It is a good bet that when Marvel writer Dan Slott was a kid that he was the one who always changed the rules of whatever game he was playing with friends. The Amazing Spider-Man #15 is a perfect example of a story crumbling into a schizophrenic mess because the writer altered established realities to get to a desired end.
Readers last left their beloved web-slinger knowing that he and Iron Man were defeated at the hands of Regent. The same villain who defeated a god — She-Thor — Vision, Wolverine, Captain America, Daredevil, Deadpool, Human Torch and countless other superheroes (and villains), also took down Peter Parker and Tony Stark.
Regent has been established as a force to be reckoned with, right? Keep that in mind as we move forward with this review.
Here is what you need to know for ASM #15:
- The Avengers are defeated. Heroes everywhere are missing. Regent is on the brink of victory.
- Mary Jane decides to suit up in Peter’s old “Iron Spider” costume because … she once wore an old Iron Man suit and temporarily had spider-powers. Her plan is to take on Regent by herself.
OsbornLyman, captured and contained in one of Regent’s holding tanks, uses new Webware technology that he “just had Clayton [install]” (how convenient) to escape. Sound waves from Harry’s glorified iWatch shatter glass that can hold She-Thor.
- Peter, encased in a bubble, distracts Regent so Iron Spider-MJ can sucker punch him. The distraction bursts his psychic bubbles and the previously defeated and fatigued Spider-Man springs into action. The three have a déjà vu moment.
- Spider-Man leaves to save Harry while M.J. and Iron Man continue to fight.
- Miles Morales is freed and his instant-win venom blast takes out Dr. Stillwell.
- An army of superheroes are released and Regent acknowledges defeat. He is then confined within his own prison.
- MJ, Tony, and Jarvis have a private party with champagne (Tony, understandably, does not drink).
- Peter, the billionaire CEO of Parker Industries, throws a party for his friends … at a coffee shop. Bobbi Morse is introduced to Aunt May and Jay Jameson collapses after coughing up blood.
ASM #15 fails because Dan Slott sets precedents and then disregards them when it suits his needs. He pens stories for an older-skewing audience, but then expects the average reader to accept deviations from established rules like a child.
To add insult to injury, fans of the marriage between Peter and Mary Jane are punched in the gut at least twice.
- Spider-Man tells Tony: “[Peter] only realized he’d lost MJ after she moved on. You better not make the same mistake.”
- Peter essentially introduces Mockingbird to Aunt May as his new girlfriend (Whatever happened to the girlfriend who tried to murder him?)
The fact of the matter is not that Mary Jane “moved on” — it’s that Marvel’s editors and Dan Slott are telling readers to move on.
The message is clear: “Stop spitting up Tom Brevoort’s medicine. Take it. The beatings will continue until morale improves!”
If you want to see some stunning cover art by Alex Ross, then make sure to buy ASM #15.
If you don’t require a writer to stick to his own set of rules as long as characters are punching each other and “zany” hijinks ensue, then buy ASM #15.
If, however, you expect writers to offer creative cohesion and linear logic, which can easily be traced to acceptable premises, then you might want to read Charles Soule’s Daredevil instead.