Review: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #4 Is One Hell Of A Set-Up

by Tony Thornley

Half of the set-up in the latest volume of the Amazing Spider-Man has been a hell of a read. But which part of it we’ll get has been a bit of a crapshoot. So which side did the volume’s fourth issue fall into?

Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz and Joe Caramagna continue to fight the gang war between the Rose and Tombstone. 

Peter Parker has only moments. Tombstone is going to stage a violent attack that will put the police on the Rose. Lives will be lost, if he doesn’t do something and fast. It’s too bad that Tombstone’s men have him chained with a gun to his head…

Wells has a fantastic grasp on the root of who Peter Parker is as a person, and he’s also transformed Tombstone into an incredibly cunning adversary. Putting those two story elements together delivers the best issue of this volume so far. Wells recalls some great moments in Spider-Man history — such as the classic Master Planner arc — as he shows the lengths Peter will go to in order to protect and preserve life. That gives the issue-ending twist an incredible impact, as it pulls the rug out from under Peter entirely.

Romita and Hanna’s line work continues to get better each month. This issue is evocative of the better issues of Romita’s run with J. Micheal Straczynski. They’re able to show how desperate Peter is, even with his mask still on, and also show him as an absolute force of nature. He tears through the thugs with a sense of urgency that borders on brutality. That strength in the art makes the twist land even harder.

Menyz’s colors add depth to the pages. He takes Romita’s blocky and stylized figure work and smooths them out with clear light sources, making it feel more natural without losing Romita’s signature style. Caramagna also adds to the art, both by complementing the action on the page with his effects work, and making the dialogue fit seamlessly into the page.

Once again, though, we get no answers about what happened months ago, why MJ suddenly has the little family she does, or anything else from Peter’s personal life. Four issues in, it’s time we got something more about this mystery even if it’s still the least interesting part of the series.

Hopefully we continue to get more like this, and less like the series opening. If we get some answers and more of the gang war, this will be one of the better ASM runs in a long time.

Amazing Spider-Man #4 is available now from Marvel Comics.


An all action issue plays to the strengths of the creative team. The writing is centered on the characters, and the art shows that Spider-Man truly is a force to be reckoned with. Well worth picking up.

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