Review: Amazing Spider-Man #674

The Vulture is back and Spidey's gonna be in trouble.  Hey now, hey now, the Vulture's back.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Amazing Spider-Man 674

So Spider Island is over? What now? Oh that’s easy, have a few issues where things just happen, little things, no big arcs. That’s the ticket, that’s the best way right? Well, if you’re writer extraordinaire Dan Slott, you say "screw that" and start setting up a story arc that brings back the Vulture. Not the Vulture we’ve seen recently but the old school Vulture – the creepy old bald man who now lives above a nightclub and runs a teen group of flying thieves and murderers. It’s like a twisted Charles Dickens plot and, as is usual with Dan Slott, it’s incredibly cool.

The story itself is minimal; this is a set up issue for the next story arc. With Spider Island over, the fallout for Peter Parker and his webby alter ego has just begun. First off, the idea of New York’s finest loving Spidey is a thing of the past. In what feels like a nice tension release from the past issues, Slott spends three pages detailing how Spidey dismantles the spider hunters that he actually helped upgrade during Spider Island. Then there’s Carlie, Peter’s ex-girlfriend. Slott masterfully works her back into Peter’s life in a way that both makes sense and allows their relationship to settle into some kind of normalcy. Probably the most amazing thing here is that Slott has made the Vulture sinister again and only shows him once. It’s the power of suggestion that works, plus the Vulture just look more ruthless.

Other elements are coming together as well. The Kingpin is back in Spidey’s life as is the new Hobgoblin, who I still don’t like. His attitude is too much like the Joker. It looks as if one of Kingpin’s men has figured out a way to bring the spider sense jamming frequency home to the crime lord. During the initial battle between the web head and the cops, Spidey refers to his spider sense. Between that and the Kingpin’s new toy, I’m guessing the spider sense problem isn’t done yet.

In one swift issue, Dan Slott has introduced Kingpin, Hobgoblin, a gang of Vulture children and, of course, the Vulture himself. Where is all this going? Who knows? What does it have to do with the coming Sinister Six story arc? That’s another enigma. Slott gives very little away but no by sacrificing excitement or fun. Amazing Spider-Man #674 is a great read, even if the main goal is set things up for whatever ton of bricks is about to his Spidey’s head.

The art from Giuseppe Camuncoli is the only problem with issue 674. The work isn’t bad; it’s just really hit or miss. Camuncoli’s Vulture is amazing; the splash page reveal makes him look positively badass. Then there’s his Kingpin, who just looks goofy. The Hobgoblin looks great but the Vulture children look like Goth posers, which is never good. The most damaging part of the artwork is the faces. Camuncoli’s eyes are always popping out and more often than not the expressions on the faces are ridiculous overdone. It’s especially harsh with the Chief Prachett the Vulture children and the Kingpin. I hope Camuncoli gets that under control, I’d hate for tepid art to hurt what is setting up to be another awesome Dan Slott tale.