“Gang War” has officially started, and New York is thrown into chaos. Superheroes are few and far between due to vigilantes being illegal in the city, but that won’t stop Spider-Man and his amazing friends from stepping in. The city is literally on fire as gangs in every burrow are scrapping to determine who will be the king of New York or die trying.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 opens six hours into the war after it officially started last week. Things aren’t looking good, with Ringmaster coming out of the gate, taking over minds and using citizens as his soldiers. Enter Peter Parker, She-Hulk, Miles Morales, Spider-Woman, and Daredevil, who aren’t going to sit on their hands while innocent people get hurt.

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This issue does a good job of showing how our heroes are so outmatched due to the sheer number of enemies at odds in this war. It also juggles the action with key moments as gangsters make moves and others rise. By the end of the issue, it’s obvious the heroes have the advantage in battle, but they’re up against too many foes to do much damage. Eventually, the heroes must split up, and it makes sense, given how many gangsters are out there doing damage.

Writer Zeb Wells also brings in the comedic side of Peter Parker, with a few winning funny moments. When he stands behind She-Hulk and professes he’s doing no such thing, you can’t help but chuckle. However, if there were a lead in this issue, it’d be Tombstone. He’s been down for the count since his daughter’s wedding when he got holes put in him, but he’s awake now and seeing the landscape for what it is. Given the time spent with him and his daughter, it’s pretty clear Wells is building up Beetle to be a major player who will earn her role as a head gangster.

Great action!Credit: Marvel

Art by John Romita Jr. is as good as ever, which is going to please longtime fans. There’s a full-page splash of Spidey and She-Hulk tearing through monsters. That’s a stand-out moment. His style has a certain volume to it, aided by Marcio Menyz’s colors, but it’s such a staple of his art it gives the visuals a 3D effect. The action is very well choreographed, with Daredevil, She-Hulk, and Spidey all getting moments to kick butt and look cool doing it.

I still maintain your interest will vary with this series based on how well you know these C-Lister gangsters and how much you care about them. I can’t say I care whether Hammerhead lives or dies, but it’s a major element of this issue. There are also a lot of questions never answered, like why the Avengers or other superteams aren’t helping, or even where Mary Jane or Aunt May are in all of this. We get the lay of the land as far as the scale of this war and the danger, but why not call in reinforcements? There’s no reference to that, as the heroes simply rush in to help those in need.

“Gang War” is in full swing this week, and the danger level is high. Amazing Spider-Man #39 does a good job establishing how dangerous and just how chaotic the war is as many footsoldiers of the various gangs are at war and civilians are in danger. It’s still odd other heroes aren’t mentioned, and it’s also difficult to care much when most of these gangster villains are C-Listers at best.

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In this article:Marvel, Spider-Man

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