Review: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #75 Is A Remix That Hits The Right Notes

by Tony Thornley

Pop culture today is fueled by nostalgia. Unfortunately, that means it can go horribly wrong — like the case of the current Amazing Spider-Man volume. If a writer goes about it in the right way, though, it can fuel a rocket engine.

Cover by Art Adams & Alejandro Sanchez

The “Beyond” era of Spider-Man begins with this issue. It’s a nostalgia trip hitting the right notes, but in some places can’t elevate itself beyond that (pun not intended). It comes from Zeb Wells, Patrick Gleason, Marcio Menyz, and Joe Caramagna.

As Peter is still coping with the aftermath of the war with Kindred and Harry Osborn’s fate, a new Spidey arrives in town. And Peter is shocked to learn that it’s none other than Ben Reilly. Before either Spider can really process that though, the U-Foes attack, and the fight will have dire consequences for one of the Spider-Men.

This issue had a ton to cover, and I think the biggest place it fell short was in rushing through some of its plot points. Ben Reilly and Janine Godby have been out of commission for years (in Janine’s case, decades). Throwing them into the story en media res may have been a good call, but in some ways it’s too big of a leap to just take at face value. 

For the most part though, the issue is incredibly fun and well-told. It’s sort of what the Nick Spencer run wanted to do, but failed miserably at constantly. The emotional stakes are interesting, the characters are engaging, and the villains are truly threatening (something I didn’t think I’d say about the U-Foes prior to their role in Immortal Hulk a few months ago, and which continues here). Wells gets Spider-Man as a character and lays that out on the page.

Gleason and Menyz do some visually stunning work that the title has been missing since Ryan Ottley’s departure almost a year ago. Both of Gleason’s Spiders have a great sense of kinetic energy, but he’s also able to give them two distinct body languages with Peter having a bit more grace in his movements than Ben. Menyz has been growing so much as a color artist over on Daredevil, and here he shows off how he’s a star in the making. His colors are bright and eye catching, without overpowering the line art. Really, on the art side, my biggest complaint is that Janine and Mary Jane are visually too similar, with only a haircut to differentiate them.

The issue also had two great back-ups, one by Kelly Thompson, Travel Foreman, and Jim Campbell, and the other by Wells, Ivan Fiorelli, and Edgar Delgado (Caramagna does the letters throughout, with his usual flair). Both back-ups actually go towards helping with my concerns about how Ben’s world is a little too shallow. Thompson and Foreman’s short, in particular, is a blast to read and stands on its own really well. Wells and Fiorelli’s was interesting worldbuilding, and I’ll be very curious to see what it means for the series in the near future.

In all, this was the issue we needed coming out of the dismal run which dominated the last three years. More than anything, it makes Spider-Man fun again, which is really what we needed.

Amazing Spider-Man #75 is available now from Marvel Comics.


Despite a few small stumbling blocks, this is the relaunch Spider-Man needed. Wells has a great grasp of the world of Spider-Man and the art team down stunning work.

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