A Review By Jesse Baker
Amazing Spider-Man #93 Review
Review By Jesse Baker
After what seems like a bit of an eternity, “Beyond” finally ends as does the current “volume” of Amazing Spider-Man. For reasons I don’t understand, Marvel’s opting to reboot “Amazing Spider-Man” with another new #1 and a new creative team: Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. The later of which is getting most of the press for the umpteenth relaunch since Zeb Wells isn’t that much of a big name. Or maybe Marvel doesn’t want to remind people that they are putting a writer who is an openly anti-MJ/Peter writer on the book.
People expecting “Beyond” to end with an new exciting status quo for Ben Reilly, the original Spider-Clone, get it in the worst possible way. Ben basically is now 80s era Carol Danvers, with huge gaps in his memories and subsequent emotional connections with what few memories he has left. Adding to this, rather than giving him the Superior Spider-Man moniker, Ben’s now “Chasm” with a purple and neon blue-green costume. And for added nightmare fuel instead of his face, Ben now sees a gaping “Johnny Got His Gun” style wound where his face should be whenever he looks into a mirror (something that is supposed to represent his lost memories).
Meanwhile we don’t get much closure on the Beyond Corporation, save for the plot point that the evil, pink haired corporate executive Maxine Danger escapes justice. There is a bit where Beyond Corporation expect her to go down with the ship, only for her to double-cross her superiors. But given the damage done to Ben and Dr Kafka, it’s very anti-climatic to say the least as she really should have either died or been hauled off to jail.
The bulk of the issue revolves around Peter and Ben fighting, as Ben has been handed the helmet used to erase his memories by Maxine Danger. Maxine informs him he can “restore” the shared memories he has with Peter that Maxine erased if he straps the helmet onto Peter’s head. Of course, Peter is highly suspect that the device would just mind wipe him, leading to a brawl between him and Ben with Ben as the aggressor and spouting some nasty “You’ve always hated me!” lines to hammer home the notion that we aren’t supposed to be rooting or feeling sympathy for Ben. Especially since Peter notes that there are other options to restore Ben’s memories that don’t involve using a memory erasing helmet that was given to him by an evil corporate executive currently trying to cover her ass to avoid jail time.
Fans have been wanting Ben back for a while, but had to deal with Slott’s character assassination of turning him into Jackal 2.0 in “Clone Conspiracy” and Peter David’s utter apathy towards Ben after fan backlash towards David’s idea of playing Ben as a violent anti-hero type forced him to rewrite his plans for him. “Beyond” started off as Marvel finally fixing their bad treatment of Ben, but now we have him even more darker and edgier with a new name (“Chasm”) and his relationship with Peter even more strained than before. The only redeeming thing about this mess is that hopefully this means Kaine gets to be Scarlet Spider full time now.
The book also ends with a teaser for next month’s relaunch: Peter and MJ start talking about MJ moving in with him (which may not happen given that solicitations for upcoming issues of “Amazing Spider-Man” indicate MJ possibly being written out) as the two are confronted with a glowing entity proclaiming “A road of blood led me to you!”. What this means I have no clue, especially since it’s been announced that Zeb Wells’ first arc will have Tombstone as the main villain.
Overall a disappointing ending to a massive batch of filler. We still don’t have closure over Harry Osborn being outed a clone and dying again, though with Tombstone showing up MAYBE the Robertson/Beetle romance might return to the forefront. But at this point, with Marvel announcing they are wasting Amazing Spider-Man #900 on a Super Adaptoid fight and the rebooting of the numbering AGAIN, I have to wonder for the future of the title.