The Amazing Spider-Man #576

Coming once again from a Marvel grab bag, this is another adventure from another hero whose adventures I’d checked out of a few years before this issue was published. I’d bought the occasional Spider-Man book as a kid and loosely followed the titles in the early 1990s, dipping in and out but never amassing anything that resembled a consistent run. When JMS took over the book in the 2000s, I bought the first couple of trades and did really enjoy the first 30-40 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. But by 2008, I was more or less out of comics and had been out of Spidey for at least five years.

This … wouldn’t have brought me back. Written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by Chris Bachalo, it has Spider-Man going up against Hammerhead who is now working with someone called “The Negative Man”, who seems to have shown him a new way of doing things. That new way seems to be really brutal, as Peter is getting the absolute crap kicked out of him throughout much of the book. Simultaneously, he and his partner at The Daily Bugle are looking into things that orbit around this criminal plot.

I’ve always been a fan of Chris Bachalo–his art on Death: The High Cost of Living is outstanding–but this is just terrible. I mean, I’m not the type of person with enough talent to really “judge” art, but where I sometimes see the Bacahlo that I enjoyed seeing in the early 1990s, a lot of it is pretty sloppy. Most importantly, though, the coloring is so muddy that it’s hard to see anything. Everything looks like it was shot with a brown filter or something.

I should probably have a more detailed review here, but I have to say that this reminds me of how tough it was to read comics in the mid- to late-2000s. They were floating back to the ultra-violent books that we were seeing in the early 1990s but this time it seemed to be more graphic and you clearly couldn’t try to give this for a kid. Not that all comics were for kids, but the problem that the big two had for years (and still have to a certain extent) is creating content for all ages. And I’m looking at this and seeing just so much “realistic” violence (read: blood flying everywhere) that I found myself longing for the comics of the 1980s where you could have a storyline like this without all of that. But maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about here and am just showing how old I am.

Keep, Sell, Donate or Trash?


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