The 18th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man features Parker Industries collapsing into a smouldering pile of rubble. This is fitting because the character’s credibility now exists as sad and twisted wreckage under Dan Slott’s direction. Leading into Spider-Verse, the most memorable moment was the time Peter had to be saved by Silk and nursed back to health by Anna Maria. During Spider-Verse he became a Where’s Waldo-ish character in his own book. Now, as Renew Your Vows closes in, he becomes a spineless whipping boy for Anna and Sajani.
Perhaps other Spider-Man fans can chime in, but when did Anna Maria become Peter Parker’s mom, who is often written as if she should have a halo around her head? “Anna’s covering my butt…literally. She thought of everything. Again,” Peter says to himself after the supporting cast member saves him from Ghost. Not only is Ms. Marconi saintly and wise, but she has the inner strength to save the suddenly-hapless Spider-Man from his own incompetence — during battle.
Perhaps worst of all is the way the book’s hero — and company CEO — just sits there and takes the bizarre rantings of the horribly-written Sajani. At what point do fans corner Dan Slott and force him to admit that he’s turned Peter Parker into an impotent clown in order to highlight Anna Maria’s awesomeness? When do they ask him why he feels the need to shoehorn “girl power” messages into The Amazing Spider-Man instead of just telling solid stories?
- Silk, although locked away for most of her life, is Peter’s equal or a better when it comes to the superhero business.
- Anna Maria Marconi is the voice of reason, a source of strength, and an anchor that keeps Peter grounded.
- Sajani pushes CEO-Parker around like he’s some low-level employee who is on thin ice for constantly screwing up.
- Black Cat is a megalomaniac super-villain who can orchestrate a Spider-Man beat-down and near-unmasking for a national television audience.
Over and over and over again throughout Dan Slott’s run, Peter Parker is marginalized in his own title — and yet Marvel wants fans to believe that he loves the character. The reboot should have been called The Sensational Silk, Spider-Verse gave fans the inspirational Uncle Ben speech delivered by Doctor Octopus, and now ASM #18 presents the hero more like an immature kid who could barely tie his own shoes, let alone stop a super-villain or run a business.
If you are short on cash this month, then do not buy this book. It is so bad that you may find yourself wishing Marvel uses Secret Wars to erase most of Peter Parker’s history.