The fallout from Doc Ock’s tenure as the Superior Spider-Man continues to rain down on Peter Parker’s return parade.
With Electro exhibiting increased and unstable powers, Parker tasked his science team with a new project to build a prison for housing and curing New York’s supervillains. If that wasn’t enough on his plate, Felicia Hardy still hasn’t gotten over the humiliation she suffered at the hands of Ock’s public shaming, and her claws are out for revenge.
The Amazing Spider-Man #3 doesn’t dally on those plot points as Electro’s powers get him into more trouble when he wakes up in a fiery inferno that sets an apartment building on fire. Meanwhile, Felicia as the Black Cat breaks into an Upper East Side apartment for some champagne and caviar which goes from breaking and entering to kidnapping.
That leads to a perfect storm when Parker takes his science team on a field trip to gather Electro energy readings. The team travels to the now-burning apartment, and when Parker leaves his team to costume up, the sighting catches Black Cat’s attention for a quick and murderous confrontation that seems a bit out of character for the former romantic interest.
With a firefighter’s life at risk, Spider-Man tries to talk some sense into Black Cat by putting the blame on a body-snatching Doc Ock. When that doesn’t work, Peter feigns a relapse by punching his arm straight into a wall and pretending Ock hasn’t totally disappeared. The ruse confuses the Black Cat enough to force her to regroup and gather her thoughts while Parker saves the firefighter who also happens to be Mary Jane’s current love interest.
The Amazing Spider-Man #3 feels like a doozy after the past two issues which have steadily set up plots and characters. This issue’s pacing has an increased fervor with plenty of escalation that culminates with Black Cat and Electro joining forces.
There’s also a brief bit about Silk, the mysterious woman with Spider-Man-like powers who’s been held in confinement for years. Punching in combinations to the lock on the door, and to no avail, a warning message tells her that her imprisonment is for the good of everyone, something she seems to understand.
Dan Slott’s script feels very much in tune with what he’s been building as the plots converge into a more pointed direction. Though the teaming of Black Cat and Electro might sound awkward on paper, it makes sense in context given how the two have a vested interest in destroying Spider-Man for what he’s done to them. That makes for a compelling, though odd, duo that builds on the potential for Electro reaching for a higher tier on the Villains list.
Humberto Ramos on pencils continues producing quality artwork, especially in the facial expressions and the action sequences in the apartment fire. From the former, I love J. Jonah Jameson’s descent into madness with a wall-eyed plea that throws Spider-Man under the bus. From the latter, the claw-scratching, whip-snapping from Felicia that doesn’t feel the least bit friendly.
There’s a lot of detail to fill in for Victor Olazaba, and the final product looks sharp. Black Cat’s suit and the dark shadows on the firefighter suits are great examples of the negative space contrasts in Olazaba’s inks. Edgar Delgado’s colors laid on top give the panels a nice sheen. The action sequence in fire looks a little understated with darker oranges and plenty of shadows, and since the entire issue takes place at night, it’s a darker issue than previous ones.
I like where The Amazing Spider-Man has been going, and the plot elements are adding up nicely. For fans looking for a comic book experience, this one has superheroes, slighted villains, and ambition. Gail Simone said something about the newest Spider-Man movie showing off the titular hero’s kindness — something which was left somewhere on the cutting room floor in the past films. In The Amazing Spider-Man 3, we’re brought back into those silver-age glory days of heroism with a teaming up of sorts between the hero we wish we could be (Spider-Man) and the heroes that do exist (the firefighters).
I’m expecting a letters column with an exuberant Stan Lee shouting out loud and clear, Make mine Marvel!
The appropriate response after reading The Amazing Spider-Man #3: Exelsior!
The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (2014)
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Words: Dan Slott
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos