Amazing Spider-Man has been on a roll these past few months. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was disappointed by an Amazing Spider-Man issue. This series feels like it is quickly returning to the great title it once was. And after his last story arc, “American Son,” I have great expectation for Kelly’s newest Amazing Spider-Man story especially with the return of Black Cat in this issue. Let see if Amazing Spider-Man #606 can be another good read.
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Mike McKone
Inker: Andy Lanning
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin somewhere in a house in the New York’s Upper East Side were Madame Web is being held captive. The girl that attacked her (see Amazing Spider-Man #600) enters her room and gives her a drug so that the girl’s master, Mister Anansi, can see what the Spider (-Man) is doing. Madame Web pleads God to help her.
In Peter and Michele’s apartment, Michele is dumping all of Peter’s stuff down the garbage disposal much to Peter’s chagrin. Peter asks what is wrong with her. Michele says he deserves it for playing mind games with her.
Peter thinks that this is the reason God created coffee. He then tries to give Michele the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech which only pisses her off even more. (Ouch, it’s never a good idea to give the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. Peter better be wearing a cup.)
Norah then walks in telling Peter to hug her and about the Osborn story she has been waiting to publish (Amazing Spider-Man #596-599). Michele tries to say something but Norah tells her to give her and Peter some privacy unless she is her mother. This pisses Michele off even more and Michele starts to think that Norah is the reason Peter isn’t into her.
Norah and Michele start trading insults when MJ walks in. Peter not knowing it is MJ yells at her to go away. When he sees it’s MJ he tries to get her not go leave but MJ does and slams the door behind her.
Michele goes to take a shower and Norah goes to Peter’s room both yelling at Peter as they do so. We then see all of Peter’s stuff that was in the trash compactor on fire (Hey if Peter doesn’t like having three hot girls after him than I’ll gladly trade lives with him ;)).
We cut to later that night were Peter, as Spider-Man, has just caught a purse snatcher and is swinging him across the city to get him to the police station. While they are swinging through the city, Spider-Man uses the guy as his own personal psychologist telling him everything that happened to him earlier in the morning. The guy is barely paying attention as he screams and tells Spider-Man that he is crazy.
The pole Spider-Man hung the guy on breaks. Spider-Man dives after him telling the guy not to tell the mayor (Jameson) about this or he’ll get billed for it. Spider-Man catches the guy and tries to use one of his web shooters but it suddenly breaks. Spider-Man tries to use the other web-shooter but it breaks as well.
The two of them fall onto the roof of an apartment. The guy falls into a pool while Spider-Man hits the ground.
Spider-Man tries to figure out what happened but Black Cat appears and greets him. He figures Black Cat’s bad luck powers are back but Black Cat calls them “Hilarity Ensues” powers (This is the new name for these powers from now on.)
Spider-Man does his usual banter by telling Black Cat if he should send her a bill for his chiropractor. Black Cat asks him how was jail (Amazing Spider-Man #587-588). Spider-Man says sorry but that he was busy with the (World) War (Hulk) and (Secret) Invasion and says under his breath he shouldn’t have trusted Daredevil to do that job.
Black Cat says that she is glad that Spider-Man hasn’t grown up since he dumped her. She advices him to settle down with a nice girl and have kids. Spider-Man asks if she is still bitter. Black Cat says she is not.
A few seconds later, Black Cat breaks into an apartment with Spider-Man following her. Peter asks her how are she and Puma doing. Black Cat says that because of his control issues she broke up with him.
Black Cat then enters the apartment saying she has to work. Spider-Man goes in with her saying he thought she was a detective now. Black Cat responds by saying “Amazing what happens when you drop out of someone’s life.”
They then to through a bunch of lasers that are guarding the apartment and reach a big picture. Spider-Man sees that the picture is of Dexter Bennett, owner of The DB. Black Cat tells Spider-Man to calm down. Black Cat opens a secret vault behind the picture. Inside the vault is a dead man with cement coming out of his stomach.
Black Cat takes something out of the vault. Spider-Man tries to take the dead guy out of the vault but as soon as he touches him a bunch of bullets and spikes shoot out of the vault at Spider-Man and Black Cat.
They are both able to dodge all the traps and get into the next room. Suddenly, Diablo appears and throws some explosives at the two of them.
Outside the apartment, the thief Spider-Man caught earlier finally recovers. Spider-Man then flies out of the apartment because of the explosion and accidently pushes the guy into the pool again. Black Cat then appears and lands on top of Spider-Man. They both recover and Black Cat leaves saying she had a ball and she will see him next time.
The two of them stop swinging and talk on another roof. Black Cat says even though she has forgotten who is under the mask that everything she felt from their previous relationship came back and she was trying to avoid it.
Black Cat lifts Spider-Man mask up a bit and leans in to kiss him. As the two of them kiss the building next to them is a TV network and a reporter notices them kissing and tells her cameraman to shoot the kiss live.
They project the kiss between Spider-Man and Black Cat on one of the big screens in New York for everyone on the street below to see. Among those that see the kiss is MJ. MJ is shocked at what she is seeing. End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #606 was another fun read. No one writes Spider-Man like Joe Kelly does. He just nails everything that is great about this title. Kelly does a great job mixing the comedy and drama into this issue especially with very little action happening.
The opening scene with Peter, Michele, Norah, and MJ was a great way to set the tone of this issue. Sometimes it is hard to feel bad for Peter when he has all these great looking women after him, something Chameleon pointed out in the last arc. But Kelly does a nice job making you feel bad for Peter by putting him in a no win situation with all three women. All the comedy in this scene works very well except for one specific line which I’ll get to later.
At the beginning I didn’t like Michele but I am starting to like her character much more now. And that is credit to some nice writing of her character. The relationship between her and Peter continues to be more interesting and has inserted some hilarious moments each time there are scenes between the two.
I also like that the Spider-Man Brain Trust is not overloading us with scene after scene with MJ in them. Many times when a big character like MJ returns to a title we are bombarded with scenes with the character and showing us how great they are. And I like the approach the Spider-Man Brain Trust are taking with the character much more as the scenes with MJ are being kept at a minimum. MJ only appeared for two panels in this issue and both times she showed up were very effective especially the ending with her seeing Spider-Man and Black Cat kissing.
And I like how Peter went out as Spider-Man used the purse snatcher he caught and was taking to the police as his own psychiatrist to let out his personal problems. The scene was perfect as Peter let out all his frustrations on the poor guy who was scared to death with Spider-Man swinging him through the city.
Now the real highlight of the issue was the returning character on the cover for this issue: Black Cat. I am going to admit Black Cat is among my favorite comic book characters and I especially love it when I see her appear in a Spider-Man issue. Anytime she appears it always brings some great dialogue between her and Peter. Kelly picks up on this as his writing really shines in the scenes between Spider-Man and Black Cat that take up the majority of the issue after the opening scene.
And I like that Kelly did not just regressed Black Cat’s character back to the slutty character she was back when she first appeared. Instead he presented us a Black Cat that still has all that development she previously had. While I am a bit mad that she does not know Peter is Spider-Man Kelly did do a good job showing us that Black Cat is still not the same as she was before and that her relationship with Spider-Man is very similar to the one they had pre-OMD. And even though the ending was predictable it is still a great way to end the issue and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next issue between Peter, Felicia, and MJ.
Also I loved the renaming of Black Cat’s bad luck powers to being called “Hilarity Ensues” powers. That has to be the new permanent name for those powers.
I also liked about this issue is the first page with Madame Web. As we saw she is now being kept as a prisoner of the mysterious Mister Anasi and the kid who are interested in keeping an eye on Spider-Man. This is good way to continue the big storylines that the Spider-Man Brain Trust are building towards with The Gauntlet and Spider Hunt storylines. It will be interesting to see were the Spider-Man Brain Trust are taking this title as the Peter’s personal and Spider-Man lives get more problematic.
Mike McKone provided some great artwork in this issue. McKone artwork is a perfect fit for Amazing Spider-Man as he does a good job with all the comedy in this issue. His artwork really helped make all of Kelly’s dialogue in this issue even better. And much credit to his inker and colorist Andy Lanning and Chris Chuckry for making all of McKone’s artwork work even better.
The Bad: While I wasn’t offended by the comment that Norah made to Michele about eating rice and beans and ensalada (salad) I can see some people being offended by it. I don’t think Kelly meant it to be a racist comment but to some it might look that way. Sometimes it is better not to go with lines like this to avoid it becoming a big deal of having a character look racist in the eyes of some even if it was meant for comedic purposes.
Also I didn’t get why MJ left after Peter mistakenly yelled at her. I’ve never seen MJ to be so sensitive that someone yelling at her by mistake would offend her so much she would get pissed off. It was a bit of a weird moment and did not feel like an in-character move for MJ.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #606 was another great read. Amazing Spider-Man has really become a title that I look forward to reading month in month out. With its usual three week a month schedule there is not much waiting time between issues. I look forward to seeing the conclusion of this two-part story on Wednesday. If you have yet to give Amazing Spider-Man a try or come back to this title I recommend picking up this issue along with the last few story arcs as this title has been very good.