cm_cameron's The Amazing Spider-Man #655 - No One Dies Part One of Two: Awakening review

A Moment Of Silence

THE BASICS

Marcos Martin delivers the goods in this largely visual issue that deals with the death of Marla Jameson.

MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE CHEF

  • The choice to leave out all dialogue from the first part of this issue is the right one. We don't need words to tell us that this is a sad event we're dealing with here, and the experience is all the more powerful for the lack of them. Martin does a good job of capturing the mood of the funeral and mourning process and more than one panel made my heart plunge. A panel on the opening page is particularly saddening. It's a scene we've seen before, but given what we know of Jonah, looking at him stoic and mechanical just makes everything more depressing.

  • The second part of the issue again relies heavily on the visuals, with Martin illustrating the guilt ridden Peter's dream. A lot of strange imagery is used in this section, much of which will stick with me for a while. I haven't been Marcos Martin's biggest fan in the past, but I can't deny that he's done an excellent job with this issue. I still don't think his style is as good of a fit for Spider-Man as Caselli's, but he was the perfect artist for this issue's style.

  • With this issue, and #654.1 before it, the creative team behind ASM has done a good job of mixing up the formula and giving Spidey fans a nice change of pace. It's good to see that Spider-Man isn't going to be stuck in a formula for every issue and that the team is capable of giving us something different every now and then.

  • I won't go so far as to say that I'm eagerly anticipating the next issue, but I will say that the ending to this one has made me very interested in how things play out. The ending has a tragic twist that's really quite great, and it could play out in fantastic ways.

FEEL THE STING OF MY DISCONTENT!

  • I'm not a big fan of the whole "dream with a message" trope. Not only is it overused in fiction in general, but it pops up in Spider-Man comics quite a bit as well. They just seem like excuses to let the artist go nuts with they're drawings while still advancing the plot. It's (mostly) used well here, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't groan when I realized what was going on.

I'M JUST SAYING

Why can't my dreams ever be motivating? Most of the time I just dream about work or other boring things. I've never seen any people with dolphin heads, or ran around any Escher style stairways. It sure would be nice if George Stacy's disembodied head floated in the clouds and gave me lessons about life and stuff, ya know?

Well, actually, maybe not. I think I'll just stick with the dreams about work.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE

A very visually strong issue that uses a trope this reader's seen more of than he likes. Still, Martin brings his A game to this one and it's a great comic overall.
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