In case you didn’t notice, the holiday season is in full gear! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 makes it a point to let you know right off the bat that it’s Christmas time in New York. Meaning everyone’s going appropriately manic with holiday insanity. That includes everyone’s favorite hot-headed reporter/talk-show host, J. Jonah Jameson. Although, he’s more just going insane trying to get everyone to love Spider-Man.

Writer Nick Spencer keeps on cranking out the pointedly funny and peculiar stories in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11. This is definitely a calmer issue, but a fun one, nonetheless. It’s filled with tons of Jameson screaming his lungs out and Spidey getting into the appropriate shenanigans that call for such screaming.

And it all looks absolutely impeccable, thanks to returning artist Ryan Ottley! God, I’ve missed his pages. Ottley’s return in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 is a hit, as he picks up right where he left off with Spidey. He hardly misses a beat here, and he really leans into making Jameson look completely batshit crazy.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 Gets Festive

We jump right into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 with a mixture of Christmas cheer and Jameson jeer (yeah, I just said that). As is the usual, Jameson is on the air, screaming at people to go out and love Spider-Man. Of course, that wasn’t always the usual, but since Pete revealed his identity to Jonah in the pages of PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, the two have had a… healthier (I guess) relationship. So, now, Jameson’s all team Spidey.

Jameson is invited by Mayor Fisk to attend a ceremony, where he’ll be presented a lifetime achievement award (or something like that) by none other than Spider-Man himself. And who would J. Jonah Jameson be if he were to decline such a prestigious offer?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Spidey is dealing with the full force of all the holiday mania. He has a brief run-in with the Hippo, who’s trying to steal a Galactus doll. Apparently, someone wanted to make dolls of villains to make them less imposing. Following this brief encounter, Pete rushes over to Robbie Robertson’s home to enjoy a holiday meal with him and his son, Randy (Pete’s roommate).

Afterwards, Pete meets up with Jameson to tell Jonah he’s not presenting any award. Of course, Jonah’s not a big fan of that, but before the two can make a solid decision, they’re attacked by the Enforcers. Somehow, these three actually take Spidey out, capturing him and Jonah and locking them up in an undisclosed location. Clearly, their problems are far from over.

J. Jonah Jameson: Hard to Love, Harder to Hate

Is it just me, or has it been a while since Jameson has been properly featured in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? He popped up during the “Go Down Swinging” event, but that was a minor appearance, at best. Jameson’s been a bit more popular in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN these days. Well, I for one am glad to see him back in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11.

And this is one of those issues that just proves how absolutely ludicrous and hysterical Jameson’s character is. Nick Spencer practically spells it out for us with Robbie Robertson’s dialogue: it’s always about Jonah. You can so clearly tell how much fun Spencer had writing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11. This is the crazed and rambling, yet somehow coherent JJJ we all know and love.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 page 8. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Spencer smartly incorporates the standards of Jameson; one moment, he’ll be on a narcissistic rant. The next, he’ll get a little humble. Then, he’s right back to screaming and cheering his own praises. And, though he’s definitely on Spidey’s side nowadays, that doesn’t stop him from chewing Pete’s ears off. The banter between these two feels as natural as ever. It’s almost more fluid now that the two really understand where the other is coming from.

I will say, I particularly enjoyed watching Jameson completely screw up Spider-Man’s flow during the Enforcer fight. Spidey can clearly handle himself, but Jameson keeps hollering during the fight, trying to help, but only throws Spidey off his game. This is a new dynamic that I really want to see more of in future AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues.

Jameson’s Looking Sharp, Too

Seriously, I really love Ryan Ottley working on this series. He’s breathing a whole new kind of energy into this series with his art. And in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11, not only does Jameson read naturally, he looks the part, too.

Like I mentioned earlier, Ottley really keys into that aspect of Jonah always looking either frazzled and uptight or cocksure and snobbish. That, and Ottley totally nails the Jameson look, with that damn mustache and the white hair on the sides of his head. I sometimes feel like Jameson’s whole getup is meant to be satirical of his own character. If that’s the case, then Ottley gets an A+ for absolutely nailing this character design.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 page 17. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

And, as I’ve said in previous reviews, the way Ottley draws Spider-Man is downright awesome. Ottley always finds a nice balance between angular and smooth designs. This is especially true for Spider-Man. Spidey’s build feels natural, and his mask looks so goddamn cool! And Ottley’s design for Peter is also really good. Looking at this Peter Parker, I’m reminded of the character as part of the J. Michael Straczynski era.

I feel like I can’t sing the praises of Ottley’s artwork enough. He’s not perfect; Robbie looks a little odd upon his introduction, and a couple of background character expressions feel a little too exaggerated. But, overall, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 looks sharp as could be, thanks to Ottley’s pages.

A Stinging Conclusion

Needless to say, the ending of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 doesn’t bode well for Spider-Man and Jameson. They’re faced with a handful of bug-like characters, including the Scorpion. Where’s he been, anyway? Not that I completely care, Mac Gargan’s an absolute laughing-stock. This time around, though, it looks like he and whoever’s backing him mean business.

It’s implied there’s some new shadowy figure in play, but my guess is that this new guy is definitely a puppet to that bandage-faced creep. Surprisingly, he doesn’t make an appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11, but I’m sure we’ll see him again soon.

Nick Spencer really knows how to keep a fun story rolling. I’ve sort of gotten a handle on his storytelling style for Spidey; the arcs have slow build-ups to fairly large payoffs. Which I’m fine with. But that’s not to say AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 is weak. It’s a fun issue with some great J. Jonah Jameson content. And it looks nearly flawless, thanks to Ryan Ottley’s pages.

This one’s definitely worth your attention, especially if you’re looking for a quick laugh.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Laura Martin
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 succeeds all around in telling a humorous story and reintegrating J. Jonah Jameson into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
93 %
Jameson's Back in the Game!

One Comment

  1. […] SPIDER-MAN #12 picks up immediately where #11 left off. Spidey and Jameson are essentially in deep trouble. They’ve got a bunch of bug-themed creeps […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *