Preview Review: Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26


In this sneak-peak for the second chapter of Dan Slott’s “The Osborn Identity,” Spider-Man and Silver Sable’s reunion gets interrupted by a high-speed chase.

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The second part of Spider-Man’s rematch with long-time foe, Norman Osborn, “The Osborn Identity” kicks things with the return of another long-time Spider-Man character, albeit of the more heroic variety–Silver Sablinova, a.k.a. the Silver Sable. But this preview for Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26 (courtesy of Previews World and Newsarama) doesn’t pick up right where part one of “The Osborn Identity” ended, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #25. Instead, this preview entices prospective purchasers with the mother of all enticements, the chase sequence.

It’s clear then that the folks who distribute these previews don’t wish to give away how Silver Sable survived the events of “Ends of the Earth,” or why she’s literally gunning for Osborn. Because considering there’s no recap page with this preview, the four pages we do have must take place somewhere close the middle of the comic instead of the beginning. In any event, let’s what the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26 may have in store for us. Starting with, as always, a variant cover.

Credit: Kris Anka (Marvel Comics); Resurrxion Variant Cover for Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26

No, this is not the cover of an X-Men comic that the printers mistakenly titled as an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. This is yet another in a long line of variant cover gimmicks Marvel uses to incite retailers into increasing their orders. Because for the month of May, it’s “Ressurxtion Month,” as Marvel relaunches both the X-Men and Inhumans line-up of comics in the wake of Inhumans Vs. X-Men, hoping this will revitalize both properties. As for this particular variant? It’s decent enough. Only I’ve seen far more effective images of Storm than this, including interior comic book panels, which really show off her awesome power and majesty.

Credit: Alex Ross (Marvel Comics); cover for Amazing Spider-Man (2016) #26

I haven’t touched upon the regular covers during these “Preview Reviews,” but I’ll focus on this one. Like all of Alex Ross’ covers for The Amazing Spider-Man, this one is superb. It’s also none-too subtle in conveying a provocative, almost lurid sexuality. The positioning of Spider-Man and Silver Sable, the web-hammock, that Sable is wearing a silky dress with an extremely high slit instead of her costume–it’s definitely reminiscent of some of more sensationalist covers from many an old pulp magazines.  Although this one’s certainly tame compared to some past covers Amazing Spider-Man has had (like the one for Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #607, for example). A definite suggestion that sparks will fly between Spider-Man and Sable during this story. Then again, covers are misleading.

Credit: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia (Marvel Comics); from Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26

The first of the preview’s two back-to-back double page spreads, and already Stuart Immonen’s art pulls you right in and never lets go. The top panel alone brilliantly captures the rapid, kinetic adrenaline rush of this chase sequence, focusing our attention of the object of this pursuit—Norman Osborn. The dominant use of Osborn’s signature green and purple color scheme also visually shows his advantage over the heroes. Moreover, every panel of this chase sequence follows the 180-degree rule; we know where everyone is within relation each other, and the action always moves from left-to-right. Which shows Immonen can compose a scene just as well as he can draw it.

Unfortunately, it’s the dialogue which takes us out of what’s happening on the page. The conditions of the chase (the roar of jet turbines, the distance from each other, rushing through open air, etc.) would make Silver Sable and Osborn’s conversation impossible, and Nick Fury’s pun is obvious as it is clunky.  And since when is Silver Sable considered a “terrorist?” She has a known record and history of counter-terrorist activities. Unless what Fury is suggesting is that China labels Silver Sable a terrorist.

Credit: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia (Marvel Comics); from Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26

Well, looks like any potential romance between Spider-Man and Mockingbird is over before it’s even has a chance to officially begin. Guess that leaves an opening for a potential Spider-Man and Silver Sable romance, instead? If it is, then Dan Slott, by already calling attention to their differing views on the use of force, shows it will be a rocky one.

But why is Spider-Man surprised S.H.I.E.L.D. refused them back-up? For that matter, why is Bobbi? Remember, it was just in the last issue that she tells Peter “S.H.I.E.L.D. will not have [their] backs” because they’re on an unauthorized, unsanctioned mission. Which also raises the question as to why Bobbi only now decides she’ll follow Nick Fury’s orders when she didn’t have any qualms about disobeying them before. Once again, it’s another instance where Slott has characters conforming themselves to the whim of the plot in order to move it forward.

So in critiquing this as a preview, I’d say it’s very effective when it comes to its art, but not so much going by its script. But I’d say it’s also effective in the sense it’s keeping the mystery behind Silver Sable’s survival alive and well. That, after all, is the true incentive being used in getting fans interesting in picking up this comic. And it won’t be long until we see whether the answer to that mystery is worth it.

Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #26 goes on sale Wednesday, April 12, 2017.