Writer Nick Spencer opened up his run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with a distinctly strange and unique story. On the surface, it was an odd little tale, but at its core, it was a satisfying reevaluation of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Not only that, but it set the tone for what may be the direction Spencer’s going to take with the character. That direction, to me, seems like “more fun, less depressing bullshit.” If I’m wrong, you could’ve fooled me, because AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 is undeniably fun and funny.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 sees Pete hanging out with his roommate Boomerang. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Pete, not Spider-Man, hangs out with Boomerang. Somehow, somehow he persuades Pete to join him at the Bar with No Name for Spidey Trivia Night. If that doesn’t sound like the stupidest and silliest Spidey story we’ve received in recent memory, I don’t know what is.

Joining Spencer for this second arc is artist Humberto Ramos, who, at this point, could probably be considered a Spidey veteran. For those who don’t know, Ramos joined Dan Slott for the very beginning of the “Big Time” era of Spidey back in 2010. He’s got an incredibly bombastic art style that I absolutely love. He hasn’t worked on a Spidey book in a while, minus the few pages he drew for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800. It’s great to see him back in the Spidey game, though.

It’s Trivia Night in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6!

Yeah, so in case I wasn’t entirely clear before, this is the dumbest Spider-Man issue I’ve read in quite some time. And it completely enthralled me. Like I said, Spencer seems to be taking a lighter tone with his Spider-Man run. There’s certainly an understanding of how the character operates, but the darker elements of the character aren’t at the forefront of this run, so far. Nor should they be.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 page 16. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 picks up with a short story featuring Vulture, Taskmaster, and Black Ant. As it was revealed at the end of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5, Kraven the Hunter is back on the prowl. Apparently, he’s hunting all manner of prey these days. He’s got Taskmaster and Black Ant in his employ, and they were apparently sent to capture Vulture.

With that little tidbit wrapped up, we jump to Pete’s apartment. While he’s trying to have an intimate moment with MJ, his roommate, Fred (aka Boomerang), creepily drops in to ruin it. It’s perfectly apparent how much Spencer loves this guy (after all, he was the focus of SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN). I, for one, am totally on board for more Boomerang shenanigans in the future.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

After Pete shows off some of his know-how on Spider-Man, Boomerang coerces him into joining him for Spider-Man Trivia Night at the Bar with No Name. As you’d expect, Pete wants no part of it. But, after overhearing something about a potential hit from some bad guys, he decides to stay to get the details. But, of course, that leads to Pete completely getting into the trivia.

From there, hilarity ensues. You can take that as you will.

A Freer, More Fun Peter Parker

One of the common arguments I’ve heard from Spidey fans as to why Spencer’s run might not be so great is that it seems to show a complete disregard for the fundamental characteristics of Peter Parker. He’s very carefree, at times not focusing on or caring about his responsibilities and such. That idea is visible in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6, no doubt. This is Peter Parker as we’ve never really seen him before.

Here’s where I would disagree with that argument. Taking Peter Parker in a new direction such as this isn’t a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s probably a very good thing. Peter Parker can’t remain the same forever; he can’t always be harping on about power and responsibility. He has to have some fun every once in a while, maybe bend the rules while a bit. He’s really not that far off from how he’s supposed to be, anyway. He’s just having more fun.

Nick Spencer takes every liberty to have as much as fun possible in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6. Pete takes on the moniker of “The Liar” while he’s at the Bar with No Name (he doesn’t come up with it, it’s bequeathed to him by Boomerang). And, yet, Pete grows into that name, easily winning the trivia game. His transition into genuinely wanting to play the game is natural and very enjoyable to watch.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 page 25. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

All I’m saying is if you deny yourself the joy of reading AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 because you’re too attached to a boy scout Peter Parker, then you’re doing yourself a serious disservice.

It’s Nice to Have Ramos Back

Seeing Humberto Ramos’ art in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 felt incredibly satisfying. Seeing his art in a Spidey book again just felt right, especially at number 800. When I heard he was coming back for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6, as well as the whole second arc of Spencer’s run, I was thoroughly elated.

And, by god, Ramos doesn’t disappoint!

Now, not to sound contradictory, but I’ll start off by saying this is far from Ramos’ best. He’s definitely had better Spidey issues. Just look at any of the “Big Time” era or SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN for proof.

That being said, this is still a fantastic issue to look at. Ramos’ style fits Spidey just as well as it did back then. It feels like it was suited for this kind of story, too. Ramos has always had a knack for drawing Spidey, especially in the lighter, more fun moments. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 is certainly no different. I’m sure this whole arc will feel appropriately drawn, thanks to Ramos.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 page 12. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Of course, joining Ramos on the artistic duties is colorist Edgar Delgado. These two are basically inseparable. They work incredibly well together, always have, and I suspect they always will. Plus, artist Steve Lieber and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg join the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 artistic team for a Superior Foes reunion. Those pages are spectacular, as well.

So, bottom line, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 is downright great to look at. Not the best, but most definitely a good one.

Pete and Fred are In for Some Trouble

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 concludes on a bit of a dire note. On account of Boomerang slighting Wilson Fisk, Fisk puts what is presumably a gargantuan bounty on Boomerang’s head. All the villains in the bar are notified, and all their eyes turn to Pete and Fred as they revel in Pete’s victory. Surely, the next issue will go great for these guys.

But, as it stands, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 is a damn fun issue. There’s nothing terribly exciting or eye-popping, but there’s a ton of hilarious bits and neat little character moments sprinkled throughout. Pete really shines as a genuine, fun-loving guy. I hope to see more of him like this. And, as always, Spencer shows tons of love for Boomerang, which I, for one, appreciate.

Ramos, Delgado, Lieber, and Rosenberg are on fire in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6. It feels incredible to see Ramos and Delgado working together on Spider-Man again, and Lieber and Rosenberg artfully lend their talents for the Superior Foes pages.

Now, here’s hoping Pete and Fred survive what’s yet to come.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 by Nick Spencer, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, and Edgar Delgado
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 continues to prove that Nick Spencer's direction for the character is something to embrace, not shun. I love this freer Peter Parker, and the antics of this issue are extremely fun to watch. Plus, it's got art from Humberto Ramos. What's not to love?
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