Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artwork: Gerardo Sandoval
Colours: Edgar Delgado & Erick Arciniega
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 10th April 2019 (available on ComiXology)
Considering that Nick Spencer’s narrative for issue nineteen of The Amazing Spider-Man focuses on a plethora of the titular character’s most notorious arch-villains, most notably the Vulture and the Rhino, this comic’s 74,018 strong audience must have been disappointingly surprised at the plot’s pedestrian pace. For whilst Peter Parker’s black-suited alter-ego invariably ends up scuffling with Aleksei Sytsevich, as well as battling against a pack of Hunter-bots, these confrontations are so tantalisingly brief and unsatisfyingly short-lived, that they arguably needn’t have been included at all.
Indeed, in many ways this third instalment of the Spencer’s Hunted story arc seems to have been purely penned simply to push along the multi-edition event’s numerous secondary threads. This scattershot approach sees it rather haphazardly dipping into the Black Cat’s incarceration with Billy Connors, the Last Son of Kraven’s unhappiness at his father’s grand scheme, Adrian Toomes’ laughably dishonest attempt to seize control of the Savage Six, the Rhino’s palpable anger at being previously ‘betrayed’ by Spider-Man when Web-head rescued Aunt May rather than save the super-strong Sytsevich from the clutches of the Taskmaster, and Tony Master’s ‘off-screen’ capture of the Lizard.
Of course, all these insights into this storyline’s impressively large supporting cast are both noteworthy and fairly diverting, especially Felicia Hardy’s use of her bad luck probability power to have her cell’s hapless guard molested by a savagely-fanged wild cat. But such a choppy goulash of so many dialogue-heavy scenes and sedentary sequences debatably makes this twenty-page periodical a somewhat tediously tiring, rambling read; “Let them see the Kravinoff Family name restored through bloodshed. Show them what we are capable of. Show them what you are capable of.”
Providing some glimmer of light however, is Gerardo Sandoval’s artwork, which successfully imbues even the most monotonous of monologues with a modicum of dynamism and emotion. The Vulcan’s earnest power play beneath one of Central Park’s fifty bridges is a good example of this, as the Mexican illustrator provides Toomes with all the physical animation the former electrical engineer needs for his argument to appear compelling when contrasted to Spidey’s unconvincingly delivered counterclaim that the professional criminal is unfit to lead simply because he’s an untrustworthy fraud.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]