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Writer: Nick Spencer / Artist: Gerardo Sandoval / Marvel Comics

The takeaway to appreciate in Amazing Spider-Man #19 is that despite how likable Michael Keaton made the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, comic book Vulture is a huge choad. This is the third part of the “Hunted” event pitting Spider-Man and a gaggle of C and D list, animal-based villains against a hoard of Kraven robots controlled by thrill seekers with more money than human decency.

Spider-Man gathers a little more intelligence about the bizarre game he’s been thrown into. He finds Vulture rallying up the other trapped villains under the banner of Gibbon’s sacrifice. He embellishes, leaving out the fact that Gibbon was betrayed and sabotaged by him. Spidey isn’t the most popular among this specific demographic of people, all of which he’s likely put in jail multiple times. Elsewhere, Black Cat consoles the reptilian Billy and attempts to plan their escape. They are soon joined by another animal-based villain captured by Task Master.

Now, this story is solid. An interesting plot, a wide array of characters and the return of Spider-Man’s black costume are doing it for me. That said, it doesn’t feel big enough for the attention Marvel is giving it. It reads like a 4-book arc that’s being extended 12 issues. Having Spider-Man take so long to figure out this pretty straight-forward hunting game and trying to rally the villains in a mini power struggle with Vulture is causing the story to drag.

That criticism aside, the beautiful art makes the pace more bearable. Especially the scenes with Black Cat, the line work is on point. One choice Sandoval makes really speaks to me. A couple panels show a couple menacing characters with their faces blacked out showing only beady white eyes. The style reminds me of a lot of manga and anime; a specific panel in Full Metal Alchemist with Sloth comes to mind when Rhino prepares a blow for Spider-Man. Speaking of the Wall Crawler I can’t get enough of the black costume. He’s still flailing around getting his bearings, but I can’t wait to see a solid, robot decapitating uppercut in that gorgeous suit.

7.5 “Arcade-hosted Buffets” out of 10

Reading Amazing Spider-Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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