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  • Writer's pictureLaMar Bridges

Amazing Spiderman gang war first strike has issues

The bad guys have started a gang war, and it's up to Spidey and his band of heroes to stop them. This upcoming gang war event has not met the fun factor of reading, and I will tell you why here in this blog.

The Amazing Spider-Man is yet another crossover event, despite recently ending an event called Dark Web. The dark web event did not go well for Spidey fans thanks to its cluster writing and boring storyline. Zeb Wells has made another event for our beloved wall-crawler, a new event that will cross over multiple comics and touch every corner of the Marvel Universe.

But this event has Spidey teamed up with some other superpower New Yorkers. But for Spider-Man to save the Big Apple, he must put together a group of heroes first. The team will consist of Mayor Luke Cage, Elektra Natchios, the new Dare Devil, She-Hulk, fellow Spider-Man Miles Morales, and Peter Parker Spider-Man.

Amazing Spiderman gang war first strike
Two separate panels Top thugs shooting at someone and the bottom of Spiderman looking at new york city being destroyed

Strike One of Spiderman Gang War: The old switch-a-roo trick

Amazing Spiderman Gang War First Strike tries to use a classic story switcharoo where the villain, we thought, was an important character and instead became the fuel for the real antagonist. It's a classic move done in many stories and films; it helps expand the storytelling to a deeper meaning. But it can become a mess to clean when it is done wrong.

This brings me to my first problem with this story and maybe the biggest one. Wells brings back a character that is already a mess of a character to use Madam Masque. In Amazing Spider-Man #31, she is supposedly killed at Robbie and Tombstone's daughter Jessica's wedding.

Hammer Head had ordered a hit on Tombstone and had Madam Masque killed all in the same process. Zeb Wells later brings her character back to become the story's villain after we read seven issues of Hammer Head and the gang lords of New York City planning to divide Tombstone's territory. Bringing her back so early after seeing what Hammer Head had already established is a cheap trick to rush the character's purpose.

Hammerhead planned to take over New York City and be the only crime boss. Everything was going as planned. While each crime boss fought over territory, H.H. ( Hammer Head ) would come in and take out whoever was left, leading to the Gang War story. However, adding Madam Masque to this event's first comic book kills everything established.

Strike 2: wrong timing

To be fair, the story has potential, but the switch of villain hurts the momentum. The timing felt rushed for the event. One reason H.H. had established the war through multiple comic issues by framing each crime boss. Mr. Negative was thought to have attacked one of the bosses, and that helped spark what we are reading about gang war. Then Wells takes it away by making his efforts seem like he would never be the big bad. To add to this story, we got a back from the dead storyline for Madam Masque. The truth about this is that while going with this storyline she never does anything to earn this title.

The comic speeds through multiple comics infact this event does end until march 2024 with Dare Devil: Gang War #4.So why the rush killing H.H. so early in the story? after setting him up as the main guy? This switch in character is almost as bad as The Dark Knight Rises when Ban was the main villain and towards the end we find out he is just a minon. That momentum he had during the entire film, breaking Batman's back and almost sending Gotham to the edge, was wiped out by revealing that Talia was the one giving all of the orders.

This is where Zeb Wells has killed this event. By having Madam Maque kill Hammer head hurts the story main antagonist because she has not earned any of the credit for being the big bad. While the readers watched issue after issue the amount of work and time that was put in for H.H. and his planning becomes an empty shell because Madam Masque walks in and takes him out and says that everything happening was apart of her plan. That's where the mistake comes into play.

Wells should have kept her working behind the scenes, allowing for readers to see what Hammer Head had planned. Since this story event touches on stories like Deadly Hands of Kung fu, Spider-Woman, and Miles Morales Spider-Man any of those issues would be perfect to show her in the shadows hatching together her plan.

Instead, we see a cheap way to make her look dominant and smart.

December's amazing Spider-Man has not been so amazing. In fact, I have not been a fan of what is happening in this gang war storyline. December's gang war covers have been great, but the stories have all fallen flat on the story's impact. I know the event has just started, but starting slowly is much better than starting off poorly.

This event should have been a limited series instead of an event that crosses over other comics. But here's hoping it starts to get better once it reaches the issues of Miles Morales.

The Big Move sucks

While we saw the event unfold between Masque and Hammer Head, we saw the streets of New York get destroyed by the trail of the ruthless diamondback, Mr. Negative, and all of the other bad guys. Now, it is up to the mayor of New York City, Luke Cage, to keep control of the city. Again, it is all wasted energy to make Masque seem like she is the main villain when her takeover feels so cheap. Maybe we will see something different in the later issues, but December is done, and now we are moving to January.

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