REVIEW: ‘Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom,’ Issue #1

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Spider-Man: King's Ransom #1

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 is written by Nick Spencer, illustrated by Roge Antonio with Carlos Gomez and Ze Carlos, colored by Alex Sinclair, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the events of Amazing Spider-Man # 65, Spider-Man calls up his former teammates in the New Avengers to help him protect Boomerang from the various forces that the Kingpin has sent after the thief-turned-hero. With a host of villains on their heels, Spidey and Boomerang race to find the last piece of the Lifeline Tablet before Kingpin does.

In the same vein as “Last Remains,” “King’s Ransom” is a story that spreads beyond the main Amazing Spider-Man title. However, this excess is justified as it wraps up one of the major plotlines that had been running throughout Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man; the story also serves as a continuation of the work that Spencer did in Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Secret Empire, which also featured Boomerang in a major role. Throughout the issue, Spencer examines the nature of change. Change is something that you have to embrace willingly; it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen out of the blue. Boomerang made the choice to try and be a better person, just as Spidey is making the choice to try and break free of some of his negative habits. Even Kingpin makes a startling change, which was a genuine surprise as I expected his endgame to be quite different.

Of all the changes Spidey is making in his personal life, the biggest extend to his relationship with his fellow heroes and the realization that he doesn’t have to do everything alone. I’ve always felt that while Spidey can handle threats like the Green Goblin or the Sinister Six alone, he’s more than willing to ask for help if he needs it. And he’s genuine friends with certain heroes, so Spencer addressing and busting the myth of “Spider-Man is a perpetual loner” was quite welcome. It also speaks to Spencer touching on every aspect of Spider-Man history in his run that the heroes Spidey called on were the same ones he worked with during his tenure as one of the Avengers.

Artwise, the trio of artists all have an art style that compliments each other. I’m not sure which pages belong to Antonio, Gomez, or Carlos respectively (and it would have been nice to see a designation for each artist’s respective pages) but unlike other issues that have multiple artists, there wasn’t a jarring shift in character composition or action. And the action is superb; from the Avengers leaping into action to Spidey and Boomerang battling Shocker, Speed Demon, and Hydro-Man, plenty of powers are placed on display. Spidey even gets to don his classic red and blue suit at one point in the issue! Sinclair uses a heavy amount of blue in the issue, particularly during a rather shocking flashback that stretches all the way back to Spencer’s beginning on the title.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 closes the book on one of the longest-running threads in Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man run, with plenty of action and a story grounded in human reaction. Spencer and company have yet to disappoint me with their Spidey stories and with a huge storyline on the horizon for this summer, it appears that Peter Parker will have no shortage of issues to deal with.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King's Ransom #1 
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TL;DR

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 closes the book on one of the longest-running threads in Nick Spencer’s Spider-Man run, with plenty of action and a story grounded in human reaction. Spencer and company have yet to disappoint me with their Spidey stories and with a huge storyline on the horizon for this summer, it appears that Peter Parker will have no shortage of issues to deal with.