Amazing Spider-Man #575, Brand New Direction?

Amazing Spider-Man #575 (Marvel – Joe Kelly / Chris Bachalo)

“As the Mayoral election ramps up, gang activity is at an all time high…and Mr. Negative’s newest enforcer, HAMMERHEAD, works to bring all the gangs under one banner…or else. With some of the kids from Aunt May’s F.E.A.S.T. center caught in the crossfire, Spidey stands up to his old foe…but Hammerhead’s got some new tricks and even Spider-Man can’t stop him this time as Joe Kelly (Deadpool) and Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men) bring you FAMILY TIES!”

Chris Bachalo is about as good as it gets. So, pick this book up just for the art. That should be a no brainer.

This arc reunites old ‘STEAMPUNK’ buddies Chris Bachalo & Joe Kelly. The problem with that book was both the writing and the art was over detailed, scattered and confusing (it still has a special place in my collection as a superior comic, but then so does THRILLER). I’m happy to say that both Bachalo and Kelly and refined and focused their crafts since then. Both the story and the art in focused and precise in this one.

New characters have been seamlessly introduced and were instantly engaging. I am curious about almost all of them. You will be to.

I have a couple of issues with this book. I was a little uncomfortable that the black characters were part of the stupid, clueless gang. I understand how it was needed to flesh out some of the new characters, it’s just….that’s all. The second problem I have, which is uncharacteristic of Bachalo and Kelly is the intense graphic nature that the story slides into toward the end. It was obviously approved, but seemed very un-Spider-Man like. Spidey’s been intense before at times but never graphic. Maybe it was the combination of Bachalo’s cartoony style with the over gory ending that made it seem wrong. The way it started I was hoping it would be lighter hearted. Maybe that was the intent, Hammerhead goes from joke to serious thug, maybe they were saying this is where Spider-Man came from…and this is where he’s going. I’m not sure I’ll be going there with them.

Overall Grade A, despite my misgiving about the graphic direction the arc is taking.

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Updated: November 11, 2008 — 2:32 pm

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