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Amazing Spider-Man #12: Review

May 2016
Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli

Story Name:

Power play part 1: The Stark contrast

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #12 Review by (May 14, 2016)
The cover promises that Spider-Man teams up with the All-New All-Different Avengers inside. But that's next issue. This issue it's only Iron Man. Also I don't think Regent makes any more of a destructive debut than he did in #1 and #4. But they are correct in saying that Mary Jane is here with Tony Stark.

Parker Industries was created by Dr Octopus as Superior Spider-Man in SSM#22.
The Uncle Ben Foundation was set up in #1 of this post-Secret Wars series.

MJ left Peter Parker's world after SSM#31 to start a new nightclub in Chicago, but it burned down in Invincible Iron Man #5, and she accepted a job with Tony Stark in IIM#7. (But currently in IIM#8 she appears to have quit on her 1st day. We'll have to wait to see how this fits together.)
Tony Stark created the Iron Spider armour in ASM#529 while Peter, MJ and Aunt May were living at Avengers Tower after their homes were destroyed in #518. Tony knew Spidey's identity then, and soon the whole world did during Civil War. But as part of Brand New Day Stark, Dr Strange and Reed Richards wiped the knowledge from everyone's memory (except MJ's), as revealed in #641.
This I believe is the 1st time we've been told this detail of the replaced memories - that the Parkers did stay at the Tower while SM was an Avenger, and Peter helped create the suit for Spidey. Previously in IM(2008)#7 it just said that Peter used to work for Tony and then quit.
In IIM#7 Tony claims not to remember that he'd ever met MJ, let alone knew that she even knew his business rival Peter Parker. He repeats that here and includes drawing a blank on them living at Avengers Tower. Is this evidence that the memory implants in #641 weren't consistent across all players? Or just Dan Slott trying to make the best of an error in IIM#7.
Peter developed a lightweight armour for his costume this series, which seems to work more like IM's Extremis armour than IM's own current version does.

Empire Unlimited run the prison Cellar for supercriminals on Ryker's Island, controlled by Regent as seen in #1. Regent also appeared as a self-proclaimed superhero in #4. This is the 1st time we see him as Augustus Roman, CEO of Empire Unlimited.
However this is an identical character to the mastervillain in the Secret Wars series ASM: Renew Your Vows, with a similar MO. So MJ's vague memory of him is presumably of that. Which again raises the question of how the current characters connect to the multiple versions in SW. (Never mind to the pre-SW chars.)
I guess the Cellar has a had a sudden influx of new prisoners after the failure of Pleasant Hill in Avengers: Standoff.

Liz Allan became a successful businesswoman during the Superior SM era, and formed Alchemax with Tiberius Stone and Norman Osborn. Stone was originally a rival of Tony Stark from Iron Man (1998) #37, but transferred over to Spidey territory for the Spider-Island event. Alchemax and his descendants play a big part in the 2099 alternate future.

Ghost is another old Iron Man foe (since #219 of the original run), until he got drafted into Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts during Dark Reign and stayed for the long run. But Ty Stone hired him in #16-18 of the previous ASM series to stop Parker Industries when they and Alchemax were both bidding for the contract for a supervillain prison. But did Empire Unlimited win that contract, leading to the Cellar? And is that why Alchemax is after him?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Peter Parker is hosting a charity fund-raiser for the Uncle Ben Foundation at Bryant Park. Harry Osborn (using his mother's maiden name as Harry Lyman since #3) is his plus 1 (because his last girlfriend Lian Tang was a corporate mole who tried to kill him with the Spider-Mobile in #8). Pete tells Harry how Mary Jane Watson popped up unexpectedly here at Aunt May's wedding to J J Jameson Sr in ASM#600. And now she does it again. She's here as a guest of her new boss Tony Stark.

Tony claims not to remember that Peter and MJ once lived at Avengers Tower and Pete helped him create the Iron Spider costume for Spider-Man in the lead-up to (the Marvel original) Civil War. But he offers Peter advice about not wasting so much of his Parker Industries money funding Spider-Man (pot, kettle, black).

Stark and MJ move on and meet Augustus Roman, CEO of Empire Unlimited. MJ finds him familiar but Roman denies meeting her.

Harry runs into his ex-wife (it's not a happy divorce) Liz Allan, now CEO of Alchemax, with associate Ty Stone. They are expecting the proceedings to be interrupted by someone arranged by Stone. As Parker starts his speech badly he is attacked by the Ghost. But the real target is Augustus Roman. Who seems strangely blast-proof.

Peter figures MJ is safe with Stark so he ducks out of sight to change to Spider-Man. MJ tells Tony she can take care of herself so he openly changes to Iron Man. In both cases their armoured costumes expand from storage to cover them.

The 2 heroes get in each other's way, and argue about whose villain Ghost normally is. Meanwhile MJ and Harry help battered Roman get away.

The battle becomes 1 of hi-tech gadgets. Ghost's intangibility shrugs off the Golden Avenger's multi-vibrational blasts and Spidey's z-metal web coils. But then SM fires a coil through the bad guy and IM uses it to transmit his blasts inside Ghost. The villain collapses. (The heroes note that the action outside the Manhattan Library replays the opening scene from Ghostbusters.)

Later Peter is miffed at Stark hiring his ex-girlfriend. So he offers a job to Pepper Potts. But she turns him down flat.

Finally we see Betty Brant interviewing Augustus Roman on Ryker's Island in the supervillain prison now called the Cellar. We see Ghost brought in alongside Tombstone. They are separated, and Roman explains that the superpowered like Tombstone are housed separately from those whose powers are tech-based. Ghost's equipment has been taken to another site for study.

Betty talks to Roman about his past, where he lost his family during the battle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil in Av#273-277. Since then he's vowed to bring these forces under control.

Betty doesn't see that Tombstone is placed in a containment tank that appears to kill him by drowning. There are already loads of other tanks already occupied. Dr Stillwell gives Augustus his costume, and his face morphs into that of Regent. She says that their supply of tanks is full. Regent says it's time to take on some superheroes - and he's got his sights on the All-New All-Different Avengers.

Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cam Smith
Marte Gracia
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Parker)

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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