Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Book of the Week 7/25/07 Amazing Spiderman #542

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Pencilled by Ron Garney
Inks by Bill Reinhold
Letters by Cory Petit

In a week with two of comics big name writers churning out Batman books, strangely the best batman book I read was Amazing Spiderman #542. Peter Parker has been sliding towards the dark side throughout the Back in Black storyline which has seen the fallout from Peter's civil war revalation including the near death of Aunt May. This issue picks up as Peter confronts the man responsible for his aunt's condition. This book really made me feel the anger that's seething inside Peter at this point.

Straczynski has outdone his fellow writers this month in my eyes by taking a formerly light hearted character and making him genuinly scary and not seem completely out of character. Throughout the story, as Peter pushes himself further and further, he walks the line of losing himself. Strczynski however, pulls Peter back from the brink at the end, allowing the character to remain someone that we want to root for and stand by. This seems to be something completely lost on most Batman writers (Miller and Morrison, I'm looking at you) who feel that since they have a dark character on their hands, they can feel free to push the envelope so much that the character is no longer recognizable. This book also does a nice job addressing how Peter will keep his family safe in the future now that his secret is out.

Garney's art is great in its simplicity. Throughout the fight scene, the backgrounds are palettes of color instead of detail. This allows the reader to focus on the character movements and the brutality of the scene. Out of all the books this week, I felt this one conveyed the most emotion across the pages and was easily this weeks pick.

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