Amazing Spider-Man #592 (Marvel Comics)
by Mark Waid, Mike McKone & Andy Lanning
Best ending to a Spider-Man comic. Ever. OK, maybe I’m overstating it, but man, it was a riot. And everything about this issue seems to revolve around the more extreme, goofy elements in Spider-Man’s world. Mark Waid focuses his attention on the enmity between the title character and ex-newspaper publisher turned New York City Mayor J. Jonah Jameson. Now, I have to admit that I was much more impressed with Brian Michael Bendis’s take on the character recently in Ultimate Spider-Man, but Waid celebrates the stubbornness of the classic take on the character here. One can’t help but be entertained, especially by Spidey’s determination to aggravate his old nemesis. There’s a lot in this script that doesn’t make sense — Peter’s easy acceptance that his life didn’t seem to go off the rails after a two-month absence, for example — but the writing is so much fun, you really won’t notice or care all that much.
Mike McKone’s take on Spider-Man here has the kind of energy and enthusiasm we’ve seen in the past when artists such as John Romita Sr. and the late Mike Wieringo brought the character to life on the page. The one visual element in the book that didn’t quite work for me was the rather ordinary look of JJJ’s mayoral office; I’d expected something more opulent and official in appearance. Also disappointing is the cover art. The regular cover, by Joe Quesada, is too dark and intense in tone as compared to the lighter feel found within, and the “Wolverine Art Appreciation” variant cover has absolutely nothing to do with this story or the title character. Of course, I would imagine that’s true of all the various variant covers adorning Marvel’s titles this month. 7/10