A throwback to be certain, and seemingly a slight detour from "The Gauntlet," this issue brings Roger Stern back to a character he once had great success with, Spider-Man. Stern gets to revisit the classic match-up between Spider-Man and Juggernaut -- and even throws in a cameo from Wong, just as in the now-classic 1982 "Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut" from "Amazing Spider-Man" #229-230.
While following a trail left by what seems to be a meteor, Spider-Man thinks to himself, "I sure hope this isn't a cast-off infant rocketed to Earth from a doomed planet." With this line, as in other parts of this issue, Stern gives us some fun Spidey-speak while also acknowledging his own career in comics. Stern gives a tight recap of the interaction between these two Marvel Universe legends, which helps set up the rest of this story to come. This issue starts strongly with Juggernaut falling onto the scene, but Stern then gives us a slice of life as Spider-Man continues to be that friendly-neighborhood-helpful-fellow all the while he ponders what could have happened to the Juggernaut. Along the way some clues begin to pop up, which makes the last page reveal a nice confirmation for deductive fans of the Marvel Universe.
Lee Weeks' art is as dynamic as John Romita's, but plays with shadows like Michael Lark's art. The end result is a great looking issue of "Amazing Spider-Man." Weeks' storytelling choices and page composition give this issue an organic feel. Spider-Man literally seems to be jumping out of the comic after apprehending a purse-snatcher. Combined with White's subtle colors, we get a nice subtle Spider-Man story that isn't oversaturated with loud colors. White's choices are well-placed and properly subdued, helping this issue to soak into the shadows Spider-Man works from here.
The variable colored lettering still doesn't do much for me and seems almost too gimmicky. As I've mentioned before with my reviews of "Amazing Spider-Man," the "pop" coloring works for logo placement and exclamations, but for a standard sentence, the coloring just seems like too much.
While I've been enjoying more than a few of the recent issues of this title, this issue was particularly enjoyable. Stern knows how to write Peter Parker as a challenged but not mopey character, and he seems to have fun doing it. I'm in for the rest of this story from Stern and Weeks and plan to kick back with my Pepsi Throwback to enjoy a return to classic form for this title.