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

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 12 critic ratings.


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.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
35 pages
Amazon ASIN

Cover Artist

12 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 94

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    As Rip-Rap’s relentless positivity wins new converts and the Gangs Of New York go to war, Re-Po and Madelaine remind us how results often oppose ethics in Amazing Spider-Man #38.

  • 90

    Derby Comics

    I was hesitant about this event after the less-than-inspiring interludes that have been appearing in ASM, but this was an exceptional one-shot start and sets the stage for what has the potential for an epic and captivating event. I really enjoyed how the situation felt dire but also tangible. There’s definitely a “realness” to the stakes that gives this an intriguing grounding and I’m currently very invested.

  • 86

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Wells and Ziglar are crafting an interesting and engaging new story arc with this issue. The story has some great twists throughout and some awesome action that teases something big for the characters involved. I really liked this story and how it affects Spider-Man and look forward to seeing what he does to fix things as well as who he enlists to help him.

    The Art: Vasquez and Shaw deliver some visually thrilling art throughout the issue. There is a lot of action in the story and the imagery does a great job of bringing that action to life.

  • 84

    Spider Man Crawlspace

    It feels like Zells deliberately made Spidey act out of character for so long just to have this big moment in this issue when he realizes that he should be doing what he should have been doing all along. But at least Spidey seems to finally have his head screwed on straight about what he’s supposed to be doing, and this still a really good issue, setting up lots of Gang War shenanigans to come in the issues ahead.

  • 80

    Introductory issues for events often provide a tough road for creators as they serve many, often conflicting purposes. The Amazing Spider-Man Gang War: First Strike is tasked with catching readers up on recent events in Amazing Spider-Man while establishing threads both for the core series and nearly a half-dozen tie-ins. Yet the writers and artists involved manage to make this one-shot a satisfying, if busy and exposition-heavy introduction to the very fun status quo of Amazing Spider-Man and a crossover that’s ready to unleash some of that series’ best historical elements with lots of streetlevel heroes and villains slugging it out all over New York. Once one looks past the expository dialogue restating recent events and occasionally odd jumps between characters, there’s plenty of meat on the bones of First Strike. Even readers of Amazing Spider-Man will find themselves in for several big shocks as the power dynamics of this sprawling gang war alter themselves more than once. What’s most impressive is how that scale is displayed with so many bosses and vigilantes filling the space. The set up for this chaotic event is abundantly tantalizing and First Strike walks the line as both a catch-up for new readers and entertaining addition to the story.

  • 80

    Nerd Initiative

    The first die has been cast in a battle where New York City hangs in the balance. Strong writing of Wells and Ziglar light the match with solid visuals from Vasquez, Shaw and the team finishing the explosive start to the next big Spider-Man event fans will be talking about.

  • 80


    There’s a fight and a reveal toward the end of Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War First Strike #1 that’s very satisfying. Great job with escalating to that, writers Zeb Wells and Cody Ziglar. Likewise great job to Joey Vazquez, Julian Shaw, and Bryan Valenza. I didn’t recognize this art team, but I very much enjoyed their dynamic emotive art all the way through. I especially appreciated that blood shooting out the nose panel and all the texture tricks by both the inker and colorist. Fingerprints and zip-a-tone? Old school. Love it. To top it off, I think “TUNK — CRACK!” is the new “pum–SPAK!” so kudos also go to letterer Joe Caramagna.

    So now Spider-Man needs a team but he’s hacked off all his friends, or has he?

  • 80

    First Comics News

    This special introduces the “Gang War” arc right around the corner. Right away, the tag team of Zeb Wells and Cody Ziglar catches readers up to date on the recent events leading up to the arc; However, the artwork by Joey Vasquez is hard to look at because while he seems to have talent, the art could have been better but the special erupts into full-blown chaos that brings with it several big moments that will leave the readers in awe (**NO SPOILERS**); Watching the numerous gang lords and criminals fighting over power and territory may be old school when it comes to writing a street-level story like this one, but the scenes are boisterous and over the top to where you have to see what comes next so the set-up is enthralling enough to see how the arc unfolds but while the horrific artwork and exposition don’t do this issue any favors, it’s still entertaining for the action junkie who loves a story like this one with a huge side of havoc thrown in for good measure.

  • 70

    Weird Science Marvel Comics

  • 65

    Weird Science Marvel Comics

    Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War – First Strike #1 lights the fuse that ignites the forthcoming Gang War event with plenty of plot progression, surprises, and action. That said, the story is riddled with plot holes and shortcuts that undercut the quality of the story, so you get the impression the creators rushed to get to the war without thinking through how they got there.

  • 60


    I want to like Gang War, but there’s not enough here to get you excited unless you’re a big fan of the various B-Tier gangsters that Spider-Man has grappled with over the years. The stakes never feel too high in a story that lacks Spider-Man.

  • 48

    Comic Watch

    The Amazing Spider-Man Gang War: First Strike #1 is weightless. It falls into comic shops with the velocity of feather on the wind, it’s lack of proper story and character set up reeking of an editorialized idea meant to nickel and dime stores, readers, and creatives out of their souls as yet another nostalgia play infests the publishing line. While there’s a chance that the creatives on this event can salvage what’s here, it seems that Gang War is simply dead on arrival.

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