Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol. 2 #4

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This story is part of an Arc: "Brawl In The Family"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 9 Feb 2017.

Background...

Peter and Mary Jane have their hands full with being parents to Annie May Parker, their daughter, who is starting to utilize spider-powers of her own. Mary Jane herself is using the villain Regent’s power-siphoning tech to get in on the action as Spinneret.

A massive sinkhole opened up in New York, caused by the Mole Man and Moloid army, who is trying to steal some of Regent’s weapons for his own nefarious use. Normie Osborn owns the site where this is all happening, and is not pleased.

In Detail...

"Brawl In The Family, pt. 4"
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol. 2 #4
Feb 2017 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Peter, MJ & Annie: still fighting the Mole Man
Arc: Part 4 of "Brawl In The Family"
Writer:  Gerry Conway
Artist:  Ryan Stegman
Cover Art:  David Curiel, Ryan Stegman
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Sonia Oback
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Darren Shan
Assistant Editor:  Allison Stock
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Review

The story opens with Peter, MJ and Annie, all in costume, being chased by the Mole Man and his goons. He’s firing some of the Regent’s former tech weapons at them, a green laser, frying some of his own Moloids in the process.

MJ says they have to do something to stop him, but Peter says not with Annie there, that they have to get her to safety first. They run headlong into a pit of lava. In an amusing sequence, Peter and MJ crash into each other trying to catch a webline on Annie.

Topside, reporters and police are all milling around the opening of the sinkhole. Betty Brant is on the scene, as a reporter for the Daily Bugle, trying to get in earshot of Normie Osborn and his assistant, Ms. January. Betty is on a cell phone call to Jonah Jameson, telling him that a costumed woman has been spotted in the area with spider-powers. Normie tells Ms. January that he wants all the info she can find on Annie, whom he spotted last issue, saying she fascinates him. Among the wreckage, Normie also finds Peter’s Buzzbee camera drone.

Down below, Peter and Mary Jane are bickering with each other over the danger in encouraging Annie to use her spider-powers. Annie herself hears noise coming from a crack in the one of the walls, and crawls through to investigate.

Mole Man is gloating over a weapon he hopes to use to subdue the surface world. Annie drops down on it, surprising him, and Peter and MJ then swing in and beat up everyone. Mole Man is captured. Later, the family is resting on top of building watching the Feds take away the weapon much to Normie’s anger. Annie says she wants a code name, and Peter names her Spiderling. Annie says it’s an ok name, that she likes Spider-Girl too, but Peter says “it’s taken”.

In General...

So closes the opening arc of this ongoing title. The singular-perspective narrative approach of the last three issues is jettisoned to show the Spider-family working together to defeat the bad guy, and the story is stronger for it.

Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of other developments here to mention, outside of Betty Brant reporting on MJ in costume, Normie finding some of Peter’s tech, and Annie getting her own code-name, “Spiderling”. Like MJ’s code name, Spinneret, it’s going to take some getting used to, but she needed to be called something in the field other than Annie.

Gerry Conway writes the Mole Man in a very over-the-top way, which spills over into cheesiness this issue. As this story arc is finished, I will be glad to see some more classic Spider-Man villains show up (and the Sandman is being teased on the cover for the next issue). Ryan Stegman continues to contribute simply outstanding artwork: hyper-detailed and just fun to look at. I very much like the page of Annie crawling down into the depths to catch Mole Man by surprise.

Overall Rating...

I would deem this introductory arc a success, though I’m ready for the story to move on. In spite of the emphasis on an Incredibles-styled family of superheroes, this still reads more like classic Spider-Man than anything Marvel has done in their main universe for several years. 4/5 webs for this issue, great stuff.