After the “Hunted” storyline completely derailed Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man things have started to slowly get back on track. Spencer has once again started to lay the groundwork for the next phase of his run on Amazing Spider-Man. The two part tie-in story for Absolute Carnage was surprisingly well handled. Specifically when it came to creating genuine interest around the major plotline around Kindred. Now with that interest built Spencer looks to build up Spider-Man 2099’s sudden appearance in the current Marvel Universe timeline. What does Spider-Man 2099’s presence in the present mean for Peter Parker’s future? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #32.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Coming in and out of consciousness Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara) remembers the fire he teleported in at Astorania Oil Complex. Lyla (Spider-Man 2099’s digital personal assistant program) tells Spider-Man 2099 to wake up. Spider-Man 2099 wakes up to find himself being experimented on by Roxxon Industry scientist.
Elsewhere Roxxon Industry executives talk about the crisis at hand after the oil refinery explosion. One of the executives switches subjects to Spider-Man 2099. He says that the Spider-Man they found is from the year 2099 and that they can use him to make new discoveries.
Over at one of Empire State University’s library Peter Parker thinks about recent events with MJ moving to Los Angeles, Mayor Wilson Fisk continuing his actions against Spider-Man and Kindred showing up.
Kel and Derrick (Peter’s classmates and team members for a group project) get Peter to get out of his daydream. Derrick tells Peter not to think about plagiarizing again and placing his name on the work.
Jamie (the other member of Peter’s group project) tells Derrick to back-off. Jamie shows Peter the Webware Watch that Parker Industries created. Jamie reveals that he has gotten it working again though it is still buggy. Jamie throws Peter a backhanded compliment for the Webware and his intentions.
They then get back to their group project involving the accelerator problem. Peter mentions they could use cloning tech to supplement the gaps, though it will be risky. Kel thinks that is a good idea.
Suddenly the fire alarm goes off. The library worker tells everyone to evacuate the library.
As Peter is about to leave he is pulled to the side by Teresa Parker. Peter realizes Teresa pulled the fire alarm and says she could tried texting him to get his attention. Teresa says there is no time because she needs him for something.
Later that night Spider-Man joins Teresa for a stakeout that involves monitoring Chameleon (who killed Teresa’s romantic interest back in Amazing Spider-Man #29). They discover that Chameleon is giving The Foreigner viles of the Infinity Formula as part of a business deal.
Spider-Man and Teresa immediately break up the deal. The Foreigner sends several Jack O’Lanterns to fight Spider-Man and Teresa. Spider-Man and Teresa are able to defeat all of the Jack O’Lanterns.
While Teresa goes after Chameleon, who is running away, Spider-Man stays behind to deal with The Foreigner. Spider-Man tries to do his usual banter with The Foreigner, who does not put up with it. Spider-Man and The Foreigner then commence to fight, trading blows evenly.
As the fight goes on Spider-Man is shot from behind. While on the ground recovering Spider-Man finds out the person who shot him was Silver Sable.
Elsewhere, in a lab, Spider-Man 2099 asks Lyla where he is. Lyla reminds Spider-Man 2099 about something that happened in his timeline that is being called “The End of Everything” and that Spider-Man 2099 went to look for help.
Spider-Man 2099 realizes he came to look for Peter’s help. He immediately breaks out of his confinement and rushes out of the lab. Some Roxxon guards and brutes attack Spider-Man 2099 while he is running. Spider-Man 2099 continues to focus on escaping. He is eventually successful in breaking through some glass.
Spider-Man 2099 tries to cling onto another building but his powers do not work. This causes to Spider-Man 2099 to fall from several stories onto a taxi. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #32 is a tale of two separate storylines. At least in this first part, the two storylines don’t show visible signs of coming together. The lack of cohesion ends up hindering how well each story is built. That leads to a lot of rushing from both stories that Nick Spencer ends up telling.
While both storylines are rushed Spencer is able to use recent arcs involving Teresa Parker to strengthen her ongoing storyline. Since being brought into being a bigger part of Peter Parker’s life it has been a struggle to build Teresa up as part of Spider-Man’s overall supporting cast. There is a lot about the character that brings on unnecessary confusion to Peter’s family history.
But to Spencer’s credit used the time he and Chip Zdarsky have put into developing Teresa’s character to make her interaction with Peter be at its best in Amazing Spider-Man #32. There is a natural back-and-forth that is now established between Peter and Teresa. In there quick meeting at the ESU library Spencer was able to put over what their relationship is without either one going into what is going on.
Which made the quick transition to the stakeout mission that follows up on what Chameleon is up work even better. We already know how personal things are with Chameleon right now. Peter also knows this and understands that he needs to be Teresa’s back-up since Chameleon is incredibly dangerous. Adding in the fact that Chameleon now has his hands on the Infinity Formula makes him an even bigger threat.
Adding in the Foreigner and Jack O’Lanterns to the mix made the entire thing even more chaotic. It firmly establishes how crucial it is for Teresa and Spider-Man to capture Chameleon as he is willingly giving other villains viles of the Infinity Formula for money. Now there is a greater urgency in stopping Chameleon than there has been in a long time.
Silver Sable popping up and shooting Spider-Man in the back was a solid hook ending to this portion of Amazing Spider-Man #32. Anytime Silver Sable shows up she provides a wild card presence to a story. Why she is suddenly working with Chameleon and the Foreigner adds to how Spencer is going for more of spy tone to this particular story involving Teresa Parker.
Spencer also continues to work in Peter’s new life as an ESU student well. We are still seeing how Peter continues to deal with the clout of being seen as a plagiarizer due to things out of his control during the Superior Spider-Man era. Interacting with other ESU students in a group project setting is a strong challenge to present to Peter.
While his teammates pushed the fallout of the plagiarizing scandal and failings of Parker Industries we see that Peter is able to show just how intelligent he is. Bringing up cloning as the solution for their group project’s problem was also a nice touch to bring in Peter’s history into his studies. It’s the type of thing that will help Peter regain not only his credibility but confidence in his ability that he has lost after everything that happened to him professionally.
Patrick Gleason was right at home drawing Amazing Spider-Man #32. Even when we are in the middle of talking heavy scenes Gleason has a nice flow panel-to-panel to keep the conversation going. All the artwork complimented the dialogue well. Gleason’s artwork was even better during the action scenes involving Spider-Man, Teresa Parker, Chameleon, the Foreigner and Jack O’Lanterns. They all had a steady flow, even for how short they all were.
The Bad: While the Spider-Man and Teresa Parker scenes work well the same can’t be said for the plot around Spider-Man 2099. The entire story with Spider-Man 2099 came across as an extended back-up story the started and bookended Amazing Spider-Man #32. The connection between this story and what Peter Parker is doing is very thin.
The thin connection between the two storylines made the Spider-Man 2099 scenes come across as extremely forced. It was almost as though Spencer meant Spider-Man 2099’s story to be running as a back-up story for the last few issues of Amazing Spider-Man. But since that did not happen Spencer crammed all the back-up stories into the nine pages Spider-Man 2099’s story got.
Making Spider-Man 2099’s story weaker is that Spencer did not try to make it a mystery as to why he is in the present. We learn everything about how Spider-Man 2099 is in the present because of a disaster in his future timeline that was caused by Doctor Doom 2099. Presenting those visuals right away made the splash page comes across as an advertisement for the upcoming 2099 comics Marvel is going to publish. All of that does not help the investment level of Spider-Man 2099 or the 2099 continuity as a whole.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #32 has a solid story revolving Peter Parker and Teresa Parker clash with the Chameleon and other Marvel villains. Nick Spencer does show that he has a firm grasp on the current state of Peter Parker’s personal and Spider-Man life. Unfortunately the secondary story that is picked up from Amazing Spider-Man #25 involving Spider-Man 2099 comes across as forced in rather than a natural part of the ongoing narrative for this series. The disconnect between these two stories hurt the overall impact Amazing Spider-Man #32 has.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our Instagram feed. Catch up with all of Kevin’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.