This story is a follow up to what happens to Spider-Man at the end of the Civil war. After this review I will review the infamous Spider-Man: One More Day, so be sure to come back to check that one out.
At the end of the Civil War almost all the heroes in the Marvel Universe lives have been turned upside down. Spider-Man’s is no different; he has always been able to mostly protect his family because his identity was secret. During the Civil War Tony Stark convinced him to join the pro registration side. Spider-Man did so and revealed his identity on live television to the world. As you can imagine Spider-Man’s enemies jumped all over that one.
I don’t want to give anything away but Spidy’s enemies take full advantage and something very bad happens to aunt May, cough cough she might get caught in the cross fire, wink wink. Spider-Man is pissed to say the least. He dawns his famous black suit, showing that he will do anything to get revenge on those that would harm his family. Which also hints at the title “Back in Black.” The black suit represents things that Spider-Man said he would never do, but since the Civil War the game has changed. Spider-Man is out for revenge, and nothing is going to stop him. The series does a great job at showing a different side of Spidy. Almost every Spider-Man fan is use to the wise cracks and the fact that he never took anything seriously. Not anymore this Spider-Man is out for blood and I do not think he has the restraint to stop himself. I have never seen Spidy like this and again adds a whole other level to a character that has already been through so much.
Throughout the Back in Black story I got a feel for how evil and diabolical Spider-Man can be. It really makes you think about what other heroes, especially powerful ones, are capable of if they really lost it. I guess a person even if they are a super hero can only take so much before they are driven to the edge. I am surprised this does not happened more often in the Marvel universe, or any superhero universe for that matter.
The trade collects issues from Amazing Spider-Man and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. ASM is the story line that is important. It picks up right after the Civil War and flows into the One More Day story line. What I cannot figure out is why FNSM is in this trade as well? It really has no relation to the story that is going on in ASM. I guess it is just showing some other things that are going on while he is dealing with the aunt May issue.
The art work in ASM is great, nothing lacking in any way. There are some cool full page scenes of Spidy in his black suit that look really awesome set against a stormy lightening filled night sky. Page layouts and colors are pretty average, nothing too amazing, shall I say. On the other hand FNSP is totally different. The art work is very cartoony, and to me takes away a lot of the seriousness that was built in ASM. No matter how somber the book is I just cannot take it serous if the artwork looks like Bugs Bunny might make an appearance with Elmer Fudd “hunting wabbits.” I will never understand why Marvel or any publishers do this, especially during a serious event like Back in Black.
I read a trade that had both of these Spider-Man titles in it. If I could do it over again I would look for just the Back in Black 5 issue story line. The FNSP I really did not care for, but if you are an avid Spidy fan then by all means go for it. I highly recommend the Amazing Spider-Man Back in Black series, it does a great job following up to the event after the Civil War and transitions right into One More Day. Also there are a few pages a the end of the trade that have some really great sketches of Spidey in aciton. Also there are some alternate covers for the issues in the trade. A neat little extra. If you are a Spidy fan I am sure you have already read this, but if not check it out for sure.
One More Day is coming next. Stay tuned…