After the conclusion of the Zodiac global chase adventures, Amazing Spider-Man #12 sees Peter heads home to NYC for a much needed breather – not only for the character but for readers as well. Peter is attending a charity event for Parker Industries, accompanied by our old friend Harry (Osborn) Lyman. It warms the heart to have these two together again and not feel absolutely forced. Even with the subject matter of their conversation briefly including talk of their past, Harry doesn’t seem out of place.
It is extremely important for Slott to successfully include characters like Harry back in Peter’s life, what with Peter’s new role as CEO. And Harry isn’t the only classic Amazing Spider-Man cast member attending the party – our long lost love Mary Jane Watson shows up! Her working for Tony Stark has left me feeling unsettled and for good reason.
Now in this issue, I find myself feeling similarly on edge as Peter when he sees MJ and learns of her current employment status. Slott paints a different picture of Tony Stark here than the one readers have been exposed to in Bendis’ current run; more of an ass than the funnier and lighter Tony of Invincible Iron Man. The bachelor Spider-Man lifestyle is very fun, but it lacks a love interest that carries any weight whatsoever, and I cannot be alone in wanting Peter and MJ to eventually get back together.
Peter starts giving his speech, beginning with a hilarious “rice” joke and ending with an attack by Ghost. We last saw this particular villain in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #17 when he attacked Parker Industries. In this issue, he’s here to attack one of the corporate attendees and was apparently hired by Liz Allen to do so. Spidey and “Shell Head” jump into action but begin fighting with each other before Peter pulls the ultimate trump card… dibs.
It’s evident Slott is making Stark appear less likable and funny than usual, allowing Peter to stand out more. Peter is also clearly not handling MJ being there very well and doesn’t know how to react to it. Amazing Spider-Man #12 gives Slott a chance to have fun with actual character moments, something he hasn’t had much time to do during the last couple of issues.
The two put together their big brains and combine tech to bust the Ghost and Slott’s master plan becomes apparent. He totally chose this villain to interrupt a party in this area of the city all for a Ghostbusters joke, and it’s pretty hilariously executed; and also gives Pete more anger fuel to put on the Stark fire. Peter trying to recruit Pepper Potts as revenge on Tony is glorious, and by the end of this issue readers will have enjoyed a handful of classic Spidey comedy moments.
The art team seems to be feeling the burn of these books coming out every other week, as Amazing Spider-Man #12 was not as spectacular as the other 11; but still a good effort overall. It may be my own personal nitpicks but I really didn’t care for Camuncoli’s version of MJ in this book, especially after getting a great close up of her by Alex Ross on the cover. Ross doing the cover art has been great, even with the less interesting issues; but this time the art inside the book is noticeably rushed. The visuals get noticeably better as the story progresses and the action begins, and the side-by-side panels of Tony and Peter suiting up are delightful.
Amazing Spider-Man #12 is a blast, a hilarious and action packed issue that Spidey fans will surely enjoy. With these issues coming out seemingly every other week for the past month, this issue continues their streak of excellence. While the art starts dragging, it picks up and delivers by the end. Regent showing his face is exciting, Ghost’s attack wasn’t for nothing. It seems like Slott is on the right track with this series going forward and that’s great news.