AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 features the climactic end of the “Heist” arc. The Thieves Guild have been on an appropriate robbery spree, stealing valuable items from the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe. With the help of the Black Cat, Spider-Man was able to track down the Guild’s home base. Now, a brawl’s about to unfold, and so is some deep insight into MJ’s life.

Since he already gave us a bit of an introspective look at Peter Parker, it only makes sense for Nick Spencer to now give us a bit of a look inside the mind of Mary Jane. MJ’s story is easily the focus of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10. At least, it should be. We may have Thieves Guild shenanigans at the forefront, but MJ’s story definitely takes precedent.

The artistic duo of Humberto Ramos and Michele Bandini are back for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 looked great thanks to their combined efforts, and the same can be said for this issue. Though their styles don’t mesh perfectly together, they’re not exactly meant to. Both styles are distinct, much like the two stories being told here.

Spidey and Black Cat vs. the Thieves Guild

At the end of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9, Spider-Man and Black Cat were cornered by the Thieves Guild in the clan’s facility. They are grossly outnumbered by the Guild members. Before all hell breaks loose, the two have a little chat with Odessa. While Spidey humorously gripes about the hyphen in his name, Black Cat sets the record straight that while she may not have a heart of gold, she’s far from being downright vile.

And, with that, the action ensues.

Interposed with the action are thoughts from MJ as she engages in one of those Lookup meetings. Though it probably wasn’t her initial intention, MJ has a lot to share with the group. After all, she and Pete have been through more than the two can readily recall.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 page 5. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

MJ practically bears her soul to us. There’s a serious internal conflict going on here; she knows she loves Peter, but she also knows that him being Spider-Man has often times been a deterrent to their relationship. She doubts she’s the one for him, and that maybe Pete would be better off with someone else.

For example, Black Cat. As MJ lays all this out, her speech is played over the images of Spidey and Black Cat fighting the Thieves Guild. Some of MJ’s speech follows Black Cat, specifically the bits where MJ doubts she should be with Pete.

Thank God we’ve got Jarvis. Jarvis, the Avengers’ longtime butler, has had many similar life experiences as MJ. That’s why he knows just how “indispensable” she is to her hero. Because, let’s face it, without MJ, Peter Parker wouldn’t know what to do with himself.

A Humorous and Emotional Victory

With MJ’s doubts reconciled, we turn back to the Guild battle. Fearing a loss, the Guild use some magic that they apparently have (which isn’t as far-fetched as you might think) to wisp away their loot.

However, through some stroke of stupid luck, Spidey pings Ms. Marvel’s phone, which gives all the other heroes who have missing items an exact location of the Guild. Odessa and the Guild vanish before the cavalry can arrive, but the day is ultimately won by the heroes.

Following the battle, Spidey and Felicia have a very heartfelt moment. Cat can’t remember who Spidey is under the mask. Nor should she. That’s was the point of “One More Day.” But, for once, Felicia Hardy evokes a sense of sincerity. And that gets to Pete. He reveals himself to her, in a moment I really wasn’t expecting, but loved nonetheless.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 concludes with MJ telling Pete what we, the readers, already knew: she’s indispensable.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 Balances Creativity and Sensitivity

I’ve been sort of iffy with the “Heist” arc. The first two parts didn’t give us much to work with. It felt like another filler Spidey story. I knew it would be fun, for sure, but I wasn’t sure we’d get any substance out of it. Leave it to Nick Spencer to prove me wrong right at the last second.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 page 6. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 is much like #5: the finale to the arc delivers an absolute bombshell that makes the whole thing worth it. There’s an intense amount of emotion here, as well as some meaningful character development. Particularly, MJ and Black Cat are the stars of this issue.

I loved MJ’s story in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10, front to back. I love the word used to describe her here — indispensable. That’s a word you don’t hear very often when talking about a loved one. At least, I don’t think. But it’s so utterly perfect, especially in the case of MJ. There have been so many attempts to replace MJ as Peter Parker’s romantic interest. None ever felt right. MJ and Pete complete each other. They belong together, simple as that.

Frankly, you could also make an argument for Black Cat being indispensable, too. She’s no Mary Jane, but Felicia also holds a very special place in Spider-Man’s heart. She means something to him, and he to her. They have a particular and unique bond. And, with this issue’s conclusion, that bond is likely stronger than ever before. I just hope that Peter revealing himself doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass.

Artistic Creativity, To Boot

Humberto Ramos and Michele Bandini don’t disappoint, either. Their artwork is just as impressive as Spencer’s storytelling. And, again, I’m a big fan of the duality portrayed in this issue. These two have such varying styles, and yet the issue feels more complete because of the variations.

Jumping between the two visual styles is a smooth process. As MJ is telling her story, we’ll see her drawn in Bandini’s style. Then, we’ll jump to pages of Spidey and Cat fighting the Guild. Those scenes are told in Ramos’ style. It’s fun seeing these transitions play out so seamlessly.

What makes them even more fun is the crossover, in certain scenes. It’s not the art, specifically, but rather the things being spoken. MJ will start speaking in one scene, and her words will carry over into another that features Ramos’ artwork. I love that. It makes the two styles, and the two stories of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10, feel more connected.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 page 21. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This is also definitely one of Ramos’ better-looking Spidey issues in recent history. Seriously, this is good stuff. Spidey and the rest of the cast drawn by Ramos are on point. The same can be said for Bandini. Can he be a series regular yet? Just saying.

Curse You, Bandage Guy!

The absolute final word from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 comes from that bandaged, centipede-carrying creep who’s been hiding oh-so-quietly in the shadows these past few months. It’s driving me insane that I can’t figure out who this guy is. Is it obvious to anyone else? It’s not to me. I must know!

Besides that, though, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 is another success for writer Nick Spencer. His run with Spidey has been peculiar, to say the least. It stagnates at certain bits, but the conclusions to each of his arcs have been incredible. Ultimately, all his storytelling adds to the characters and the world, and I love that.

The pages from Humberto Ramos and Michele Bandini perfectly compliment Spencer’s storytelling. Though the two have very depictions of the world and the characters, they still come together to tell a clear, concise story through their artwork. And, again, someone please make Bandini a series regular!

Up next, we’ve got some shenanigans with JJJ to look forward to. I’m sure that’ll be fun.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, and Michele Bandini
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 succeeds in its usage and evaluation of Mary Jane and Black Cat. These are two characters who have been absent from the Spider-Man scene for a while. It's great to see Nick Spencer give them their due.
95 %
A Touching Conclusion

One Comment

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