What could be better than Spider-Man?
How about Spider-Man in space?
Welcome to Dan Slott’s latest staggeringly good chronicle of everyone’s favorite web head. There have been a few so-so issues to get to this point, but Slott’s back in true form alongside co-writer Chris Yost, showing us why he is one of the best writers’ in comics right now. There’s a storm coming that involves Doc Ock and his Sinister Six. We were introduced to it several issues ago and then it fell by the wayside. Here’s where we reconnect, where Dan Slott brings his story arc back into the main Spider-Man fold.
There is no better way to start a comic book than with J. Jonah Jameson. Whether spewing orders or yelling or talking to his astronaut son at Horizon Labs, Jameson is always the man. Jonah’s son, John, is currently aboard a space station and the tender father son moment is happening at Horizon labs, where Peter Parker works. Suddenly, the screen goes blank and the connection is lost. What happened to John? Was there trouble aboard the space station? The only man to answer these questions is Spider-Man. Well, sort of.
The next two pages of Amazing Spider-Man #680 could be some of the funniest I’ve read in years. Spidey swings to the Baxter Building to enlist the help of the Fantastic Four in finding out what happened to John Jameson. Instead of the greatest team in comic book history, Spidey finds Johnny Storm dressed like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, sliding across the floor and singing to the radio. Instead of “Old Time Rock N Roll” Mr. Storm is listening to “Friday” by Rebecca Black.
I’ll repeat that.
A horrified Spider-Man watches as Johnny Storm sings “Friday” by Rebecca Black at top volume. The resulting banter between the two heroes is comic book gold. Nobody writes dialog like this. Nobody gets comic books like Dan Slott. I re-read these two pages five or six times, just reveling in how good they were. The banter doesn’t let up as the two heroes rocket to John Jameson’s space station. Aboard they discover the first inkling of Doc Ock’s sinister plan. Slott and Yost only let us see what the heroes see. Doc Ock’s endgame remains shrouded in secrecy. Spidey and Storm find John Jameson as well as a zombie crew being controlled by the tentacle leader of the Sinister Six.
The writing in Amazing Spider-Man #680 is flawless. The dialog, the banter, the serious sections and the adventure – it all lines up perfectly. Even the small scene between J. Jonah Jameson and Horizon Labs leader Max Modell is powerful. You can tell the problem between the two men will have ramifications for Peter Parker as well. By the end of the issue, you’re fully hooked into the story line.
Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art is the only Achilles' heel. Camuncoli isn’t bad, but his art isn’t great. The main problem are human heads, which have the same square jaw, flat head look to them. J. Jonah Jameson constantly looks like the top of a constipated totem pole. Camuncoli has a nice sense of action and definite strong lines in his work. The faces are just hard to get past as are some of the sloppier background pencils. Nothing here is offensive, I just wanted better art for such a tremendous story line.
CraveOnline Rating: 8/10 (5, Story. 3, Art)