Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run has been a rollercoaster ride. At its highest point Spencer has delivered some of the best character development we’ve seen from a Spider-Man series in a long time. At the same time, the lows have been very low as Spencer does not always nail the character arcs he is trying to develop over the course of his run on Amazing Spider-Man. That has made this series both a fun and frustrating reading experience at the same time. Now that Spencer is sidelining the Kindred story for now we are seeing him focus on another major story he has been developing, which is the gang war that has brewing in New York City. This is something we have seen developed in both Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man and Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil runs. How will things escalate as Wilson Fisk targets both Spider-Man and Boomerang? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #62.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Mayor Wilson Fisk is shown waiting as he has sent Bullseye to target something Spider-Man loves to keep his nemesis busy.
In the park Fisk’s task force surround Boomerang and Gog. At the same time Bullseye fires a shot that destroys Gog’s suppression collar to force him to change into his giant form.
As Gog goes on a rampage Spider-Man rushes to the park. When he arrives he immediately works with Boomerang to get the collar back on Gog. After quickly fixing the collar he is able to get it on Gog before he gets anywhere. With Gog safe Peter Parker reflects on how much he loves Gog and never thought of being a pet owner before this.
Elsewhere, Robbie Robertson is having dinner with his son, Randy Robertson. Randy tells Robbie about the problems he is having with his current relationship. Robbie tells his son that it is good to have someone that will keep you on your toes.
J. Jonah Jameson suddenly interrupts the Robertson family dinner. Jonah brags about his idea with the Spider-Man suit. Jonah then suggests a partnership between The Daily Bugle and Threats And Menace. Robbie quickly turns down the offer. This pisses Jonah off and calls Robbie out for sticking to his journalist sensibilities. Jonah then storms out.
Over at Mary Jane Watson’s place, Spider-Man leaves Gog with MJ so she can watch him while he goes to help Boomerang take on the people targeting them.
Up on the roof Boomerang blames himself as he knows Fisk is targeting him. He is now motivate more than ever to take down Fisk.
Over at Ravencroft, Wilson Fisk tells the locked up Kindred that he now has Boomerang where he wants him as his anger will make them reckless. Fisk tells Kindred that once he gets the Lifeline Tablet then Kindred’s time will run out.
Elsewhere Tombstone reveals he knows where Boomerang is living as it is the same place as the son of his old enemy, Robbie Robertson. While driving to Boomerang’s place he tells his men that while Peter Parker is off limits they can take out Randy without consequence.
Over at The Daily Bugle, Glory Grant provides Robbie on new pictures that they have on Beetle (Janice Lincoln, Tombtone’s daughter) as they caught her on camera visiting her boyfriend. Robbie is shocked to find Randy making out with Janice Lincoln.
Outside Peter’s apartment, Tombstone climbs the side of the building as he plans to enter the building with his men through the rooftop. When he gets to the roof he is shocked to find his daughter, who has taken off her Beetle mask, making out with Randy. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #62 is an example of how Nick Spencer is at his best when chaotically focused. Developing multiple storylines all at once plays well into what Spencer does best and that is developing a voice for every character he is writing. No character ever comes across as lacking screen time as we get just enough to be invested in what is going on in each scene we experience over the course of Amazing Spider-Man #62.
Having as much as Amazing Spider-Man #62 has going on could be overwhelming. But to Spencer’s credit he takes the challenge of juggling multiple storylines without ever sweating. Instead he uses having so many storylines running at the same time as a way to maximize what takes place in every page. There never feels like a wasted page in Amazing Spider-Man. Which does at times show some of the weaker points of the current story arc but we are quickly moved on from that to focus on much stronger aspects of Spencer’s run.
The dynamic between Spider-Man and Boomerang in particular has really grown since Spencer has started pairing these two up as roommates at the beginning of his run on Amazing Spider-Man. They dynamic has grown to a point that they are able to work together in a seamless fashion that they are able to quickly get Gog back to normal. At the same time, we do see how there is a comfort level that as soon as they get Gog to MJ we get a scene where Boomerang opens himself up to Spider-Man. Even though some of Boomerang’s outburst leans more into being comically angry it all speaks to the relationship he’s built with Spider-Man.
It also works to further connect this storyline with Boomerang to the greater gang war story that is being built around Wilson Fisk’s current plans as Mayor of New York City. Everything that happens in Amazing Spider-Man #62 is all part of Fisk’s greater plan to make sure he maintains control. Fisk calling out Kindred for their past interactions speaks to how there is a growing confidence in the character. Its here that we once again see Fisk going full Kingpin mode as he treats Boomerang, like the crime bosses, as a pawn in the chess game he is playing as Mayor of NYC.
That pacing for how we don’t spend a lot of time with Gog’s rampage sets the tone for the rest of the issue. We move quickly into various stories, like Wilson Fisk’s plot, without ever feeling like anything is overstaying its welcome. The best example of that is the interaction between J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson. Spencer does enough to make Jonah come across a cocky prick to Robbie with how he approached his pitched partnership that you see how much as a reader you enjoy not liking Jonah’s character. He plays the perfect antagonist to different characters as when Jonah has his swag, like with his current success with Threats And Menace, he can’t control how unlikable he unknowingly comes across.
Jonah’s actions complement Robbie’s current status as Editor-In-Chief of The Daily Bugle. This interaction along with what Glory Grant uncovers emphasize how Robbie is still striving to make sure journalistic integrity is being upheld with how the news is being covered. That made the big reveal of Robbie’s son, Randy Robertson, dating Tombstone’s daughter and current Beetle, Janice Lincoln, a big moment. Even though we’ve known this about Janice Lincoln this story has now taken on a whole new meaning. Robbie is now in a spot where he could unintentionally hurt a relationship he was pushing his son to invest in prior to seeing who Randy’s girlfriend was.
Robbie’s discovery of Randy’s relationship with the current Beetle made the discovery by Tombstone about Janice’s current boyfriend at the same time a stronger ending for Amazing Spider-Man #62. It is the exact soap opera ending that Spider-Man fans like to invest in. Tombstone and Robbie’s reaction create even more layers to this story as it is now its upgraded from sub-plot to major storyline in Amazing Spider-Man. It also helps move Tombstone away from just being another player in Wilson Fisk’s current storyline.
Patrick Gleason once again delivered enjoyable artwork with his work on Amazing Spider-Man #62. Gleason’s artwork kept the quick pace of the story in this issue moving forward. There was no time for characters to just rest. There was a constant sense of motion that Gleason got over well. Which was best seen with how Spider-Man quickly rushes to get to Boomerang and Gog. You get the idea that Spider-Man was moving faster than he has before because of how Gleason drew his movements. Gleason also nailed the soap opera ending of Amazing Spider-Man #62 with the shocked expressions of Robbie Robertson and Tombstone when they found out their kids were in a relationship.
The Bad: Not everything was perfect about this issue. As with the previous issue, Amazing Spider-Man #62 does a poor job making the new Spider-Man costume feel game changing. Spencer once again just reminds the reader through J. Jonah Jameson’s dialogue that this is a temporary costume change for Spider-Man. It makes the costume just look forgettable rather than a cool addition to the costumes we have seen before. And it is just a reminder of how Peter Parker didn’t really think through his decision to suddenly turn himself into an influencer as Spider-Man to turn public opinions on him by teaming with the questionable Threats And Menace.
Also, while Gleason’s artwork does a great job showing their connection the fact is we haven’t really spent a lot of time seeing Peter’s relationship with Gog develop very much. After the conflict that introduced Gog as Peter’s pet we went straight into the crisis caused by Sin-Eater and Kindred. There hasn’t been time given to show how close Peter and Gog’s bond has become. This in turn made what Spencer was going for with Peter’s inner monologue about his past opinions about being a pet owner not working as well as intended.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #62 is a fast-paced comic book from beginning to end. There is no time wasted as Nick Spencer develops multiple storylines throughout this issue. The pacing ends up working to the advantage of the storyline as even when there are some weak parts in the story we don’t spend to much time on those moments. We quickly move on to focus on the more interesting aspects of the current storyline involving Spider-Man, Boomerang, Wilson Fisk, and other characters. The end result leaves you looking forward to what comes next in Spencer’s run on this series.
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