Despite the explosive first issue of Dan Slott’s latest Amazing Spider-Man series, the story hasn’t gone anywhere new or really tapped into this whole international “Spidey-Network.” This isn’t to say these issues haven’t been great Spider-Man stories, they just haven’t fully lived up to what that first issue promised readers.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 seems to be the first big arc that will explore this new and improved Peter Parker and all he has to offer. What initially appeared as a misuse of an exciting concept was actually Slott easing us into this new environment. Had he jumped right into the business of issue #6, it would have been too much too soon.
Spider-Man has always been a New York-based hero, with a lot of his stories’ including some theme of being a “New-Yorker.” It’s been a ton of fun and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your hero loving the city he protects and the people within it. That being said, it is extremely thrilling to venture into new and uncharted territory as you take away that city and put Spider-Man into a global protector role. Seeing Spider-Man/Peter Parker interacting with people and situations in a completely different culture and environment has potentially unlimited capabilities for layered fun.
There’s a heavy dose of Batman and Iron Man mixed in with ol’ web head in this issue, and if these elements continue to be used the right way, this series should end up being at least as fun as Superior Spider-Man was at its best. The Spider-Mobile has yet to be used in any major way by means of combat again since #1, but I have a feeling it’ll play a big part sometime soon. Spidey’s arsenal of web cartridges is becoming his own twist on Batman’s utility belt, getting cooler and more useful in each issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 is part one of a new story arc called “The Dark Kingdom,” bringing Mr. Negative back seemingly as the primary antagonist. In his employ are classic Spider-Man allies Cloak & Dagger, who are under his control thanks to a new drug. Mr. Negative is a more recent addition to the web head’s rogues gallery, being introduced during the Anti-Venom days. It’s good to see him back in action as he has always been underrated and deserving of more of a cult status. Adding Cloak & Dagger to the mix, too, is a recipe for greatness.
As was the case with issues #1-5, this book is filled with deep color and explosive action. Even with a villain design that evokes negativity, there is plenty of light and color filling each and every panel. As Spider-Man’s stories progressively begin going to new places, so does the art. Mateo Buffagni, Marte Gracia, and the entire creative team are exploring these new horizons just as Peter Parker himself is, making great use of their strengths as they have done for some time now.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 fires on all cylinders, gearing readers up for the first big story arc of this new and exciting run. Slott always starts off his biggest ideas in great dramatic fashion. Sometimes they don’t pan out so flawlessly by the end of them, but that doesn’t take anything away from the stimulating beginning. Hopefully, Slott has learned from his previous missteps and this direction for the character was molded in a way that allows him to tell a tale that finishes on par with its start.