REVIEW CORNER: Amazing Spider-Man # 438

Amazing Spider-Man # 438
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciller: Scott Kolins
Inker: Gary Martin
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Siobhan Hanna
Cover Date: September 1998
Welcome to the first “Review Corner” of 2021, and for this week’s installment, I’ll be taking a look at Amazing Spider-Man # 438, which is without a doubt, one of the strangest Spider-Man/Daredevil team-ups ever.
The story opens up with Spidey being caught up in a real-life Jurrasic Park within a local bank but finds out that something’s not kosher when the incident just fades away, leaving our hero bewildered; Meanwhile, Daredevil (As Matt Murdock) meets up with his law partners for a meeting with Bert Gilmore, who tells them about how he started his company and how all hints employees are doing their jobs as work-for-hire and that anything they created solely belongs to Gilsoft. This doesn’t sit well with a fellow Gilsoft employee named Angela Bradford, who’s been developing a Virtual Reality Inducer which transforms her into Synario (A substitute for Mysterio) and somehow gets Spidey to duke it out with Daredevil.
The whole Spidey/Daredevil battle was very entertaining, even if it had to resort to the former suffering from hallucinations due to Synario’s VR inducer, yet it’s drastically cut short as the story races to its conclusion. The artwork by Scott Kolins and Gary Martin has its moments (Especially during one page where Kolins displays a group of monsters with a touch of Jack Kirby influence thrown in for good measure) but I feel as they should have taken the time to freshen up their facial expressions as most of them look very tired, and while I’m always an advocate for Tom DeFalco’s writing, I felt like he just rehashed two big plot elements, such as the typical Spidey/DD slugfest (Done to perfection by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in ASM # 16, not to mention Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man # 110 by Peter David and Rich Buckler) and the whole bit with the Virtual Reality Inducer (Which I remember was a similar weapon developed by Carolyn Trainer, The second Doctor Octopus back in ASM # 405) but didn’t give them that ‘WOW’ factor; So I felt like if Synario was a villain who was going to have a very short stay or someone would count be used by another writer somewhere down the line, she should have at least been build ups to be a major threat all while delivering a classic Spider-Man/Daredevil team up.
With that said, this issue of ASM can be enjoyable if you’re looking for something to read on a boring afternoon or if you need something to do before you go to sleep; It’s a fun romp but the whole plot could have had more strength to it, but if anyone already read it and are fans of the old school done-in-one issues, then this issue is something that should be in your collection, mainly for nostalgic purposes.
Well, that’s it for me. I’ll be back next week so thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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