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  1. #1
    Y'know. Pav's Avatar
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    Default AMAZING #75 Review and Spoilers: To Benfinity and Beyond!!!

    Ready?! LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    In general, I think Ben fans are going to be extremely happy with this story after years of waiting. To be honest, I'm not going to give a huge chronological review: I really want people to buy this issue and read it for themselves! Despite it being a re-introduction for Ben, it really does feel like a classic issue of Amazing Spider-Man!

    WHAT I LOVED:

    1) THE BROTHERLY BANTER IS BACK!!!! One of the best things about the 90s Clone Saga was the banter between Ben and Peter, and it's never really been recaptured until this very issue! I especially loved the banter ABOUT their banter. After the somewhat frosty conversation earlier in the issue, the back-and-forth banter really highlights that Ben and Peter still have that camaraderie that only they can have.

    2) The "man in the mirror" talk from Scary Spider Dream Monster Uncle Ben. In any other issue, this sequence would still work perfectly, as it provides psychological insight into Peter. But this is a story reintroducing Ben Reilly, and so the notion of facing the man in the mirror really takes on extra importance. I wonder if it'll end up meaning something more later, or if it was just a fun way to get the issue started.

    3) I like the new technological improvements that Ben has. The costume stuff is okay, but what really wowed me was the Spinneret -- it's the closest thing to seeing Ben use his old inventions that we've gotten since his first death. My hope is that he has a hand in making these alongside the scientists of Beyond Corp. "You will be released in one hour. Please use this time to reflect on your life." Hilarious, especially in context.

    WHAT I LIKED BUT MAYBE DIDN'T LOVE QUITE AS MUCH BUT STILL APPRECIATED

    4) Ben and Peter both going to swing where "there's never any traffic." Loved that line, and while their first encounter is somewhat more mildly antagonistic than I'd have liked for our two brothers, the explanation later during their conversation did warm me up to this sequence; we see that Ben, despite his confidence, is still looking out for Peter -- just not at the expense of himself. This is a far cry from Ben's outlook at the beginning of the Clone Saga, where he constantly felt the urge to leave NYC, often questioned his worth, etc. But this seems like the next step for Blonde Ben, who loved being Spider-Man when Peter retired. Had Ben not died at the hands of the Green Goblin, can't you imagine both sharing the name and costume anyway? I certainly can. We just had to wait 20 years

    5) When Ben approaches Peter on campus, Ben looks great -- and I know we're supposed to contrast how he looks with how Peter looks as an indicator of their current mental and emotional health. But Fancy Dressed Ben reminds me of Clone Conspiracy Ben, which isn't great. But at least he's wearing a blue jacket instead of a red one! And like I said previously, while this conversation certainly wasn't the friendliest they've ever had, I do think that both characters sounded and acted like themselves; it was a realistically uncomfortable situation, yes, but from Ben's point of view I think his actions are totally justified. "OUR life. I know that's not convenient. And it's not what you want. But it's true." Tough love and honesty from Brother Ben right there. But also self-understanding: "This is what I need."

    Although I can't help but wonder whether Ben knows what Peter's been through lately.

    6) JANINE! Obviously I read the back-up featuring her return, but I almost wish I hadn't! I can't imagine how stoked I'd have been to see her appear without warning! I like the story beat about how different her world is all of a sudden, but (perhaps like her) I'm just excited that she's along for the ride this time. The juxtaposition of her and Ben with MJ and Peter was fun too. I think I'd like Janine and MJ to meet. However, I wasn't a huge fan of MJ's reaction to Ben being back. I get it, certainly, but it's not the characterization of MJ I prefer: Peter is supposed to be the worrier, and MJ (to me) is supposed to be the positive force who tells him things will be okay -- and I always appreciated how easy it was for her to see Ben as family. Hopefully we get more of that as the story continues, because Loving and Positive MJ will always be appreciated over Worried and Negative MJ, which gives me reboot vibes. Yuck.

    7) DR. KAFKA! Her reappearance definitely brings up a lot of questions, but I was excited just to see her! Looks like she's going to be (or already is) Ben's therapist, and she may be getting focus in JMD's "Ben Reilly: Spider-Man" mini. Also enjoyed the remarks about clones in her discussion with Marcus.

    8) The U-Foes! I've got no attachment to them, but I liked the way they were written here by Zeb. They were able to sneak in a few jokes amongst all the Ben and Peter banter But did I see JUST A GLIMPSE of PAD's Ben Reilly when he punched X-Ray? Maybe the therapy is necessary.

    OTHER STUFF I'M WONDERING ABOUT

    Are we supposed to know Derrick and Kel already?

    Are there other reasons why Beyond purposefully doesn't want to know about Peter?

    Why would Kafka be so interested in the name Ben Reilly, as I don't think she ever knew the secret identities of Peter or Ben? Is it a loose thread from Clone Conspiracy?

    Is there another meaning to "the danger's on the inside?" Is this a clue to Beyond's motivation?

    How is it that Misty Knight knows who Ben is?

    Do we think Marcus' last name is a hint or anagram or something? Momplaisir? It's a real last name, but it certainly looks like it could be an anagram.

    Did ANYONE remember Sir, who appears to be locked away in Ravencroft? I had to look her up and remembered the ONE issue I read back in the post-CS days.

    -----

    Overall, just a fantastic issue to start Ben's new journey. I can't imagine a single Spidey fan not enjoying this issue. I hope, if you haven't already, you'll read it for yourself!

    -Pav, who can't wait to see what everyone else thought about the issue...
    Last edited by Pav; 10-06-2021 at 09:44 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Yeah I enjoyed it too, I like the team of writers, and Ill look forward to each issue, I get nostalgic for the Clone saga which was when I first started collecting Spider-man after being inspired by the Maximum Carnage SNES game and thats the story that was going on at the time. The Clone saga has its problems but I enjoyed the ride like I did with Spencer run, even if I realized I was being too hard on Spencer due to the lackluster ending. Well I'm looking forward to this.

  3. #3
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    I deeply enjoyed this one. I really like this portrayal of Ben. Is he the exact same Ben we lost after Revelations? No, but “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

    This is a good progression of the character that, for better or worse, has to take into account the frankly garbage stories that have been told with the character recently.

    Clearly Ben is being exploited and when/if he bucks Beyond will pressure this Work for Hire Spidey and likely treat him as well as Disney treats their writers. But I don't want or need him to be a Paragon of virtue. Pete certainly isn't.

    This was an excellent first step. As expected from Zeb Wells.

    Negatives, MJ and Ben were buddies way back when and I hope we see more of that. But the lady isn't wrong. The first time Ben showed up it was the precursor to her husband being revealed as a clone and the death of her child (who even knows what she knows) and also, these aren't the same characters they were back then. When Ben was around people were getting their lives together in their 20s and Pete and MJ were portrayed as real ass adults. Now, they are both 20 something kids basically. When we accept and buy regressive and stagnant status quos like Pete has been since OMD stuff like this happens. Hopefully they meet on panel and it doesn't suck.

    Benyond!
    Last edited by MisterC; 10-06-2021 at 10:05 AM.

  4. #4
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    The Peter MJ writing by Wells made me raise my most sarcastic brows. Because it just points the palpable hypocrisy of the BND era writers.

    BND writers: “MJ was always shown worrying and pining by the window during the marriage.”

    Also BND writers when they are in charge, write MJ moping and pining by windows.

    The rest of it was inoffensive but typical so far. I don’t like where the Ben/Janine stuff is heading and what it implies but I think Ben Reilly fans might like it more.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pav View Post
    Are we supposed to know Derrick and Kel already?

    Why would Kafka be so interested in the name Ben Reilly, as I don't think she ever knew the secret identities of Peter or Ben? Is it a loose thread from Clone Conspiracy?
    Kel was in Non-Stop Spider-Man iirc, I dropped that, but she shows up.

    As far as the bolded one goes, my humble guess is that the DeMatteis B-title will retcon Kafka and Ben into knowing each other since the Saga, judging by the preview art.
    Last edited by Webhead; 10-06-2021 at 11:31 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I don’t like where the Ben/Janine stuff is heading and what it implies but I think Ben Reilly fans might like it more.
    Is there anyone who doesn't think Janine's being measured up for the coffin-shaped fridge she'll be in by the end of this?

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanityOrMadness View Post
    Is there anyone who doesn't think Janine's being measured up for the coffin-shaped fridge she'll be in by the end of this?
    Well it's hard to believe they would do it in the current social context. I do think Ben's unfortunate tendency of being "the Spider-Man that you can kill" is not a good omen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanityOrMadness View Post
    Is there anyone who doesn't think Janine's being measured up for the coffin-shaped fridge she'll be in by the end of this?
    I'd rather it be Ben than her but ideally they both make it.Janine seems cool, but the way it's going her death is what snaps him out or she snaps him out to sacrifice himself.Although I think w/ 19 issues and the DeMatties thing it's Janine or no death.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    Well it's hard to believe they would do it in the current social context. I do think Ben's unfortunate tendency of being "the Spider-Man that you can kill" is not a good omen.
    If there's one thing in comics we shouldn't worry about, it's death. It means nothing and no matter how final "writer a" thinks their grand death scene is, when "writer b" is the new hotness and wants to bring someone back the death scene won't stand in the way.

    I am not gonna worry about the outcome, it never ends after all, and just enjoy the ride as long as it's enjoyable. If it starts to suck, I'll stop buying and reading and that's that.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC View Post
    If there's one thing in comics we shouldn't worry about, it's death. It means nothing and no matter how final "writer a" thinks their grand death scene is, when "writer b" is the new hotness and wants to bring someone back the death scene won't stand in the way.

    I am not gonna worry about the outcome, it never ends after all, and just enjoy the ride as long as it's enjoyable. If it starts to suck, I'll stop buying and reading and that's that.
    Of course. With that in mind, I feel like killing the character is pretty cheap and would rather another way to end a narrative. Bear in mind this is a guy who has died 28 times, for more drama! Killing him again is black comedy at this point.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanityOrMadness View Post
    Is there anyone who doesn't think Janine's being measured up for the coffin-shaped fridge she'll be in by the end of this?
    She will NOT be sleeping with the fish. Why? The last thing Marvel wants is another fridging the lady controversy. Especially after a female character ( Sara ( like her or not)), was just knocked off.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    Of course. With that in mind, I feel like killing the character is pretty cheap and would rather another way to end a narrative. Bear in mind this is a guy who has died 28 times, for more drama! Killing him again is black comedy at this point.
    Well most of them were in a lab, like Doc Strange has died hundreds of times in the MCU and once in infinity war and yet his death would be a big deal.It's a comics thing w/ Death being cheap, Ben's deaths don't make it any worse or better.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    I picked this up to see if I wanted to read the next 6+mo of the title. I've not picked up ASM monthly since BND. The one off trade here/there at a good sale price, some $1 books at shows. That BND era stuff was in bargain bins by the droves but I digress.

    I really liked the set up in this issue.
    The discussion with Peter/Ben at the restaurant was enjoyable. "I'm not asking" says Ben, hahahaha!!
    Clearly a fall out is coming with Beyond at some point. They are the real "bad" of the next few months.
    Like Peter I'm a bit...wait, in universe the name Spider-man was trademarked? I didn't read Superior, Otto did that?

    At any rate the thing that takes Peter out of commission and seemingly for the next few weeks(in-universe) is....radiation poisoning? Is that how I read that?
    "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Prime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanityOrMadness View Post
    Is there anyone who doesn't think Janine's being measured up for the coffin-shaped fridge she'll be in by the end of this?
    That be pretty shitty and stupid. But there is also another theory that one of you guys mentioned that Ben and Janine are getting married when this is over giving Marvel a chance to say "Hey, here is your Spider-Man married to a redhead now f*ck off"

  15. #15
    Incredible Member Webhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    At any rate the thing that takes Peter out of commission and seemingly for the next few weeks(in-universe) is....radiation poisoning? Is that how I read that?
    Pretty funny huh? Still, they've gone back and forth regarding the "is Peter radioactive/radiation resistant?" issue. OTOH the blood transfusion that makes May sick in the early issues would be a "yes" contender, while Kaine concerned with the radiation of an active bomb on a countdown would be a "no" contender.

    First JMS arc also had him get hurt but ultimately empowered by that thing he whips up to defeat Morlun.
    Last edited by Webhead; 10-06-2021 at 12:51 PM.

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