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The Amazing Spider-Man #693 - Alpha, Part 2: That Something Special

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Spider-Man now has a sidekick. How long will it last? Can he keep him in line? That will be put to the test when one of Spidey's foes targets Alpha.

The Good

There's nothing like shaking up the status quo of a book like adding a sidekick to a predominantly solo character. Last issue we saw the debut of Alpha, the new and extremely powerful kid that gained powers from an accident that Peter was conducting at Horizon Labs. Spidey definitely has a strong sense of responsibility over Alpha but unfortunately, Alpha is a teen with an attitude. That will make keeping him under control a little difficult. Throw in the fact that one of Spider-Man's most troublesome enemies is on the scene and wants Alpha for his own plans, Spider-Man is really going to have his hands full.

Dan Slott also throws in appearances by others such as the Fantastic Four, Aunt May and Mary Jane. They all serve to remind us that Peter does have more people in his life. They may not be in immediate danger on a day to day basis but they are one of the reasons that Spider-Man is the hero he is. He strongly believes in protecting and honoring those in his life.

Humberto Ramos shines on this issue. He always manages to depict the over-the-top action often required in Spider-Man comics and also capture the essence of characters like Mary Jane. The expressions on Alpha's face as he is pulled in different directions is priceless.

This is a new direction for Spider-Man and after this, he's going to have a new set or problems to deal with.

The Bad

As with many stories, it's usually hard to determine where it's all going to end. Spider-Man dealing with Alpha as a sidekick and the problems he may create is an interesting change but you feel like you can see what's going to happen. Alpha isn't exactly a likable character but he's not supposed to be. He is a pain in the ass. It is possible this could be a long-forming partnership or we could end up with something really bad happening to Spider-Man. That seems more likely.

The villain used here was a good choice but it feels like it's too soon since his last major appearance. Spider-Man wasn't aware he survived and it feels like he just jumped out in the open to get his hands on Alpha.

The Verdict

There's still time to place your bet on whether or not Spider-Man will keep Alpha as a sidekick (not that we condone gambling). Alpha is not a likable character and he's not supposed to be. After fifty years, Dan Slott has given Spider-Man a new set of responsibilities (and I don't mean he's been writing for fifty years). Humberto Ramos handles the big action scenes along with Peter in his civilian guise with ease. This is a turning point for Spider-Man and this series. If you haven't been reading Spider-Man lately for some reason, now is a great time to start. Actually, be sure to pick up the last issue. You won't regret it.