Review: Amazing Spider-Man #660

If Spider-Man in the FF is always this much fun, maybe we don't need the Human Torch back after all.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Amazing Spider-Man 660

Much is made of the fact that certain high-profile heroes can be in 400 books and on 400 teams all at the same time.  While Wolverine joins every team ever made, Spider-Man is usually in charge of guest-starring in struggling new books to try and pick up sales – but lately he's giving Logan a run for his money – as well as all the membership cards alongside that money in his wallet.  It may be stretching things a bit thin, but if Spider-Man being in the Future Foundation is always this fun, I hope Johnny Storm never comes back.

The argument can be made that maybe all this FF stuff that's taken over Amazing Spider-Man should actually be in the actual FF book, since it's completely interrupted and derailed Spidey's nervous "nobody dies" breakdown.  It's a fair point, but it's also pretty well understood among the funnybook faithful that the clock is ticking until the inevitable return of the Human Torch, so there's a shelf-life on the time creators will have to tell stories about Spider-Man as an official card-carrying member of the former Fantastic Four.  I, for one, am kinda glad that Dan Slott recognized this and squeezed in some super-fun high adventure while he could, which Mike McKone's art serves rather amazingly.  Or is that fantastically?

In Amazing Spider-Man #660, the FF is pitted against the Sinister Six, who revealed themselves at the end of last issue's zombie-pirate extravaganza that delighted Peter Parker and his childhood love of monster stories.  What promises to be an epic fight fizzles out a bit when they realize they're all just slapping around Mysterio's robot versions of the Six – but the fact that it's all a massive distraction so the new-look Doc Ock can break into the Baxter for something nefarious that I'm sure we'll learn about later.

Events are a bit confusing, but that's mostly because I've just started reading the FF proper, and I don't know who half of these little kidlets are, so I can't quite grok who's doing what and why some of the time, but that's the learning curve of a new book.  I wasn't initially sold on Slott's tweaking of Mysterio to be a money-grubbing criminal with a snarky joie de vivre about his work way back in ASM #618, but after seeing a bit more if it at work here in conjunction with the Six, it seems a bit better than the pathetic loser that Kevin Smith had supposedly offed in his Daredevil run.  He does sport a fishbowl on his head – he should be more fun than sad.

It's cool to see how having a family like the FF around really changes Spider-Man's inner monologue.  When he lets Mysterio and the Chameleon escape in order to save kids from an explosion, he starts to berate himself for being careless, while Susan and Reed both tell him to cut that self-loathing crap out and look at the positives, and Spidey just doesn't know how to respond, other than being completely touched by that kind of compassion and positivity while being unsettled by it at the same time. 

Unfortunately, there's the little coda at the end wrapping up Peter's girlfriend's trust issues far too neatly.  Thankfully, it reveals she wasn't drunk enough to go through with getting a Green Goblin tattoo out of spite, but still never notes that most tattoo artists worth their salt will not ink a drunk in the first place.  Instead, Carlie just got a little Spidey tattoo on her hip, and thus Peter's revved enough to get his mack on.  I guess I'm still not used to the lack of Mary Jane in his life, but if the whole point of drop-kicking her out of the book was for Peter to boff people, they're taking full advantage of that, too.  Thanks, Satan.

Still, there's no sign of when the "nobody dies" storyline and the blue-armored Spidey will continue, since next issue looks like the Avengers Academy is guest-starring with hopes of boosting their sales (which they deserve, since that's a series you should be reading as well).  For regular readers, that must be completely frustrating, but for newcomers like me, it's a hell of a lot more fun to read these adventures than watching the wall-crawler drown in angst again.

Long live the Future Foundation.