AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 continues the story of the amazing Spider-Family. The antics of Peter, Mary Jane, and Annie have been nonstop fun thus far, and this issue definitely sticks with that trend.

The family-oriented story of the Parkers is a gift that keeps on giving. This time around, author Jody Houser and artists Nick Roche and Ruth Redmond deliver a more MJ-oriented experience, and it definitely pays off. Steering away from using Peter as a focus helps to make this one of the most enjoyable issues in the series thus far.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 Loves Mary Jane Watson

The story of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS has consistently been about the realistic relationship of the Parker family. The series has always been well-balanced in terms of exploring and developing Peter, MJ, and Annie, both as individuals and as a family. However, I can’t help but feel like the majority of this series uses Peter as the primary focus. It makes sense, given this is a Spider-Man series, but this series is at its best when it’s not about Peter.

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This issue handles this idea very well. Mary Jane is the primary focus of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14. We need more issues like this one. Mary Jane in this series has had a fun dynamic throughout. She deals with her boutique; she has escapades as Spinneret; and most importantly, she’s trying to be a good parent. Her dilemma is similar to Peter’s, in terms of how realistic it feels (aside from the superhero ventures, of course), but I can’t help but admit Mary Jane is a better focus than Peter. She’s always felt a bit more down to Earth than Peter, which helps make her more relatable.

Mary Jane’s narration also fits the tone of a Spider-Man series extremely well. The narration has moments where it either matches what’s happening on the page or where it’s slightly off-topic. That’s the kind of writing readers can expect from a Spider-Man series, and author Jody Houser nails it to a tee. She’s proven once again that she knows how to capture the essence of a Spider-Man title.

Spider-Man Storytelling at Its Best

She’s only been writing the series for two issues, but Houser has already done a great job earning the trust of her readers. She knows what she’s doing with this series. She gets the characters, the world they’re in, and how to make it all feel alive and believable.

One of the things recent AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues have been lacking is the overall interaction between Spidey and the rest of the Marvel Universe. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS has regularly engaged in this kind of interaction. The X-Men have appeared in several issues of the series; just last issue, Logan made an appearance. In this issue, Tony Stark shows up, helping MJ test her Regent Tech suit. These kinds of interactions are small, but they make the world feel fuller, which is always a good thing.

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It’s The Small Things That Make a Difference

There are a ton of little moments sprinkled throughout this issue that inflict a humorous tone while also speaking to MJ’s personal conflicts. As she’s swinging home, MJ finds some bullies picking on another kid. As she tries to stop the altercation, all three boys begin panicking. It feels weird and sudden, yet somehow fitting. MJ figures out a way to end the conflict and sends the boys home. It ends with the page below, which is probably the funniest page of the issue.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 page 13. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

It seems like MJ caught the Parker Luck. She can’t shake the image of herself as “Spider-Mom.” This is a very humorous moment, but again, it speaks to MJ’s internal conflicts. Her life is so hectic at times that she feels her superhero-related problems are the simplest to deal with. Even when something as simple as dealing with bullies comes up, though, it proves to be slightly complicated as well.

Afterwards, MJ arrives home and tries to crash on the couch. Annie quickly interrupts, though, because she wants her mom to help her try on back-to-school outfits. These few pages between Annie and her mom are so genuine. It’s such a believable moment between a mother and daughter. RENEW YOUR VOWS has been filled with small moments like these, but this is probably one of the best.

The Looks Match the Tone

Much like Houser knows how to tell the story, artist Nick Roche knows just how to draw it. Though not without the occasional hiccup, the art in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 is extremely expressive. Roche’s highly descriptive pages are brought to life by Redmond’s colors.

As I pointed out in my review for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13, Roche’s style is extremely fitting for a Spider-Man book. The pages of this issue can practically tell the story alone. And, in some instances, they just look downright awesome.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 page 19. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I really love how Roche draws MJ and Annie, both in and out of costume. They look badass in costume and show tons of energy out of costume. I refer, again, to the pages featuring Annie and MJ going through new clothes for Annie. The first page of this whole thing features an ecstatic Annie, who’s ready to just spend time with her mom while trying on clothes. Overall, Roche’s style succeeds once again.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 page 14. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Obscurity of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14

The unique cast of villains also helps keep this series fresh. The first villain the Spider-Family faced was the Mole Man. Seriously, who even considers him a threat anymore? In this issue, the Lizard makes another appearance. He’s showed up a few times in the series already. This time, though, he brings a bit of a twist at the end. This series has had a good handle on using obscure villains that don’t show up too often in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN anymore.

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The arcs of the series also feel original and fit the randomness of a Spider-Man book. Isn’t it just the Spider-Family’s luck to run into the Lizard at Coney Island and ruin their family fun day? Houser also throws a fun twist in at the end of this issue. It’s nothing miraculous, but it sets up whatever’s coming next, while also leaving it very obscure and mysterious.

Gotta Love the Spider-Family

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS by Houser, Roche, and Redmond has been a tasteful, satisfying read thus far. The stories are simple yet original, and the art is totally befitting of a Spider-Man series. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 keeps the series rolling and brings new depth to Mary Jane.

Whatever’s coming in the next issue has me very intrigued, something involving the freak show, I think. The next issue should definitely be told from Annie’s perspective. It would be nice to round the “8 Years Later” arc off like that. Regardless, I expect another great issue from this creative team. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 is a success, through and through.

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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #14 by Jody Houser, Nick Roche, and Ruth Redmond
Character
Art
Plot
Summary
Focusing on Mary Jane was a great idea for this issue. Her character progresses a lot, and it's all matched very well with moments of humor and action.
92 %
Gotta Love the Spider-Family

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