656 follows on from 655 in continuing the ‘No One Dies’ story. Spider-man rushes to a hostage situation at a bank and finds a new villain, Massacre, straight out killing people for no reason. This doesn’t go down well with Spider-man because at the end of issue 655 he vowed that no-one else will die on his watch. I think the new villain ‘Massacre’ is a great addition to Spider-man’s already brilliant rouges gallery. Due to a car accident, he no longer feels emotion, therefore has no regard for human life. Pretty much the opposite of Spider-man. He’s quite sinister and adds a real threat to the story and the issue. Dan Slott has created quite a few new villains for Spider-man since he’s been on the book, most of which I’ve really liked. Marcos Martin also does a great job at drawing his emotionless face and gives him a pretty cool costume.
Much like Massacre’s regard for human life adds a real threat to the issue, so does Spider-mans lack of ‘Spider-sense’. I don’t want to spoil too much (BECAUSE YOU SHOULD READ THIS ISSUE!) but we start to see in this issue how it’s going to be causing a lot of problems for Spider-man. It’s the first story where Spider-man has taken on a villain since losing his ‘spider-sense’ and if he doesn’t get it back anytime soon, things are only going to get worse for the old web head.
And Spider-man gets ANOTHER new costume. Most people probably hate all these new costumes, because fans always hate it when costumes are changed, but I think it makes sense for the story Slott is telling.
Peter now has a job. A REAL job. Because of this job, he has facilities and resources available to him were he can experiment with his Spider-man persona. Okay, I will admit, that the answer to Hobgolbin and Massacre was basically: make a new costume so I’m not weak to their strength. If Slott continues to do this, its probably going to get boring fast. I don’t think he will though. Spidey now has a stealth and bullet-proof armour, which he’s going to need due to a lack of spider-sense. Extra turmoil can also be added, were Spidey needs one of the costumes to beat a villain, but for one reason or another: he can’t reach them (the classic Spider-man complex). So the costumes can go either way. At the moment though, I like them. Plus, they’re not going to last anyway. So I’m not wasting my time getting angry at the costume changes, I’m just going to enjoy the stories.
All in all, while it’s not quite as powerful in parts as 655, I think 656 is another great Spider-man issue from Dan Slott. Slott and Martin are a great creative team and I wish Martin could pencil every issue of Spider-man.
New Reader Accessibility Rating: 7. Personally, I think Spider-man comics are pretty easy to jump into. Especially now, with Dan Slott writing, because his story-arcs usually only last 3 or 4 issues. The main thing that would probably throw off new readers is the loss of Peters ‘Spider-sense’. This is pretty important to the issue and not really covered in any great detail (because it only happened in issue 654) so a new reader may be wondering why he’s lost his ‘Spider-sense’. Also, being perfectly honest, if you’re buying this comic and it’s your first issue of Amazing Spider-man: buy issue 655. It’s the first part of the story and you WONT regret it.