The Gauntlet Begins
Sasha and Ana Kravinov's plan to destroy Spider-Man is finally set into motion as Electro and Sandman return in even deadlier ways than before. Spider-Man must stop his old foes while at the same time save civilians from harms way.My Thoughts:
This marks the start of the story arc that has been building up for quite some time in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. The Gantlet pits Spider-Man against long-time foes Elctro and Sandman. Web-Head writers Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente, Mark Waid and Joe Kelly collaborate on this first installment of this grand story arc. While I had been wanting to read this for quite some time, upon finishing this first part, I wasn't overly thrilled. I guess in my mind I had pictured things playing out slightly different.
For a second rate villain, I like Electro. He's nowhere near my favorite villain but I still enjoy seeing Spider-Man beat up on him. For some reason I didn't enjoy the Electro part this time around. I think a lot of it had to do with the way he was written. From the cover of the trade, it looked as if there would be some epic fight between Spider-Man and his enemies yet Electro was only determined in killing Dexter Bennett. I did like how the writers gave him a little "power up" making him a little more deadly this time. The end result was pretty cool as the DB crumbled in the final moments. Other than that the Electro part was a little slow and boring.
The Sandman part was a little better only because we saw Spider-Man doing a little detective investigation. I thought that was pretty cool as he was on the hunt to track down the killer of three murders. I didn't really like the confrontation with Sandman. Sandman's newly acquired power is basically that of Multiple Man in the sense that he can create copies of himself. The fight didn't seem so grand when Sandman began fighting himself. He barely fought Spider-Man which was disappointing.
The art is by far some of the most atrocious artwork I have seen in this series. I honestly can't believe Marvel would put out something so ugly in a big story arc like this. Nothing about the art is good. The way Spider-Man is drawn is just horrendous. His body proportions are way off. It's just completely unattractive. The only time the art was good was during the short part retelling Electro's origin. The covers were so nice yet completely misleading in terms of quality. This is by far some of the ugliest interior artwork I've ever seen.
Unfortunately this story arc doesn't start off with the bang I was looking for. Hopefully the pursuing issues will pick up as I very much want to enjoy this story arc. I liked the overall concept when I initially heard it and would be disappointed if the quality of storytelling and art doesn't improve.Rating: 2.5/5