By:Ben Johnson
Review Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
Source: Mania

After the new telling of what actually happened between Peter and MJ in the place of the much maligned One More Day (or at least what seemed like a retelling, or something, I’m still confused) it’s time for all of us to calm down, forgive Joe Quesada and friends for screwing with everyone’s favorite lovable loser, Peter Parker... or not. But at least it’s all going in a new direction. We think. Damn. My brain is bleeding.

Anyway, issue 643 of Amazing Spider-Man is the second part of Origin of the Species series that will say good-bye to the nearly weekly release schedule and massive creative team that has delivered a huge amount of content over the last couple of years. But will it be a send off worthy of some of the great talent the title has seen over the last several years, or more indicative of the so-so quality many have complained of?

Doc Ock, now incredibly ugly, has gathered together the usual gang of Spider-Foes to hunt down the soon to be born off-spring of Norman Osbourn and the villainess Menace. He seems to believe the answers to all the world’s mysteries are wrapped up inside this little, Spock-eared baby, and he’s willing to do anything, pay anything to get it. Of course, there’s a Friendly Neighborhood Wall-crawler who is equally willing to stop him at all costs.

This latest issue takes place only moments after the birth of the little bundle of goblin powered joy. Spidey steals him and tries to escape, but (surprise, surprise) everyone from the bad guys to the cops end up chasing him trying to get the baby back. What follows is an incredibly fast paced, frenetic, chase scene through New York City’s concrete canyons.

Despite the fact that a just-born-baby would be dead by the second web swing, there is a lot to love here. First and foremost, the art is absolutely stunning. Paul Azaceta is at the absolute top of his game here. Stunning in it’s simplicity, I wouldn’t be shocked to find out this guy has been studying under none other than Steve Ditko. Of course, this wouldn’t pop the same without the outstanding coloring Javier Rodriguez lends. I swear, I could hear the buzz coming off Electro’s bolts. The issue is delivered at break neck speed and each panel adds to that feeling. Not a single page looks to be static in nature. Good show.

Cover art to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #643 by Marko Djurdjevic

The story isn’t too shabby either. Unlike so many other mid-arc stories, I felt like I got a little meat and potatoes instead of several pages filled with nothing but action. Tons of characters get pulled into the act, but somehow it fits like peanut butter and jelly. Except for the inclusion of the now annoying Mary Jane (Not Parker) Watson. So much to love, why shoe-horn this whiny, bratty red head? Beside that, Waid handles things well, and I’m glad Marvel chose him to close things out. Of all the myriad or writers involved with the title, he has always had a clear grasp on what makes the character so special.

Mania Grade: B-
Title: Amazing Spider-Man #643
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Paul Azaceta
Colors by: Javier Rodriguez
Letters by: Joe Caramagna
Published by: Marvel Comics
Publication Date: September 15, 2010
Cover Price: $2.99