By Marc Guggenheim (writer), Salvador Larroca (art), Jason Keith (colors)

Marc Guggenheim concludes his run on Amazing Spider-Man this week. For the most part, his story has kept in tune with what Dan Slott started on his Brand New Day run. It’s fun, entertaining, and even surprising at times.

The first thing that struck me when upon finishing this issue is the complete omission of the supporting cast. However, I can see why this choice was made, given the circumstances. What we get instead, is a satisfying conclusion to the whole Menace story line. Guggenheim spends the whole issue focused on Spider-Man and Jackpot trying to apprehend this new villain. There is no payoff, per se, but we are given a jolting near the end of the book – a sad conclusion that Peter Parker knows all too well. The whole subplot of “who is Jackpot” also takes a left turn leaving us (and Spidey) with more questions.

All in all, I was pleased with how this issue wrapped up. Salvador Larroca’s art flows much better with the action and narrative this time around. It also probably helped that he didn’t have to draw too many civilian faces, either. Despite missing the supporting cast, everything is paced just right and Guggenheim clearly makes the distinction of what separates a rookie from a veteran superhero. His humor is hit and miss, but most of the time, it hits (especially when Spidey questions the cops on why they shoot at him and not Menace). The only thing I hated was the gratuitous plug for “Brothers & Sisters”, a show Guggenheim produces. Was that really necessary, Marc? (Grade: B+)

– J. Montes