End of the Sidekick
By: Andrew Hines
We've strayed into a strange new world, where Spidey has a sidekick of his own creation. It's been a 3-issue arc involving a kid who is arguably the biggest douchebag in comics history. At the very least, he's on par with Cyclops. At the least, this arc shows how much Peter values the tenets of power and responsibility. On the other hand, it also shows why he should never, ever, ever have a sidekick. We may see Alpha in later years, if/when his powers return, but for now I'm happy that he's gone.
Dan Slott has done a great job of writing ASM for over a year and a half now. Since Spider-Island, he's shown the wall-crawler's even deeper faith in power and responsibility. The writing on this makes it quite interesting to see how Spidey and Alpha deal with each other and the drastic up-turn that Alpha's power has taken. It's a decent ending that doesn't completely write off Andy Maguire's ties into the super-hero world. As far as the Spider-Man stories have gone in the last year or so, however, this isn't exactly his greatest and it's far from his worst.
Humberto Ramos' art has never been my favorite. Despite that, the art has a great look to it. Teaming up with Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado on inks and colors, has brought out the good in his artwork. The art team hit some high notes on this issue that they didn't really reach on the last two issues. While good, it wasn't enough to push the issue over the top.
The combination of decent writing and good art earned the issue a solid "B". What I can say is that I'll still keep picking up ASM, especially for the next several issues, due to the reappearance of a classic foe.