The Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War – First Strike #1 Review: Gangs Of New York

The Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War - First Strike #1 review header

In The Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War – First Strike #1 from Marvel Comics, NYC’s gang war kicks off in earnest.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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The Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War – First Strike #1 Review:

Writers Zeb Wells and Cody Ziglar team up with artists Joey Vazquez and Julian Shaw for the explosive kick-off to this new, Spider-Man-focused crossover. When the gangs of New York (no relation) start fighting in the streets, it’s up to Spidey and his amazing friends to shut things down. Unfortunately, they don’t know the moves Madame Masque is making in the background…

Host Pete LePage kicked off the discussion worried about the New York-based Alex Zalben and Justin Tyler — who noted that the New York City map in the front of the issue might not quite be to scale. Tyler also offered up he seems to be living in The Bumbler’s territory, while Zalben is in Hobgoblin territory.

More on the book, though, Tyler said that while he’s been critical about recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man, he liked the kick-off of the event in this issue. “This reminds me of classic Spider-Man events,” Tyler said. “Even though we’re not seeing a ton of heroes yet… I like each of the positions everyone’s in.”

LePage agreed, calling this issue “a little bit of a reset… It’s high stakes.”

Zalben seemed less enthused, saying that while he liked individual scenes in the issue, he didn’t find it that fun to see “a bunch of gangsters killing people and blowing up New York. I don’t know, it makes me a little uncomfortable.”

Some scenes that did work were Miles Morales “digging into Peter Parker,” and the reveal at the end of the issue that the girlfriend Hammerhead picked up at a wedding was actually Madame Masque. Zalben also was into the emotional scenes between The Beetle and her estranged fiancé. “That hit very nicely,” Zalben said.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War – First Strike #1 Official Synopsis:

PRELUDE TO GANG WAR! The super-crime landscape of New York has been on edge. This issue, they jump over that edge. What incites the war?! Who hired Shotgun and took out Tombstone? What, if anything, can Spider-Man do about it? Everything you need to know before GANG WAR officially kicks off next month is HERE.

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