Amazing Spider-Man #13
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marte Gracia and Alex Ross
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Not to be outdone by Civil War II and DC's "Rebirth;" Dan Slott smashes Iron Man and Spidey together, makes Miles Morales embarrassed to be called Spider-Man and finally pulls the trigger on Regent's villainous master plan in Amazing Spider-Man #13. This installment marks another light-hearted, action-packed and great looking installment for Marvel's original wall-crawler, even if Peter Parker seems a little hot-headed here.
Peter's recent low-level frustrations at Tony Stark comes to a head when Tony gatecrashes a meet between Spidey and Miles Morales. Infuriated by Mary Jane's new job at Stark Industries and Tony's snide digs at Peter's engineering prowess, the wall-crawler loses his temper and lashes out. Slott plays the resulting public sparring battle between the two as a matter of grave embarrassment, especially for Miles. Dan Slott's continued commitment to Spider-Man as a decidedly all-ages book is commendable, and it's surprising how little all the humor undercuts the main threat of the book. Harry, M.J. and Betty's quick realization that obviously super-prison head honcho Augustus Roman is the super-powered Regent could have come across as pig-headed and stupid on the part of the villain himself, but the character is written so brazenly that the reader gets the impression that he probably doesn't much care for keeping a secret identity.
Peter Parker and Tony Stark are the kings of snark, which Slott writes well here. Slott plays to his strengths, with petty insults being the order of the day (“Ooh, look! I'm flying with Iron Man. That one of the rewards on the Stark kickstarter page?!” surely wins the no-prize for quip of the week). Although Peter's hotheadedness might seem a touch out-of-character, Slott has at least gone to the efforts to set up his resentment over the last two issues. Similarly, the otherwise laughable Regent immediately establishes himself as a competent foe with a plan that emphasizes brute force and advanced technology.
Giuseppe Camuncoli's artwork maintains the high standards he set early on in his Spidey run. His Regent design is delightfully silly; a monolith of a man who looks a bit like the secret lovechild of Darkseid and a circuit board. With razor-sharp eyebrows, glowing red eyes and a perfectly square goatee strip, any New Yorker who buys this guy as a hero is clearly not the smartest pickle in the Reuben. Camuncoli's Spider-Man is thicker than most, which assists credibility as Spidey and Iron Man start trading punches, but looks a little off model in the few panels where Spidey is wider than Tony in costume. Marte Gracia's on coloring duties here, filling Camuncoli's pencils with bright red, yellow and blue. Gracia's approach is all bright skies and glowing eyes, reflecting Slott's jokey tone with a simple but solid color job that accentuates Camuncoli's expressive linework.
Special mention has to go to Alex Ross' gorgeous painted cover, which depicts Spidey and Iron Man facing off on the side of a skyscraper while Miles Morales looks on in awe. As per usual for Ross' work, it's an eminently framable cover that is sure to jump out on the rack next to the rest of this week's insanely high-profile lineup.
All in all, Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli deliver another action-packed and joke-infused issue of Amazing Spider-Man, meaningfully progressing a plot-line that's been simmering for the last 12 issues. For a healthy slice of wise-crackin' action, Amazing Spider-Man #13 can't be beat.