sweatboy's The Amazing Spider-Man #663 - The Return of Anti-Venom, Part 1: The Ghost of Jean Dewolff; Infested Stage 4: Out of Nowhere; Thanks... But No Thanks review

Spider-Man get's published!

I wouldn't say this is one of the best issues i've read, or say the art was extra-ordinary-ly good, at least not in the first few pages, or with the costumes on. The people were drawn quite ok. It's got a heck of a cover, with Anti-Venom, and a 3rd hero/villain/anti-hero/vigilante with a cool carapace-like suit that goes with the arachnid theme. But the art's actually kind of goofy, the colours are... matt? not really. Bright? The whole issue is a bright issue, but hey! It's a good day for Spidey! Gotta be happy for him! Still doesn't give me the old feel of reading a COMIC book, maybe it was the size of the collected print i was holding. I couldn't identify a Splash per say, but i liked how every important detail is summed up as the first page of a Daily Bugle, (but that's been done before right?) on an iPhone screen! with a well named logo too.

The way this issue's story is spread out is cool too. The story is essentially SPLIT between 2 characters, though i suppose not equally. Anti-Venom, who at least started out as a mirror image of Spidey's, with a twist, has his own campaign, and Peter Parker has his life been summed up, till both characters meet.
The Bad
So Veno-- ANTI-Venom, is trying to be the good guy. It's not the first time he "tries" to be the good guy, in fact he IS a good guy, maybe even a better good guy than Spidey himself. I don't need to recall the question on his moralities, since he's the classic example for the "anti-hero", but he has become one of my favourites, mostly due to his appearance,... at least what he USED to look like. But back to the story, Venom's trying to be serious, he's no friendly neighbourhood Spider powered guy, BUT,... this is what's funny, Venom is goofy! Venom's been kicked around, by enemies stronger than him or even relatively-wimpy Parker, but he doesn't really strike me as a GOOF. But here he's trying to scare the villains, being the bad cop he is, but at the end of Act I he ends up being THANKED, to which he's dumbfounded! I LOL'd, but this is what i mean by the art and the comic is not as cool as an "Amazing" comic should be. Even in Steve Ditko's drawings, Spiderman may have been in black and white, but he was emotional, he was serious. EVERYONE in the comic was serious, but it's not the Punnisher, everyone's happy in a Spiderman comic. Spiderman art looked awesome when every sinew of his body was accented, and there were shadows accenting the accents. So many lines on them pictures. Seeing those action figures made me realize how many muscles the human body actually has on it! The "superhero" physique, whatever happened to THAT Spiderman?
The Good
So we know by now that Spidey's working for "Horizon" labs, and this is what i like about this issue. Most people forget that Peter Parker, is a SCIENTIST! I once got into this conversation with a friend, she studies Chemistry, and i said, "You'll be a chemist like SM!" to which she replied "But i thought he was a photographer. Daily Bugle? Ring a bell?" But Parker was a bright student, smart enough to get a scholarship for ESU, being one out of the only 2 who did that, the other having gained his scholarship for athletic skill.

Today, Peter Parker is getting PUBLISHED in the American Science Journal (a journal, whatever it's name) which is basically the highlight of the comic. He's so HAPPY about it! having achieved something with his "good ol' brain" at last. I bet the "real" Peter Parker, if asked to describe himself, would call himself a scientist first, and a superhero second. The Daily Bugle was just a side job, to get him through college, or pay his bills at first, but everytime you see the guy, he's snapping pictures of himself and hiding his clothes, and trying to find them,... and running out of webbing,.. GOSH! so many recurring events!
Now, the lesser interesting but still pretty cool stuff. We also get a recap of what's going on with Spiderman's life, he's in 2 super-teams at the same time, he's getting paid better than ever, he's got a really super hot girlfriend, who's not MJ but who IS a police detective, which as you know in the superhero world is AWESOME, and he's working at Horizon labs. So it's an ordinary day in Parker's life, got the job, got the girlfriend, but they're not the same boring versions they used to be in the newspaper strips. And here's where my jaw dropped,.. Aunt May has a man in her life, who refers to himself as "Jay".... And May is now Mrs Jameson.... :o Well this should not come as a surprise,..
I should mention, the pictures of JJ, Aunt May, Peter and his girlfriend all looked very pretty. While Anti-Venom still looked something of a hay-stacked scarecrow. What is this PG-13?
The plot about the villain too is an amazing idea. The superheroes have their double lives, and so do some bad guys, like Goblin or Kingpin. (so i guess this HAS been done before,..) Mr. Negative, spoiler warning, or not, since Venom pronounces it out, is actually the people's hero! Kudos to that idea, what better cover for a villain, than as a humanitarian? Eh Lex Luthor?
I really loved the story, it still holds on to almost all elements i could think of from the older days of Amazing SM (having recently read #21- #28 + annual #2, i really have to mention that somewhere), like the thought bubble monologues, the sudden battles that include itself into the story, just because we HAVE to see a fight, but is still cool, cos it's a fight, and we'll be disappointed if there were no fights,... though the plots have improved. I would consider this issue a milestone in Peter Parker's life, due to the fact that he gets published, which he admits was a life long dream, (wow that kid had some mature hopes) and would therefore increase the value of it's ownership.

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