Amazing Spider-Man #88BEY is written by Geoffrey Thorne, illustrated by Jan Bazaldua with Jim Towe, colored by Jim Campbell, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It’s published by Marvel Comics. After the events of King in Black, Hobie Brown, formerly known as the Prowler, has taken up the mantle of the Hornet and launched a crowdfunding platform named Fairgray to help the victims of superhuman battles. However, Fairgray is brought out by the Beyond Corporation for a hefty sum, which leads Hobie to investigate and encounter the Slingers known as Dusk and Ricochet in the process.
Previous “Beyond” one-shots have turned the spotlight on Spider-Man’s supporting cast, from the Daughters of the Dragon to Mary Jane Watson and Black Cat. This story takes it up a notch by revisiting a piece of Spidey’s past, namely, the “Identity Crisis” saga, which saw him taking on different identities after he was framed for murder. Considering that the identity of Spider-Man has been put to the test in the “Beyond” saga, with Ben Reilly taking up the mantle and Peter Parker working to earn it back, it’s only fitting that the Slingers play a part in the story.
And Hobie Brown gets to step into the spotlight, with Thorne scripting a story that perfectly suits the former Prowler’s skills. Hobie is understandably angry when Beyond takes over his business. It’s a rage I’ve seen before in the real world when small businesses get overshadowed by massive corporations, and it’s justified as all his hard work goes to waste. But the story also spotlights his resourcefulness, proving he’s on the same level as geniuses like Peter Parker and Tony Stark. And it highlights his desire to do good, whether he’s facing the forces of an eldritch god or a conglomerate with every advantage on its side. Thorne excels at character-based writing and I’m glad he did this for Hobie, as I’ve always felt Hobie was a Spider-Man character that could use more exposure.
Joining Thorne are Bazaldua, Towe, and Campbell on artwork. The art team gives a redesign to the Hornet costume; it still has the black and purple color scheme but Hobie’s entire face is covered by a metallic plate similar to the one Jace Fox uses in I Am Batman. The costume can also turn full black for “stealth mode,” with the only source of light coming from Hobie’s chest symbol. The Slingers also have to stop a pack of interdimensional creatures who look like they escaped from an episode of Star Trek. They’re all bright pink flesh and razor sharp teeth. The one part of the art that’s lacking is Caramagna’s lettering. Usually, it’s been vibrant and expressive, especially in Amazing Spider-Man #88 with the Goblin Queen, yet in this issue, the same spark is lacking.
Amazing Spider-Man #88BEY once again turns the spotlight on a member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, while also revisiting a storyline from his past. I only hope sales on this book are strong enough to warrant a Slingers miniseries, as I feel the creative crew could really work wonders with the concept.
Amazing Spider-Man #88.BEY will be available wherever comics are sold on February 9, 2021.
Amazing Spider-Man #88.BEY
Amazing Spider-Man #88.BEY once again turns the spotlight on a member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, while also revisiting a storyline from his past. I only hope sales on this book are strong enough to warrant a Slingers miniseries, as I feel the creative crew could really work wonders with the concept.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.