Review: The Amazing Spider-Man #13
“While many penultimate issues of stories such as this one might feel forced and like by-the-book to-do lists, The Amazing Spider-Man 13 provides just enough emotional connections to remind readers what all of the Spider-Men and Spider-Women are fighting for.”
The Amazing Spider-Man #13
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Release Date: Wed, January 21, 2015
As writer Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse storyline winds down, I can’t help but reflect on some of his other more memorable tales during his time as steward of the life and times of our friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. From his Big Time arc, which thrust Peter Parker’s professional career into upper echelons of success, to Spider-Island, which can be seen as a shadow-prelude of sorts to Spider-Verse, Slott has a knack for crafting stories that both maintain a steady pace but also have ramifications for the stories’ characters from issue to issue. In addition, he manages to combine large booms and splashes with smaller character moments that make the reader form an emotional connection to the tale. That’s largely why The Amazing Spider-Man 13, the penultimate issue to Spider-Verse, still pulls off the feat to keep the story engaging five parts in.
Amazing 13 largely acts as a set-up for the finale next issue, with Slott moving all the major players and Spider-People where they need to be for the sure-to-be epic conclusion. Thanks to Spider-Woman infiltrating the Inheritors’ lair, she finds scrolls that reveal that the Inheritors will eventually be defeated unless a ritual is performed using three different Spider-folk. The problem? Those three just traveled to the Inheritors’ alternate Earth. Our Spidey and Spider-Ock, however, have to convince an alternate Uncle Ben to join the fight before departing for the final battle royale.
With so many moving parts going on in this issue, it would be understandable if characterization got lost in the shuffle. However, Slott manages to give both the prime Spider-types and the background players their due. We get to see the India Spider-Man have an existential crisis that might arise from meeting alternate versions of yourself. Three of the Spider-Women—Jessica Drew, Silk, and Spider-Gwen Stacy—tear through the Inheritors’ goons and play off each so well, with both action and banter, that I hope the trio encounter each other again when all of them have their soon-to-be published ongoing series. Spidey and Spider-Ock trade barbs that not only show the differences between their heroic styles, but also reveals something to Ock during the back-and-forth that might change the course of Peter’s history.
A big chunk of the pathos of Amazing 13, though, is devoted to the reveal of an alternate Uncle Ben who became a different reality’s Spider-Man. It’s interesting to see Peter in the role that Ben always and continues to play for him, that of inspiration and booster. Without giving too much away, readers might be surprised to see how much of a part Spider-Ock has in getting Ben out of the doldrums and into the webbed costume.
While many penultimate issues of stories such as this one might feel forced and as by-the-book to-do lists, The Amazing Spider-Man 13 provides just enough emotional connections to remind readers what all of the Spider-Men and Spider-Women are fighting for.