Important Note #1: Before I do anything else, I want to point out a slight change to the reading order for this project. When I started this project, I was using the “date released” order that’s in the Marvel Unlimited iPad app. Recently, however, I discovered that Marvel.com has a suggested read order that flows a bit better. I’ll be using that from here on out. To make things easier, I’m going to go back and and number the posts to reflect this. That’ll leave us a small gap temporarily, but it’ll make sense soon.
Important Note #2: (In case you missed it elsewhere, I’m running a GoFundMe campaign to read and review every issue of Marvel Comic’s Civil War crossover event prior to Captain America 3: Civil War hitting theaters the beginning of May. If you like what you read here and want more, or just feel bad I have to read this much JMS and/or Mark Millar, throw me a few bucks, will ya?)
Alright, now that the housekeeping is out of the way, on to The Amazing Spider-Man 530, picking up the morning after the end of 529. Peter and Tony are hopping onto Tony’s private jet (naturally) to attend the first, closed hearing about the Superhuman Registration Act (SRA). We also get yet another promo for Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers: Illuminati special, which I’ll be getting to in a few posts. I can’t really fault Marvel for throwing in references to it, as they position the Illuminati as this heretofore unknown cabal of geniuses that will have a lasting effect on the Marvel universe (616, of course, but *spoilers* most of the multiverse as well).
Tony lets Peter know he’s just completed a new version of the Iron Spider costume (you know, the one created less than 24 hours comics time ago). Once the duo is aboard the plane, we learn more about the SRA, including that numerous lawmakers are tacking unrelated items onto the bill (Democracy, everyone!). The most heinous idea here is that the US government promises it can keep the proposed database safe from hackers/supervillains, cause, you know, there’s never been a leak of confidential information before or anything…
As Tony and Peter get to their hotel, we discover that even Marvel’s editors can’t agree on the correct course of action. From there, we get our introduction to Iron-Spider 2.0, including now being made of, and i quote, “…Liquid metal nano-fiber that can more or less disappear when not needed” (SCIENCE!). It also has camouflage capabilities now, including stealing Nightcrawler’s ability to blend in with shadows, and the most obvious new addition, 3 “waldoes”; basically, smaller Doc Ock arms.
Now that the setup is out of the way, we get to the meat of this issue. Tony Stark appears before a rather contentious and combative closed Senate hearing to give his opinion on the SRA. The most interesting thing to note in this issue (and using Marvel’s suggested reading order) is that right now, Tony seems on the fence about the SRA, going so far as to argue against it in Senate chambers. He expresses the opinion that, regardless of the damage caused by costumed heroes in the course of doing their job, they’ve also saved the US at least 47 times, which is worth far more than any damage done in the pursuit of justice.
Peter tries to help Tony out, but due to inexperience in this type of situation, just puts his foot in his mouth and actually makes the Senate’s case stronger. At the end of the day, no matter how much Tony seems to disagree with the Senate’s position, he makes it clear he ultimately serves the US and it’s leadership, and nothing will change that; thus begins his descent into the super-patriot that triggers a Civil War.
We end this issue with another display or the Iron-Spider suit’s capabilities, instigated this time by The Titanium Man’s assassination attempt on Tony Stark. Matters are complicated when the Army shows up and opens fire on both villain AND hero. It seems the Senate’s hatred of superhumans has spread quickly.
I gotta hand it to JMS; this issue, I was engaged the whole time. It filled in some bits I had either forgotten or never read before, and painted Tony in a more sympathetic (for now) role than I remembered previously. Some of that can be chalked up to the new and improved reading order I discovered, but not all of it. Tony genuinely seems conflicted after these 2 issues of TASM. Well, at least more conflicted than I remember, and more privately conflicted than we’ll ever see once the full event starts. We also get some more solid Peter Parker action, trying his best but still putting his foot in his mouth.
And that’s another review on the books (Though, by the refactored numbering, this is only the second, so that’ll seem weird later). I’m hoping now that i’m over the latest betrayal of my fleshy meatsack (or as you regular hoo-mans might refer to it, being sick), I can get back to daily posting, and get caught up as well. Thanks for sticking around!