Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Nostalgia Review: Spider-Man #532-#538 The War At Home

The War At Home
Following last week's review of my first three issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, we'll continue through to issues #532-#538, titled "The War At Home" written by J. Michael Straczynski with Art By Ron Garney.

When we last left Peter Parker he was falling asleep after delaying the Super Human Registration Act whilst news of a disaster in Stamford, Connecticut played on the TV. This arc deals with Peter's intimate experience during the Super Hero Civil War including how he deals with his identity becoming public knowledge after Stark's urgency to unmask in public and to help re-enforce the call for heroes to register, fighting against Captain America and learning that he made the wrong decision. All of this comes with the family drama that Spider-Man is best known for and comes to a fantastic cliff hanger for the next arc

My first complaint about this arc though is that to get the absolute best out of it you have to read Civil War as well as these issues as you miss out on the key fights that happen in the event series and time-progression some times feels a little odd but, this arc does do what it sets out to do which is to present Peter's perspective of the event and how they effect not only him but, also Mary-Jane and Aunt May.

Straczynski once again shows his great handle on the Parkers, both in dialogue and the way they act and react and there's some really great scenes with Peter confronting Reed Richards, Tony Stark and other Pro-Registration heroes showing a different side to the character. The arc comes to a great second act where Peter realises he's made a mistake backing Stark and the rest of the Pro-Reg' heroes and the story takes a much more personal turn as Parkers become fugitives including a great fight scene between Spidey and Iron Man when he tries to defect to the opposite side. The arc ends with the King Pin putting a hit out on Spidey and the Parkers which, ends with Aunt May getting shot, all of this is done with great malevolence on the part of the King Pin with some real "because I can" sinister tones behind it which makes up for the lack of pacing due to the event title.

Ron Garney's for this arc really works to the strengths of the character and scenarios. His Spidey as always is lean and spindly but his Peter really shines through in showing the raw emotion of the character. Garney's composition really works in getting the most out of the script especially when Peter confronts the other heroes both physically and verbally, of course there's also great shots of Spidey web-slinging. The covers unfortunately feel cramped due to the big Civil War banner on each of them but Garney works well to try convey the main feel of the issue (or at least an image of what's happening in Civil War).

Overall this arc does it's job to both move the story forward and show Pete's side of The Civil War event and how a person can be at conflict with themselves in abiding by the law or doing what's right by yourself. It does lose marks because of the reliance on the main event book but, it gives great gravity to the situation by adding a single perspective of the every man that Peter is supposed to represent.

I give this arc a 6.5 out of 10. A good read for Spidey fans but, falls short because it's not the complete story.

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