I haven't been so anxiously impatient for an issue of the Amazing Spider-Man in quite some time, but that's exactly what writer Dan Slott did to me when he wrapped up issue No. 9.
The arc of "Scorpio Rising" is now two-issues deep, and is reminding what it is that makes Slott so special when it comes to Spider-Man stories. The man knows how to start an arc. Simple as that. His ability to bring in multiple characters while clearly separating their stories remains unmatched. A focused Slott Spider-Man book is too easy to read, and Issue No. 10 fits that mold.
In this issue that dropped Wednesday, April 13, Slott brings in Scorpio, Max Dillon, Gemini twins, Rhino and freaking Dr. Curt Connors and it doesn't feel convoluted.
Also, the fantastic Alex Ross covers can just keep on coming.
We're balls deep into the idea of Peter Parker and Spider-Man's neighborhood being global, but it's getting to the point where it doesn't feel foreign or forced and that was something I didn't see happening as quickly as it did.
Spidey and S.H.I.E.L.D. have been working together in Zodiac, and while we don't get treated to Nick Fury and Webhead in space* (Issue No. 9 review), but it leads into his first encounter of the arc with Scorpio.
Their fight in Paris is the first thing we get with this new issue, and I love the continuity in the art from Issue 9 to 10 by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Spider-Man has just -- literally -- crashed to the Earth's surface and the damage to his suit translates issue-to-issue. It's the simple things, like remembering Spidey was out of web fluid and Arachno Rockets while he was falling from space in last month's issue.
It's a fun fight to start the ish and it's a perfect reminder (we're in Paris via freaking space) that this Spider-Man is indeed a global one. I'm falling in love with Camuncoli's segues between action and non-action scenes. Sudden movement and action is perfectly captured as these two fight the streets littered with Parisians.
I'm a little thrown off by Marconi's flying car (I just got back into this series with issue nine), but hey! It looks cool at least. Seriously, Camuncoli is doing some damn good things. The faces on Maria and Spidey while they were zooming in their flying car is priceless. He has an ability (and a fantastic colorist working on the series in Marte Gracia) to make each panel move at a pace that almost feels foreign, albeit in a good way.
It's smooth, it's concise and it makes each panel feel special.
I still can't get over creepy Doc Ock as a robot affectionately refereed to as "Brain." He's basically a sketchy dude in love with Maria who has his peeping Tom moments. When I say Peeping Tom, I'm referring to him watching Spider-Man get naked in the flying car. Yeah, it's weird and the only point that mentally took me out of the issue. That could be a good thing if it leads to the inevitable showdown between Spidey and Otto.
Spider-Man eventually learns that Zodiac has been posing as Parker Industries biggest share-holder and investor, which gives us the classic Parker moment of this:
*Ben flips page **discovers typo ***cries
Apparently Spider Senses are now Spider Lenses. Goddammit, Marvel.
Bonus points for the heartfelt full-page tribute to Paul Ryan. Very nice tribute from Marvel and a hell of a gesture to a hell of an artist.
Rating: 8/10 Slott just gets Spider-Man. It feels traditional and fresh all at the same time. His ability to jam-pack an issue without making it feel convoluted will never not feel unique. Camuncoli has the unenviable task of following up an Alex Ross cover, but the guy is becoming one of my favorite ASM artists in quite some time.