Up until now the Spider-Man Beyond direction has all been about building up Ben Reilly’s credibility as the current Spider-Man. This focus has produced mix results when it comes to the type of stories we’ve gotten thus far. But now after seven issues that have focused on Ben Reilly’s exploits as Spider-Man it is time to check back in with how Peter Parker is doing. Last time we saw him Peter was in a coma-like state as the radiation poisoning continues to ravage his system. What will this spotlight on Peter’s updated condition reveal about the future of the Spider-Man Beyond direction? Let’s find out with Amazing Spider-Man #82.
Beyond Board: Kelly Thompson, Cody Ziglar, Saldin Ahmed, Patrick Gleason, Zeb Wells
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Colorist: Dan Brown
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: After coming out of his coma Peter Parker is returned to his hospital rom. There he meets his one of the other patients located in the room named Rico Sotomayer.
Mary Jane Watson visits Peter, who is still in great pain. They suddenly overhear Rico’s wife complaining about her husband sudden disappearance. Overhearing this Peter believes the orderly is lying to Rico’s wife about his status. MJ says she will look into what is going on.
Later a mysterious orderly takes another patient away. Peter tries to tell the orderly he’s made a mistake. The mysterious orderly responds by also taking Peter, who ends up passing out due to the immense pain he is still suffering from, to a special part of the hospital.
In a decommissioned part of the hospital, the mysterious orderly is revealed to be a carnivorous creature who has been eating patients in the hospital. MJ suddenly appears before the creature can eat Peter and she is able to cause the creature to burn with the flashlight on her phone, as it is weak to light.
The creature then chases after MJ. MJ is able to lead the creature to an operating room. Once inside MJ turns on all of the lights in the room which causes the creature to be incinerated.
Elsewhere, in the sewers, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight are on a mission assigned to them by Maxine Danger. Their tracker leads them into a confrontation against The Lizard. End of issue.
The Good: There is a real art to doing this type of storytelling and it is something that Saladin Ahmed and Jorge Fornes absolutely nail what they are going for here. This isn’t simply a check up on what is going on with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. There was a story to be told at the hospital that would’ve never been uncovered if Peter and MJ weren’t there. When creators tap into that sense of discovery with a story you know they did something right. And that is exactly what Ahmed and Fornes did with Amazing Spider-Man #82.
The strength of the story in Amazing Spider-Man #82 is the connection the reader has to Peter Parker. We know at the moment that Peter has been taken out of commission due to the radiation poisoning he is suffering from. Both Ahmed’s writing and Fornes artwork do a great job driving home the serious health problem Peter is currently in. There is a feeling this is not a short-term crisis for the character. Its in this area that Fornes artwork in particularly shines because the pain on the face whenever Peter uses up all of the little strength he has to simply sit up is tough to watch.
This whole situation with Peter made the horror-mystery tone Amazing Spider-Man #82 hit. Already having the worry for Peter’s health on top of patients mysteriously disappearing created a sense of suspense. Ahmed and Fornes not trying to trick the reader by showing through both the writing and visuals that one of the orderlies was behind the disappearance was a smart play. It allowed the horror aspects of the story to shine as you grow increasingly concerned for what happens when Peter is taken.
The orderly turning out to be an unnamed creature was also a nice play. The villain behind the story of Amazing Spider-Man #82 being one we already know about would’ve made the story not feel as dark as it did. The nameless creature helped the emphasis be on how Peter and MJ would make it out of this problem.
And MJ being the one to overcome the creature was great to see. She has been through going up against various villains in the past. So fighting this nameless creature isn’t something that would make her shut down in fear. Even if she was scared MJ’s ingenuity took over as she was able to figure out how to defeat the creature on her own. This all just further emphasizes how strong of a character MJ is and that she’ll always be there to help out Peter.
The final pages of Amazing Spider-Man #82 did an effective job teasing the next storyline for this series centering around the Lizard. Based on the state Colleen Wing and Misty Knight found the Lizard in it looks like he will be positioned as a villain rather than the sympathetic Curt Connors. Which would be a change from recent years. Hopefully that is a story told in the main Amazing Spider-Man issues rather than the side .Beyond comics we’ve been getting.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #82 is an example of how you maximize the page count you are given for a comic book to tell one complete story. There is a deep investment a strong investment that Saladin Ahmed and Jorge Fornes are able to create with this mystery story. This is easily my favorite comic book issue of the Spider-Man Beyond direction thus far.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.