Review – The Amazing Spider-Man #71 (Marvel)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artwork: Federico Vicentini, Federico Sabbatini
Colours: Alex Sinclair
Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 28th July 2021
While Sinister War #1 felt like a friendly (neighborhood?) introduction to Spidey’s current status quo as almost all of his rogues gallery came crashing together at the exact same time, this issue feels a lot more like jumping in at the deep end as new readers are bombarded with episode references and flashbacks aplenty. Don’t get me wrong, this approach is definitely invaluable in terms of bringing a lapsed Spidey-fan like myself up to speed, but it does feel like a noticeable departure from the immediacy of the first chapter.
As expected, Mysterio is set to feature prominently in this arc, so it’s definitely wise to present readers with a recap of the chaotic series of events that have brought him to this point. Death, resurrection, duplicity, redemption… it all makes for an enjoyable read, and Kindred’s haunting narration which bookends the issue adds some real gravitas to the events as they unfold.
Visually, the Federico partnership of Vicentini and Sabbatini combine to do a solid enough job, although the transition between the pair does feel a little jarring, with Sabbatini’s slightly heavier approach not quite flowing consistently from Vicentini’s finely detailed work. It also probably doesn’t help that the latter gets to play around with the stunning four-page action-packed opening sequence, while the bulk of the former’s work is constrained to a jail cell exchange between Carlie Cooper and Harry Osborn (or whoever it actually is).
One thing that does help with the consistency throughout is the typically stellar colour work of Alex Sinclair, who injects some real energy into every single page of this issue. His work on the aforementioned opening (which you can feast your eyes on a good chunk of below) is nothing short of spectacular, and he brings some real life to any of the scenes, past and present, that feature Mysterio.
Spencer gives us another cliffhanger to end things on, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the pace, scale and emotional complexity of this event so far. This is certainly a solid enough issue to move things along, but perhaps lacks the punch of the bombastic event opener. Regardless, I’m still well and truly hooked, and not only is this event rekindling my love for Spider-Man in general, it’s also making me want to pick up some of the older issues to fill in all the gaps. Well played, Marvel. Well played.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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