Nick Spencer has been able to recover his run on Amazing Spider-Man after the “Hunted” event fell flat. The thing that has helped is that Spencer has gone back to having fun with writing Spider-Man’s world. This series is at its best when the focus is on Peter Parker’s personal life and how Spider-Man’s foes end up disrupting what Peter is trying to do. Case in point this latest story arc with Spencer diving deeper into the relationship between Peter and his roommate Fred Myers, otherwise known as Boomerang. Not only is Fred a disruptive force but since he also has a target on his back thanks to his run in with Mayor Wilson Fisk it has caused havoc for Peter’s life. That trouble has brought the Sinister Syndicate into Peter’s life not because of Spider-Man but because of what Fred has done as Boomerang. How will things turn out? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #27.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Kev Walker
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Laura Martin
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Peter Parker checks on Aunt May as Boomerang faces down with the Sinister Syndicate, who have blown a hole in the front of F.E.A.S.T. Boomerang tries to act like he is reuniting with old friends but Beetle, Electro, and Lady Octopus all call him for how he has screwed them over in the past. The Sinister Syndicate eventually get tired of Boomerang’s banter and attacks him.
As that happens, Peter rushes to get Aunt May to safety. After locking her in a safe room Peter promises Aunt May to find some help for Boomerang.
The fight between Boomerang and the Sinister Syndicate ends up outside of F.E.A.S.T. Boomerang tries to buy himself time by talking more with the Sinister Syndicate.
This works as Spider-Man shows up to back Boomerang up. The Sinister Syndicate quickly regroup and surround Spider-Man and Boomerang. The efficient teamwork by the Sinister Syndicate overwhelms Spider-Man and Boomerang.
As the fight goes on Spider-Man is forced to catch one of Boomerang’s boomerangs that was thrown wildly. The boomerang ends up releasing knock out gas that causes Spider-Man to pass out. The Sinister Syndicate use this as an opportunity to capture Boomerang and leave Spider-Man behind since he wasn’t their target.
Back at their base the Sinister Syndicate celebrate their successful capture of Boomerang. Beetle and the others tell Eletro that it is only right that she decides what they should do with Boomerang since he sold her out to Kingpin originally. Electro is stunned by this since no one has asked her opinions on what to do before. She then gladly accepts as she has years worth of ideas to use.
Beetle then asks everyone else what their motivations are since she knows that they all have been treated like second-class citizens.. Lady Octopus says that Alistair Symthe once corrected her Theory of Inherited Clone Memory that she wrote. Scorpia says that Rhino is scared to arm wrestle her. White Rabbit talks about how Hawkeye is always hitting on her when she is trying to kill him.
Beetle states that those days are over and that they will takeover the criminal underworld together.
Beetle then takes off. While flying off she contacts Mayor Wilson Fisk to inform him they captured Boomerang and they will hand him over once he pays them. Mayor Fisk says he will quickly pay the Sinister Syndicate since Boomerang stole something precious to him. He says this while staring at a painting of his dead wife Vanessa.
Back outside F.E.A.S.T Aunt May wakes up Spider-Man. Aunt May asks Spider-Man to find Boomerang because she feels Fred has changed. Spider-Man promises to do so.
After Spider-Man leaves Aunt May is left to look at all the damage caused to the front of the F.E.A.S.T building.
While swinging through the city Spider-Man remembers that he once stuck a spider-tracer on Boomerang. Since he knows Fred doesn’t wash his clothes Spider-Man decides to go back to his place to see if he can use the spider-tracer to track Boomerang down.
When Spider-Man gets back to his apartment he is left in shock when he sees Randy Robertson making out with Beetle. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #27 had all the makings of a fun comic book. All the elements were here with how well Nick Spencer wrote all the characters that crossed paths. Unfortunately Spencer derails all the positive points of this issue with a key story decision made at the end of this issue.
Nick Spencer’s work with Boomerang has been one of the most impressive things about his run on Amazing Spider-Man. Boomerang has been a D-list villain at best. That does not change with Amazing Spider-Man #27. What does change is that Spencer is continuing to develop Boomerang into someone that isn’t just one note. With each appearance the Spencer has given the character we are seeing how Boomerang can carry a scene by himself. That is a major improvement after Boomerang has normally filled the role of being a punching bag for superheroes to easily take out.
Spencer gives Boomerang enough personality throughout his interactions with the Sinister Syndicate that you hope that he is developed more. At the same time, Spencer is careful not to fast-track Boomerang into a heroic role. The guy is still an asshole who is only out to benefit himself. That is something Boomerang still needs to grow out of if he is truly going to change. There are hints of that change being the long-term or possibly developing a story where he can be the lead villain of a story for once.
Since Boomerang is such an asshole it is understandable that everyone in the Sinister Syndicate would be more than happy to take a job that involves capturing him. This is a group that is still trying to build their credibility. Even though Boomerang is a small-time villain working for Mayor Wilson Fisk is a step in the right direction for the Sinister Syndicate. The fact that Boomerang has screwed over several of their members in the past made things personal enough to make this a big victory for them.
Adding in Spider-Man to the fight gave further credibility to the Sinister Syndicate. Because with Spider-Man and Boomerang teaming up Spencer was able to highlight the teamwork of the Sinister Syndicate. That is an important thing to establish since normally Spider-Man villain groups aren’t shown working together. They are all normally a group of individual villains who still do there own thing during a fight. Establishing Sinister Syndicate as a dangerous group because of their teamwork helps in separating them from the other villain teams Spencer just put together in “Hunted.”
Amazing Spider-Man #27 also served as a good builder for the respective personalities of the Sinister Syndicate members. Beetle and Electro got the bulk of the good development here. Beetle broke out as the leader of the group and Spencer showed that with how she was able to rally the group together. For Electro, Spencer got us behind her with how we see that she sees this capture of Boomerang as her first big break to be her villainous self.
The other member of the Sinister Syndicate that stood out was she wasn’t the Trapster. Spencer kept her motivation simple and to the point. Having a villain that just revels in being a bad person is something that is rare to have now. Almost every antagonist has to have some form of being able to reform now. So having a villain like Trapster be motivated by just getting rich and doing bad things is actually refreshing to see.
And while he wasn’t a major presence it was good to see Mayor Wilson Fisk be the driving force behind this story. His revenge against Boomerang is very personal to him as the villain stole something that was his wife’s. Now that Mayor Fisk has Boomerang near his grasp it’ll be interesting to see what he does to Boomerang. And given that Spider-Man is tracking Boomerang down this should lead to a fun clash between two long-time foes.
With all that said, the most interesting plotline from this battle between Spider-Man, Boomerang and the Sinister Syndicate was how it affected Aunt May. Seeing F.E.A.S.T’s building be damaged by the fight just as Aunt May reopened it was heartbreaking. It gets you further behind what Aunt May is doing because while she was visibly pissed off it was clear this won’t be keeping her back. This develop makes the reader hope that Aunt May’s F.E.A.S.T is able to recover and become a major success.
Kev Walker delivered some good animated artwork throughout Amazing Spider-Man #27. Along with John Dell’s inking and Laura Martin’s coloring, Walker’s artwork all had a bright and colorful tone to it. It added to how much fun this story with all the banter being thrown around. Walker, Dell and Martin’s combined artwork also helped to show off the various powers and the teamwork within the Sinister Syndicate.
The Bad: Amazing Spider-Man #27 was on track to be a successful issue. Unfortunately Spencer decided to take away some of that success by ending the issue with the unnecessary surprise that Randy Robertson is dating the Beetle. From the moment this ending was shown you could tell this was Spencer just trying to add drama to the story. Unfortunately this soap opera type ending just was not needed.
Especially with how Spencer is trying to build each member of the Sinister Syndicate there was no need to create a greater connection with Spider-Man by having Randy dating one of his villains. This takes away from the unique sub-plot of Boomerang being his roommate. Now it just looks like Beetle is being given a similar storyline since Spencer didn’t know how else to develop her character. That is such a shame because Beetle being developed as a strong leader is all she needed to break out.
But now Spencer is dropping Beetle into a storyline that will just end with the character being dropped into a bunch of drama. With Spider-Man’s reaction and what we know of how these things work out, we know it will end badly. There is no endgame where Randy or Beetle will come out looking better. If Beetle is to get over as a character going all in on her being a villain is what should happen.
Though this was a good showing for the Sinister Syndicate not all the members ended up looking great. Lady Octopus, White Rabbit and Scorpia’s motivations all came across as extremely petty. That is the opposite of development. This was just one major missed opportunity to actually delve into each of their backstories in a meaningful way. It just painted these characters in a corner where their growth will feel more fabricated.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #27 is a comic that was headed to being a standout in Nick Spencer’s run. The Spider-Man and Boomerang vs Sinister Syndicate worked to make all the players involved look good. Unfortunately decisions on the portrayal of certain characters and an unnecessary ending kept Amazing Spider-Man #27 from living up to its full potential.
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