The Amazing Spider-Man #10
- Zeb Wells
- Nick Dragotta
- VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Cover Artist:
- John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz
- Release Date:
- Marcio Menyz
Cosmic judgment has never been a new concept for the Marvel universe. In many ways, it’s an average Tuesday for Marvel’s caped crusaders at this point. But when done on a localized scale, such as with the case of the ongoing AX: Judgment Day arc, it holds potential for some personalized storytelling. Spider-Man almost seems like the perfect choice for this. He’s a hero absolutely crushed under the weight of guilt and responsibility who soldiers on with only his moral compass to guide him. However, Amazing Spider-Man #10, written by Zeb Wells with artwork from Nick Dragotta, colors from Marcio Menyz, and letters from VC’s Joe Caramagna, feels like little more than a forced tie-in to an ongoing Marvel event.
Amazing Spider-Man #10 ties into the ongoing AX event, where the X-Men and Eternals are at war, with the Avengers and the world caught in the middle. Their antics have awakened the ancient Celestial known as the Progenitor, who summarily gives humanity one day to justify their continued existence. Progenitor judges characters across the marvel universe individually, appearing as significant people in their lives to deem them worthy or unworthy. Sadly, in Peter’s case, his chosen judge is the long-lost Gwen Stacy — a situation that puts Peter in one of the most uncomfortable places he has ever been, as his current life is already incredibly complicated.
Zeb Wells has navigated the editorial mandates with a quick wit and some very engaging storytelling. Wells has kept his cards close to his chest while revealing tidbits here and there to keep the story engaging. Unfortunately, everything comes to a bit of a standstill in this issue. The tie-in forces everyone, especially Peter, to act out of character. Having Gwen Stacy as the figure of judgment in Peter’s life undermines the development he’s experienced over the years when he has come to terms with his guilt. While Peter does have some heartfelt interactions with the cast and crew of his life, some choices will leave the reader wondering why more wasn’t done.
Another unfortunate aspect of the book is Nick Dragotta’s art. Taking a guest appearance in place of Romita Jr.’s regular work, Dragotta’s art style only compounds the feeling of uncertainty that this book already holds. His facial expressions, in particular, are bizarre, with strange proportions on eyes, noses, and mouths dragging attention away from the story and onto these peculiar features. This is more apparent as this issue is centered around quiet moments between characters rather than action pieces, and sadly, Dragota’s style isn’t the right fit for the story they were trying to tell here. Marcio Menyz’s colors are on point with this issue, with his washed-out muted tones fitting the overall narrative well for the most part.
Amazing Spider-Man #10 is a missed opportunity to have a tie-in that enhances both the story of the series it’s being linked to and the main Marvel event. Sadly, this feels more like a forced marketing mandate, where any genuine potential for heartfelt storytelling feels stunted by a myriad of shortcomings. There are decent character moments thanks to Well’s deep understanding of Peter and his cast of characters, but the cookie-cutter story and unusual art still manage to leave the reader wanting more.