The Amazing Spider-Man #795

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Poor

SpiderMan795VCShifting 55,138 copies in March 2018, it’s probably safe to assume that Dan Slott and Christos Gage’s script for Issue Seven Hundred And Ninety Five of “The Amazing Spider-Man” had some of its readers desperately scratching around for this title’s previous edition concerned that they had seemingly missed an instalment which covered both the breakdown of Peter Parker’s relationship with Bobbi Morse and subsequent requirement for him to find new lodgings with Mister Babcock in Brooklyn. Sadly however, rather than being simply a past overlooked panel or two, this dramatic turn of events within the newspaper reporter’s personal life is actually a ‘brand new development’ which is rather lackadaisically explored within this periodical’s twenty-page plot through intermittent flashbacks involving the couple “being stuck together for seven hours” on a flight back from England and finally realising “outside of work… We have absolutely nothing in common whatsoever”

Indeed, the entirety of this second chapter to “Threat Level: Red” seems to smack of a lacklustre attitude towards its story-telling which irreverently skips over the emotional trauma of Aunt May “closing down a charity organisation named in honour of my late husband”, superficially discloses the removal of Stephen Strange as the Marvel Universe’s Sorcerer Supreme courtesy of an Editor’s tiny text box, and never actually makes any mention as to just why Loki Laufeyson supposedly owes the wall-crawler a favour; something upon which the entirety of this comic’s central narrative is based. Such lazy penmanship really must have grated upon the minds of many within this book’s audience, especially as only those who had been fans of the publication for the past fourteen or so years would have had any notion that its storyline follows on from J. Michael Straczynski’s 2004 adventure “Coming Of Chaos”.

Instead, the collaborative writing partnership decide to disingenuously regale any perusing bibliophile with the supposedly humorous suggestion that Spider-Man would need to wear a woollen bobble hat and body warmer whilst web-swinging his way across New York, and then accidentally destroy a cask of containment within the now-floating Sanctum Santorum whilst having a ‘temper tantrum’ with the mansion’s new permanent resident; “Stop crying over spilled bugs and put ‘em back!” Admittedly, the resultant release of the Fire-Wasps of the Faltine and Web-head’s fury-fuelled fisticuffs with “the deadly creatures of magical origin” alongside the God of Mischief, all precisely pencilled by Mike Hawthorne, makes for a pulse-pounding predicament. But the costumed crime-fighter’s sudden decision at the fight’s end to ask the Agent of Asgard to reverse time to “before I broke the vase” so as to return to life an innocent bystander makes the battle’s conclusion appear a little too neat, even if it is later revealed that the entire attack was manufactured by Thor’s stepbrother in order to ensure his debt was paid “to a vacuous idealist who might do something reckless with his leverage…”

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4

Poor

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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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