The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is published by Marvel Comics. It is written by Zeb Wells, with pencils by John Romita Jr, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Marcio Menyz, and letters by Joe Caramagna. This issue is part of the Gang War crossover. In The Amazing Spider-Man #42, the groups within the war are dropping and merging, leading to huge surges for dominance over New York.
Where the tie-ins have been focusing on the outskirts of the city and the skirmishes, The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is really the main book of the crossover. As such, it aims straight for the heart of the conflict. Taking place immediately in the aftermath of Kingpin’s huge move in the last issue, it takes not just a player off the board but a whole family. That allows one of the others to move in.
There are still other players, but it feels like the two biggest sides are now aimed directly at one another. The tie-ins have an impact on this issue. The continuity between the most important avenues of the crossover is established brilliantly at this late stage of the series. Miles Morales: Spider-Man is the most connected, although Wells does an excellent job of placing most of them within the right timeframe.
There is less action within this issue, but that is because Wells is actually setting up one enormous fight scene for the next chapter. This breathing space allows for some exposition and character development, which may have been lacking during all of the posturing and lunges for power. The pacing may be slightly slower, but that is welcome within such an energetic series. All of the scrambling for territory has meant that there are pieces to be picked up and sides to change over.
Within The Amazing Spider-Man #42, a really deep and intimate story is exposed. There have been huge characters, and the cast is huge, but ultimately, it’s really about family. The brutal conflict in the previous issue was all about two fathers protecting their children. But in this chapter, that switches. Two daughters get the chance to talk about their fathers and how they have been failed by them.
The dialogue becomes haunting, giving humanity to characters that have never really shown it. There are women within this book who have been raised and yet utterly devastated by their parenting, even if their fathers weren’t in the picture. It’s a rare glimpse at the intricacies within members of Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery that were yet to receive it.
On a lighter note, the switching of sides within Gang War is both humorous and revealing. Many of the criminals purely need a crew and will latch on to whoever they find. This changes the dynamics of the groups and is slowly growing the biggest forces within the conflict.
The art is yet again fantastic. The brawl in the previous issue has its ramifications still extremely visible. Kingpin’s face is a mess, covered in blood and bruises, and so is Tombstone’s. The continuation of damage across the issues shows how worn down the characters are getting. Some characters have been occupying the tie-ins, but it is interesting to see them presented by a different artist.
For some of them, it is the first time that they have ever been drawn by another artist. This creates an intriguing experience. Romita and Hanna can handle both the noise and the quiet needed for the art. This issue features both. Whether it be two characters having a heart-to-heart or an enormous field of bodies, the detail is incredible.
The colors are vibrant and stunning. The actual world and background itself don’t often contain many bright or noteworthy tones. But virtually every character in the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel Universe does. Menyz gloriously celebrates the vibrancy in those costumes. It is the colors that illuminate the damage done to Kingpin’s face, which was one of the most shocking parts of the first half of the comic. The lettering has been consistently excellent due to Caramagna’s longevity within the series.
The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is another great story for the villains. Despite the title, Spider-Man is in the backseat for the majority of this comic. His vast array of enemies are actually the ones that control the direction the crossover takes. They are moving rivals out of the way and knocking others out, inadvertently helping Spider-Man and his amazing friends. These villains are given the time to flourish and be explored, even amid all of the chaos. Romita’s art style also feels nostalgic, harking back to the first comics I ever read, which is perhaps why the storyline has been so enjoyable.
The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is available where comics are sold.
The Amazing Spider-Man #42
The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is another great story for the villains. Despite the title, Spider-Man is in the backseat for the majority of this comic.