By Joe Kelly (writer), Chris Bachalo (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks), Antonio Fabela & Chris Bachalo (colors)
The Story: Enter the new Hammerhead! After having his skeleton completely rebuilt by Mr. Negative, Hammerhead sets out to rout a local gang of thugs while gaining more turf for his new boss. Caught in the middle is Spider-Man who gets involved with one of the adolescent gangsters and his little brother.
The Good? The story’s got a good amount of entertainment value and gags that work. Joe Kelly is having a lot of fun putting words into Spider-Man’s mouth and it’s obvious by the loads of panels that feature Spidey carrying on in silly conversation.
And Hammerhead becoming a brutal villain? At first I didn’t buy it, but I’ve got to admit: Joe Kelly’s done a good update on the character.
The Not So Good? This feels like another retread of troubled youth – a theme that was played to death in J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man run. Chris Bachalo’s art continues to be a brilliant mess. As beautiful as his artwork is there’s an inherent weakness in the storytelling. I know having all white borders is the “flavor of the month” with artists today, but it’s getting old. Also, Bachalo’s renditions of Peter Parker and Aunt May (to an extent) are truly some of the worst I’ve seen. I mean seriously, what the hell was Peter wearing at that fair?
Lastly, the use of photo backgrounds is lame, lame, lame. And lazy.
Conclusion: Quite a fun issue if you don’t go in looking for something deep. I miss the Chris Bachalo who drew great stories like Death. I want that guy back.