Home > comics, review > ‘The Amazing Spider-Man-The Gauntlet Vol. 1’: a comic review

‘The Amazing Spider-Man-The Gauntlet Vol. 1’: a comic review

I realized after about a month and a half that I haven’t talked about a single Spider-Man comic. He’s one of my favorite superheroes, yet I don’t really spend all that much time reading Spidey comics (besides Ultimate Spider-Man). I decided I should pick a newer Spidey comic and went with the Gauntlet due to some of the attention I saw it was given when it was being released in issue form. The Gauntlet is a sort of ‘reinvention’ for Spider-Man villains after One More Day (I hate that story like everyone else). This first collection focuses on Electro and Sandman. Over the course of these two archs there are multiple writers and artists, so I’m going to talk about the writing in general and which artists stood out (or didn’t).


The collection starts off with a tie-in to the Dark Reign crossover storyline going on in the Marvel continuity. The story is alright, but shouldn’t have been in this collection. Immediately after the Gauntlet plot begins with the revenge plot being factored in. The Electro portion of the story is alright, but I feel that writer Mark Waid was playing too much on contemporaneous social issues. In that there’s a substantial focus on the use and abuse of stimulus money in a hurt economy. It just doesn’t come off that great. The Sandman story is a bit more interesting, but not as fleshed out as the Electro story. It’s also an issue or two shorter. The writing on the whole is good enough to carry the plot, but nothing stands out.


Instead the greatest strengths of this collection is the art. There is a filler issue between the Electro and Sandman stories drawn by Jm Ken Niimura which really fills odd in this whole collection. Adam Kubert’s art in the Dark Reign also fills out of place, though it’s more of a standard for superhero comics. Artists Barry Kitson, Paul Azaceta and Javier Pulido really stand out, especially Azaceta (his art is the sample) and Pulido. It’s a clear break from traditional mainstream comic art, with more in line with independent and foreign comics. It’s less defined than Kubert’s style, but the use of lines and colors are stronger, in my opinion. Pulido (who draws the Sandman arc) is more defined than Azaceta (who drew the Electro stuff) they’re still far different than the norm. I wish more mainstream comics had art like this.

Final Opinion:

This first collection of The Gauntlet doesn’t do much to reinvent Spider-Man’s rogue gallery. The writing is pretty standard. Lots of good ideas that aren’t fleshed out to their greatest ability. The art is easily the strongest point of the collection. It’s different, but also works for the narrative. I’ve read a couple of product reviews that were displeased with the style of art, so this might not be the ideal recommendation for the typical superhero comic reader, but a definite for Spidey fans (for those who haven’t read it yet).

Spider-Man is owned by Marvel. The volume has writing contributions from Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente, Mark Waid, and Joe Kelly. Artists in this volume include Adam Kubert, Barry Kitson, Paul Azaceta, Jm Ken Niimura, and Javier Pulido.

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