s Yang. The two complimented each other nicely, with the art of Giuseppe Camuncoli tying them together with his beautiful art.
As I mentioned in my review of issue one all the way back in April, Giuseppe Camuncoli has quickly become one of the go to Spider-Man artists. The way he handles both stories in this issue by slightly altering his style in each is just further proof of this becoming more and more true. The first half of the issue was highlighted by an absolutely wonderful rendition of Ms. Marvel. Kamala hasn’t been around very long, but Camuncoli’s take on her using her powers while running through the streets is the best take on the character that I’ve seen, this side of Ms. Marvel’s Adrian Alphona. The art really fits the tone of the story as inker Cam Smith, color artist Antonio Fabela are able to make Camuncoli’s pencils pop off the page in conjunction with the lighter feel of the script.
The real beauty is when you compare the art of the two stories, and realize the styles are different, but equally as impressive. If I didn’t know better from the credits, one would be able to convince me that the stories were done by different artistic creative teams. In Web of Fear, the only change in artists is to the color artist, as Edgar Delgado takes over, but the style takes a dramatic turn. Here, Camuncoli channels his best Alan Davis to tackle the Captain Britain Corps. This is especially clear on the pages featuring Lady Roma and Majestrix Saturnyne. The way that the art is able to go from light and fun in the first story to some great shots of Morlun’s devastation shows how well-rounded Camuncoli and the rest of the art team are. All of this is just another testament to how they are able to tweak their style to match what is best for the script.
The strengths of Amazing Spider-Man #7 are also its biggest faults, as both stories are thoroughly entertaining, but one can’t help but wish there was more of each. The way the creative team was able to tell the first meeting of Peter and Kamala while keeping the Spider-Verse momentum going was impressive. Even more impressive is that they were able to do so with the biggest complaint being that there should have been more of these stories. With that said, there will be more of Ms. Marvel in the next issue, and Spider-UK seems poised to play a big role in the coming months, so there’s not much to complain about.
The Verdict: 8.5/10