REVIEW : ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #81

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amazing Spider-Man #81

Amazing Spider-Man #81 is written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Carlos Gomez, colored by Bryan Valenza, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. Ben Reilly has faced many threats during his tenure as Spider-Man, including Morbius and Kraven the Hunter. However, he faces a unique one when the Beyond Corporation asks him to take on a new challenge: convincing Miles Morales to give up the now-trademarked mantle of Spider-Man. However, Miles isn’t as easy to sway as Ben may have hoped…

This issue sees Ahmed taking over writing duties, which is definitely an exciting prospect for me. Ahmed has done wonders writing for Miles Morales: Spider-Man, fleshing out the young web-slinger in the wake of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse‘s success. It’s only natural that he picks up plot points from that series, including Miles dealing with the malevolent Assessor and his very own “Clone Saga” (the irony is not lost on me that he ends up briefly scuffling with yet another clone.) And on the Ben side of things, Ahmed shows he has a handle on the new Spider-Man. Ben has a jocular rapport with his Beyond handler Marcus, is actually willing to talk about the Kraven situation with his girlfriend Janine, and even calls out Beyond CEO Maxine Danger over the situation with Miles.

Another Spidey alum joins the creative team as Gomez takes up artistic duties. Gomez previously illustrated issues of Amazing Spider-Man, as well as the recent 80.BEY one-shot and the Amazing Mary Jane miniseries. His anime-esque art is a wonder to behold, especially in the sequence where Ben deploys the Beyond-approved take on Spider-Man’s favorite “web-wings.” The sight of Ben literally soaring across the New York waters is an image that evokes pure joy and awe-feelings that every comic should strive for. And the fight sequences boast plenty of “arachnobatic” flair, including Miles and Ben’s tussle and their joining of forces to fight Rhizome — a massive rock-like being that is terrorizing downtown New York.

A good comic should have good coloring, and Valenza is an extremely gifted colorist. True to Spidey fashion, red and blue are the most prominent colors in the story — especially where Ben’s suit is concerned. The hi-tech sleekness of Ben’s suit also provides a nice contrast to Miles’ more streetwear-influenced look, as well as its red and black color scheme. Valenza even gives Caramagna’s sound effects a nice touch; every time Miles and Ben fire their web-shooters, the signature “Thwip sound” has a nice mix of blue and yellow. Miles’ “venom blast” powers give off a “Thzzz” sound that’s depicted as bold white letters in the pattern of a lightning bolt, a clever touch.

Amazing Spider-Man #81 welcomes Saladin Ahmed and Carlos Gomez to the creator’s table and shines the spotlight on Ben Reilly and Miles Morales. With Ahmed continuing to explore this storyline in future issues of Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, one can imagine him becoming the main Spider-writer if he wished to hold that position.

Amazing Spider-Man #81 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Amazing Spider-Man #81
4.5

TL;DR

Amazing Spider-Man #81 welcomes Saladin Ahmed and Carlos Gomez to the creator’s table and shines the spotlight on Ben Reilly and Miles Morales. With Ahmed continuing to explore this storyline in future issues of Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, one can imagine him becoming the main Spider-writer if he wished to hold that position.