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Peter Parker joined the Future Foundation
in lieu of the death of Johnny Storm, The
Amazing Spider-Man series has in some ways lost sight of what it is… that
it’s a Spider-Man comic. It seems as though Spider-Man is the new Deadpool, a
comic that pulls all other comics into it and adds a bumbling funny man in the
form of the titular hero. However, even though the comic has recently lost its
focus, I did enjoy reading this one.
Issue #661 is penned by Avengers Academy scribe Christos Gage, filling in for Dan Slott, a fitting choice considering the issue’s content. Here, Spider-Man is approached by Hank Pym and is asked to be a guest lecturer at the Avengers Academy. The premise is great, especially since the fantastic and underrated Avengers Academy series is showcased here.
The book opens with the FF team fighting a giant gorilla. It was useless and basically served as an opening to allow for Pym to ask Spidey to come to the Academy. After he arrives at the school, the interaction between Parker and the kids of the Academy is really where the issue shines. Yes, Spider-Man is one of the most recognized heroes in the Marvel Universe and yes, he is highly regarded as a force to be reckoned with. He is also a lumbering idiot. I’m glad the goofy Peter Parker was on display here, it meshed nicely with the classroom setting of the issue. It also makes the opening segment all the more confusing.
On one page he’s fighting said giant gorilla, and the next he’s Clark Griswald. Granted, he’s one character and each side is a part of him, but I’m simply questioning the overall tone of the issue itself. It felt as though it should have just started with Pym asking Spidey to come teach as he was sitting and watching TV or something. Yeah, it’s less exciting, but I’m lumping this issue into the category of “filler”. The majority of the comic is spent with Parker and the Academy, so let’s call it like it is. That’s not to say the opening wasn’t well done or hokey, it just came across as forced.
Reilly Brown’s art is great and I love the facial expressions of the kids. The color work done here should be mentioned as well. John Rauch does good work and while I wouldn’t like his style in a more conventional issue, the rather bright and cheery nature of it fit the Academy setting well.
The issue did a lot right, and what it fumbled on I can honestly forgive since they were more matters of personal preference. Maybe you’re a huge fan of fights involving giant gorillas. If you are like me and waiting for Spidey to really get back to what he does best, the Spider-Island event is only five issues away.
Overall Score - 7.8/10
*Sure it's filler - but it's well drawn, funny and entertaining filler*