Sunday, July 12, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #18.1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Conway continues to build his story, and I can honestly say that I'm not sure where it's going to go.

First, the appearance of a new Crime Master leading the Enforcers raises all sorts of questions, but Conway puts them aside for the moment.  All we know is that Crime Master is offering to help the Black Cat take the Kingpin's place as the head of organized crime in New York.  When she fails to convince Hammerhead and Tombstone's crews to switch allegiance to her, he suggests that she gets the two of them to swear allegiance to her by breaking them out of jail.  Mr. Negative passes word of this plan to Yuri (presumably thanks to one of his snitches), and Spider-Man and the Wraith go to Ryker's Island to stop the jailbreak.

The most interesting part of the issue is Peter's conversation with Felicia.  He convinces her to take her men and withdraw since the cops are en route and they'll likely shower the place with bullets.  She agrees (leaving Hammerhead in his cell), though Conway implies that she does so simply because she acknowledges Peter's point.  Spidey tries to make the larger point that he worries that she's a good person making bad decisions, but Felicia isn't buying it, specifically telling him that him letting her leave doesn't change anything between them.  I'm still not sure where Conway is going with Felicia, but we seem to have some sort of opening here that may mean we might finally get back our Black Cat.

Meanwhile, Yuri gets her hands on a semi-automatic weapon and fires at Tombstone, presumably in anger after she discovers that Judge Howell was stabbed as part of a contract killing.  Conway does a good job here of showing how erratic Yuri is at this point, acting on emotions alone.  (Peter makes an early speech to himself that felt totally forced, but identified that the self-confidence that makes Yuri a good cop has become corrupted.)  It's obviously not going to end well.

Before I go, I just have to note how much I love Barberi's art.  He not only draws a great Spider-Man, but he also really has a knack for detail.  In the scene where the crews are leaving the scene of their fight, he has one guy dragging another behind him.  Something about it made me laugh, acknowledging the ridiculousness of these sorts of rumbles.  I would love to see him on the title full time at some point.

*** (three of five stars)

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