After a hectic night out with Boomerang, Spidey’s deserved a bit of R & R. But, as is often the case in the Marvel Universe, peace and quiet doesn’t last very long. Something’s brewing in the shadows, something that sounds like it comes from a fantasy story, but is apparently very real. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 introduces us to the Marvel Universe’s very own Thieves Guild.

Writer Nick Spencer continues shaking up Spider-Man’s world as he begins the “Heist” arc. Spencer appropriately gets Spidey involved once more with the larger Marvel Universe. That’s something that’s been lacking in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN for a while now. Pete’s not exactly interacting with all the Avengers again, but the story is likely headed in that direction.

Artist Humberto Ramos and colorist Edgar Delgado are back to deliver some high-octane pages for this new Spidey arc. The way this arc seems to be panning out now is the perfect time to integrate these guys’ art. I’ve always found the most humorous Spidey stories profited most when they featured the art and colors of Ramos and Delgado.

Everyone’s Got Something to Lose

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 opens with a meeting between two sketchy individuals in a nightclub. Guess we can check that trope off of Spencer’s list. We’re introduced to Odessa Drake, a wealthy woman who seems to know her ways around both the business world and the underworld of the Marvel Universe. Though she may seem new to us as readers, the way she acts implies she’s been at the game for a long, long time.

Odessa isn’t just an opulent businesswoman. She’s also the head of Marvel’s new Thieves Guild. Yeah, Marvel’s got one of those now. Elder Scrolls (or any fantasy franchise, for that matter) couldn’t hold onto it forever, I guess.

Meanwhile, Pete and MJ are enjoying some time together. They remark on how both of their lives are in a state of flux. MJ, in particular, has had an especially crazy career these past few years, as AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 points out. As the two are snacking on a treat that would likely give even the most able-bodied person a heart attack, Pete gets a call from Tony Stark.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 page 14. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Thieves Guild has apparently been striking in force. They’ve stolen all of Tony’s armors, Cap’s shield, and one of Thor’s new hammers, to name a few takes.

Spidey is called into action to help deal with this new threat. Unfortunately, the Guild got Pete’s web shooters, too. As he plummets to what would undoubtedly be a painful meeting with the ground, the Black Cat swoops in to save him. And though I thought these two were square, that’s apparently not the case. Felicia is still very much pissed at Spidey.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 Paints a Broader Picture

Like I said before, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 does a solid job of pulling Spidey back into the larger Marvel Universe. He’s not palling around with any other heroes just yet, but the building blocks for such a thing are there now. Which is a good thing. Something lacking in the latter years of Dan Slott’s run was an inclusion of Spidey in the broader Marvel Universe. It would seem that Nick Spencer is looking to fix that problem with the “Heist” arc.

Not only that, but Spencer fills AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 with tons of wit and smart humor. We get a good look at the effects the Thieves Guild is having on the heroes they’re targeting. Cyclops loses his visor, so he can’t see anything. Someone actually had the stones to steal weapons from the Punisher. A particular favorite moment of mine is when Thor is facing off against the Wrecking Crew. Thor loses his hammer, in this instance, which has been a recurring theme for the God of Thunder these past few years.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

One thing I question is how the hell the Guild stole Ghost Rider’s Hell Charger? Shouldn’t he know where it is? Hell, shouldn’t Robbie be the only one able to drive the Charger? This feels like an instance of the plot doing whatever the writer needs him or her to do, but because it’s fairly amusing, I’m willing to let it slide.

All-in-all, Nick Spencer is doing well to establish the Thieves Guild as a considerable threat. Anyone who can steal Cap’s shield mid-toss has got skills. Unless it’s mind games or something extraordinarily convoluted, in which case, I’ll be sorely upset.

Looking Good, Spidey

As always, Humberto Ramos brings some quality pages to the Spidey scene in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8. Ramos really gets to shine in this issue, drawing a large handful of heroes and villains and not just the Spidey regulars. And Edgar Delgado’s colors help bring each page more vividly to life.

Probably the best artistic sequences of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 are the two times the pages jump from hero to hero. This gives us an idea of just how far the Guild’s reach is. Plus, it gives Ramos and Delgado all the time they need to show off their skills.

The first instance takes place over three pages, as we see how the Guild robs Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Tony’s armors get nabbed, while Cap’s shield and Thor’s hammer are wisped away mid-fight. Tony’s sequence is straightforward, but it’s amusing to see the action of the Cap and Thor pages come to an abrupt halt on account of their missing weapons.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 page 20. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

On top of the Big Three, the Guild also got Cyclops, Ghost Rider, Punisher, and even Doctor Strange. I’m sure the reach of the Guild goes far beyond just these four. This essentially affects any hero with something worth taking (which is pretty much all of them). Though AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 could only show us a small handful, I’m willing to bet future issues will show us even more.

But again, these few pages, and the entirety of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8, really, give Ramos and Delgado tons of room to experiment and have fun with their craft. It’s not their best, to be certain, but it’s definitely great work, all around.

Black Cat’s Got a Bone to Pick

Now, on top of the Guild stealing from every hero in the Marvel Universe, Spidey has a more personal problem to deal with. The Black Cat is back on the scene (and it’s about damn time, too), and she’s still angry at Pete. The Cat’s claws are out (literally), and Spidey’s no doubt going to catch them in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9.

As for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8, Nick Spencer has done a great job establishing the Thieves Guild and opening up Peter Parker’s life again to the rest of the Marvel Universe. Though I’m sure Pete doesn’t appreciate it, I get the feeling many of us readers will.

Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado continue to prove why they’re two of the best artists to ever work on Spidey. The art moves smoothly from page to page and is filled with energy and drama, matching Spencer’s smart, witty writing.

If AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 is any indication, we’ll have a lot of fun shenanigans to look forward to in the near future.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, and Edgar Delgado
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 shines in how it establishes a new villainous gang and how it pulls Spidey back into the larger Marvel Universe. New material like this is what's helping Nick Spencer's run with the character excel. Here's hoping we get more of it.
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Clever Like A Thief


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