Dark Undertones Not for Spidey


Less Dialogue, More Web Slinging

Writer: Tom Aiello

Jose Molina’s “Amazing Grace,” printed between the issues of Amazing Spider-Man as one of Marvel’s point-series, attempts to have Spider-Man come to terms with religion. Prior to this story, Peter Parker had never been portrayed with a particular rapport with any faith.  

In issue 1.4, Spider-Man continues his investigation on Julio Rodriguez, a man with a terminal illness who traveled to Cuba to see the witch doctor Don Anselmo, only to be murdered upon his arrival. So far, the plot holes leave the audience asking, “how did Julio Rodriguez come back to life after having an autopsy and being buried?”

A lot of the story is left out, which has been the only consistent aspect with this story so far.  Action sequences are left off panel.  Readers are constantly asking themselves, “What Happened? Did I miss something?”

The artwork tries to be too dark and ominous. Since the plot deals with death and resurrection, I can see why those scenes could work in certain instances, but the overuse of melancholy tone brings the story down as the dark browns and blues over-saturate almost every page.  

At times it becomes difficult to see what the artist is trying to illustrate.  It only works well in one instance where Peter Parker reflects back on the death of his Uncle Ben.

At one point in the story, Peter sees a man running away from Julio, who playing Santa at the local mall. On the next page, Spider-Man holds the same man over the edge of a building, coercing him to give up information for his investigation.  Spidey’s inner monologue makes note, “the chase was boring and the man wet his pants.” While that scene was humorous, adding that dialogue to a scene where Spider-Man slings through the city on his web with the man in his arms, wetting-pants included, would have lightened up the bleak overtones. After all, web slinging is what Spider-Man does best, and those scenes are often depicted beautifully.

Spidey’s traditional humor, consistently managing to get on the nerves of most, if not all, of the supporting cast, is evident sparsely in this story. Unfortunately it does not make up for the stale story or plot holes.  Molina leaves readers and Spider-Man with no answers and even more questions.



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