REVIEW: ‘Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy,’ Issue #1

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Giant-Sized Amazing Spider-Man The Chameleon Conspiracy #1 - But Why Tho

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy #1 is written by Nick Spencer and Ed Brisson; penciled by Marcelo Ferreria with Carlos Gomez, Ze Carlos, and Ig Guara; inked by Wayne Faucher, Gomez, Carlos, and Guara; colored by Andrew Crossley, Morry Hollowell and Rachelle Rosenberg; and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. The finale to “The Chameleon Conspiracy” finds Spider-Man fighting to save his classmate Jamie Tolentino from the Foreigner and other villains who want Jamie’s invention the Catalyst, which predicts the future. Meanwhile, Peter Parker’s sister Teresa faces a disturbing truth from the Chameleon about the nature of her parentage.

Following “Last Remains” and “King’s Ransom,” this storyline has once again spun out of the main Amazing Spider-Man title. Spencer is once again joined by a co-writer in Brisson, and Gomez and Carlos (who previously contributed to the Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom one-shot) return to provide artistic duties, along with Ferreria who has previously illustrated issues of Amazing Spider-Man. However, where The Chameleon Conspiracy stumbles is its story execution.

I’ll freely admit that the Chameleon isn’t really my favorite Spider-Man foe. Yes, he earns a distinction as the first supervillain that Spidey ever fought, but I’ve always felt that there’s only so far that you could go with the character. Involving Teresa could have been a great spy-focused tale, especially since she had an ax to grind with the Chameleon, but the convoluted story that unfolds feels way too confusing and melodramatic. Likewise, a fight in a flying casino against a veritable army of supervillains loses a bit of its juice when Spider-Man had a similar fight with Doctor Doom over the catalyst. And since Doctor Doom is one of the most formidable villains in the Marvel Universe, foes like Jack O’Lantern and Slyde simply can’t compare.

The art, however, is an eye grabber. Visually, the artists split up the dual storylines, with Ferreria handling Teresa’s story and the others handling Spidey’s battle against the supervillains. Gomez, Carlos, and Guara draw an insanely hyperkinetic fight sequence. Spidey flips around firing webbing and delivering crushing blows along with his trademark quips to his foes. Ferreria’s sequences are quieter, though he takes great care to showcase the growing horror on Teresa’s face as she comes face to face with the truth. Even the colors differ: Teresa’s sequences are desaturated and drenched in shadows, while Spidey’s are bright and zippy. Even the siblings’ narration boxes differ: Peter’s is bright white, while Teresa’s is a darker pink.

The issue also features a sequence illustrated by veteran Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley, which serves as a prelude to the upcoming Sinister War miniseries. I’ve long been awaiting this series, as it seems to feature everything I love in a Spider-Man story, and the various teasers have only served to build up the hype.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy #1 wraps up a rather convoluted storyline that doesn’t quite stand up to the quality of other major storylines, though it does have great art. I hope that the upcoming Sinister War is crafted with more care and that Spencer leaves the title on a high note.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy #1
3.5

TL;DR

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: The Chameleon Conspiracy #1 wraps up a rather convoluted storyline that doesn’t quite stand up to the quality of other major storylines, though it does have great art. I hope that the upcoming Sinister War is crafted with more care and that Spencer leaves the title on a high note.