Comic Review: Amazing Spider-Man #4


Amazing Spider-Man #4

Writer: Nick Spencer

Penciller: Ryan Ottley

Inker: Cliff Rathburn

Colorist: Laura Martin

The Story

More zoo scenes that show us something is coming, but we don’t know yet. Peter spends most of Amazing Spider-Man #4 lamenting that his life isn’t that great. His problem is that he's too helpful. He's the hero, but his Spider-Man counterpart is living it up as a celebrity. This feels like a white person problem. We spend panels on him deciding not to accept money from Aunt May. Stop whining, Peter! Count your blessings.

Some unfortunate and undeserving lab mice have died to set up a plot point. This issue reveals interesting science-ish developments that will create a more complex relationship between Spider-Man and Peter.

Peter and Spider-Man's reunification feels inevitable by the completion of the arc. Wouldn’t it be cool if the unexpected happen though and they’re split for much longer?

The Review

There are references in this issue that’s going to make the book seem dated soon. Subreddits? Uper Hero? It already feels old by the end of the panel.

There's not too much fallout from the Tri-Sentinel mess this issue. But, Spider-Man manages to level pretty key parts of the city.

This issue introduces Mendel Stromm as the next villain. The dialogue here is a little over the top.

The reader already knows that Mendel is a second-string Spidey villain. If you didn’t know, it’s obvious from the way he talks about himself. But we get this explained to us anyway through a history lesson. These are the moments where Nick Spencer’s writing feels more heavy handed than it needs to be.

Once someone says they’re the greatest archenemy, doesn’t it mean they usually aren’t? Either way the exposition slows the story down.

That’s the thing about this arc of Amazing Spider-Man so far. It’s a slow burner, or a no burner depending on how things go. This doesn’t feel great, because we don’t know how big the pay off will be, or if there is one at all.

It means we have to have faith that Nick Spencer has something in store. If not, this won't be a stand out comic, even though it is a solid Spider-Man story so far. None of us have forgotten Secret Empire.

Peter’s superhero other half has turned into an asshole too. But he's an asshole in the way that a lot of the Marvel characters are: flippant and annoying.

The art by Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Laura Martin is consistently great. My only thing about the art is the character styles and facial expressions. Something about the way Ottley draws Peter and Aunt May is off putting to me.

Ottley shines with action scenes, and I hope there’s more to come in the remaining arc issues. For now, the story feels a little too slow paced for the creative team to shine as much as they could.


Read Amazing Spider-Man if you like Spider-Man. It’s one of the better Spider-Man titles out currently and also the most consistent. The plot and conflict aren’t striking yet, but I have faith the story will pick up soon. Until then we have classic Spider-Man story.

7.5 out of 10 crispy carrot sticks.