The lead up for Spider-Verse is getting more intense all the time. The mini-series Edge of the Spider-Verse is now complete, and every Spider related book has some sort of build-up going on. And why not? Of all the current and upcoming Marvel events we know of, it’s the only one I’m actually excited for. With the exception of Ends of the Earth, I’ve enjoyed all of Dan Slott’s Spider-Man events so far (and even Ends of the Earth wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t particularly good). But first, Peter Parker has to finish his team-up with the new Ms. Marvel.
The main story in Amazing Spider-Man 8, plotted by Dan Slott and written by Christos Gage, is just fun. Peter and Kamala are working together to stop mysterious scientists from taking an Inhuman cocoon hostage, and the issue kicks off with a monster fight. At first, Ms. Marvel is mentally overwhelmed by the monster, so Peter brings her back to reality by mentioning a move he and Carol have performed together. The comic moves fast for the first half, with a good balance of amusing banter between the two very similar heroes and the more serious elements behind a twist about half-way through the chaos. Peter and Kamala make a great team; one I hope we’ll see again in the future.
Apart from the main action, the comic touches on a number of plot threads. Silk has several scenes, one of which introduces her new outfit. While her scenes are well-written, I find myself less interested in her with every showing. Silk kind of feels like a caricature more than a character. Even if I’m convinced otherwise, I likely won’t be picking up her recently announced solo series. The better scenes take place in the hospital, where not only do Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel find the Inhuman’s parents, but they have a quick conversation where Peter gives Kamala both some good advice and a big compliment. Again, with such a similar history, these two characters work wonderfully off each other. Another character makes a surprise appearance that’s most welcome – a character from the Learning to Crawl mini-series.
The art by Giuseppe Camuncoli is great. It’s bright, colourful and appealing to the eye. It often uses fun angles to exaggerate Kamala’s polymorph powers, whether cutting close to Kamala’s expanded legs while she carries the Inhuman through the streets or showing her giant form in the background while Spider-Man lays the cocoon on a roof in the foreground, barely appearing bigger than her hands. The beast they fight is huge and menacing with its tusks and blue fur all over the place. The environmental detail is impressive, with debris from the fight, varied buildings in the background and glass flying all over the place when Spider-Man is thrown through parked cars.
After the main story, there’s a backup story by Slott featuring May Parker aka. an alternate universe Spider-Girl. If the main issue is light hearted and fun, this is the total opposite. It’s a dark story with a bit of loss that’s also very effective. The art by Humberto Ramos is also good, capturing emotions well with its facial expressions. This is especially the case with May – you can see her pain even though only one eye is shown through her partly destroyed mask.
There are a number of reasons to pick this issue up, along with ASM 7. It features a great appearance by the new Ms. Marvel, so her fans will want to check this out. It features more build-up for Spider-Verse, and this time in a rather brutal fashion. It shows a bit more of Silk, so those who want to check her out in anticipation for her solo series can do so. The only people who shouldn’t pick this up are people who dislike Spider-Man.