This has been a huge week for Spider-Man. Not only did his new movie ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ debut this week, but after a year long stint lost in the mind of Doctor Octopus while his former foe controlled his body in ‘Superior Spider-Man’, the real Peter Parker now returns to the pages of Marvel Comics in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 from Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos.
In the series finale of the highly controversial Spidey series that preceded this one, Doc Ock conceded to the fact that Peter Parker is the real Superior Spider-Man and he sacrificed himself to save the lives of those he cared for. With his long-time nemesis erased from his mind, Parker was back in the driver’s seat and donned his iconic mask once again to thwart the Green Goblin and save New York City from becoming a Goblin Nation.
Now, Pete has to pick up the pieces after the battle was won. During his hiatus from his body, Otto certainly kept himself busy. On top of souring the public and his peers on the hero, getting his doctorate, and becoming the CEO of his own company, the wall-crawler had also inherited Octavius’ girlfriend, Anna Maria Marconi. In his first issue back in the saddle, Parker has a lot to catch up on.
My first reaction when I saw this book on the shelf was that it had better be worth the hefty $5.99 price tag. Well, after reading it, I’d say it was indeed worth it. I found it to be an excellent return to form for Peter Parker. I definitely missed all the quips and the dumb luck, so it was good to see all of those vintage Spidey things return with the true hero. This issue also addressed a number of my questions after ‘Superior’ had ended like what will happen with Anna Maria, Black Cat, and Spider-Man 2099. But not only that, this book used a number of short stories to set up for the ambitious future of the web-slinger’s classic title including ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Spider-Verse’. Slott is known for intricately sowing seeds in his stories and he certainly delivers with this issue. At the same time, it’s not bogged down by it and does more than just set up for the future.
My favorite part of the story had to be how quickly Spidey’s nakedness got out to the world. I loved seeing all of his friends’ reactions to his goofy antics, especially Johnny Storm’s and Mary Jane Watson’s. Due to how engaged I was in ‘Superior Spider-Man’ and the edgier turn for the character thanks to Otto’s intensity, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed laughing at Spider-Man. This was a great reintroduction to that enjoyment and I look forward to more of it.
In addition to giving us a fun first adventure back for Peter, we basically got a sampler of the present and future Spidey titles. I liked all of them, especially the one featuring Black Cat (because she’s one of my favorite characters) and the one written by the legendary Peter David, who will be writing the upcoming ‘Spider-Man 2099’ series this summer. However, I don’t think that I’m down with the last one that sets the stage for ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1.1. At first, I was down because it revisited the wrestling career of Spider-Man, which I loved because I’m a huge wrestling fan, but then when I realized that this was basically taking that origin and modernizing it with social media and stuff that didn’t exist back in the day, I was bothered by it. Even within the timeline of this book, the spider bit Peter thirteen years ago. I don’t remember smart phones with cameras and video sharing websites coming into prominence until the mid-2000s. Basically, I’m fine with revisiting that period of time in the character’s life and exploring it from someone else’s point of view, but I’m not sure that I’m behind the modern technologically driven aspects of it.
‘Amazing Reality’ aside, I enjoyed this first issue of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ very much. It felt like a big event like it was supposed to and it covered a lot of things that I was left wondering about after ‘Superior Spider-Man’ ended. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series and I might even add ‘Spider-Man 2099’ to my pull list come July.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
Written by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Joe Caramagna, Peter David, & Chris Yost
Art by Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Cam Smith, Antonio Fabela, Chris Eliopoulos, Jim Charalampidis, Will Sliney, David Baldeon, Jordi Tarragona, Rachelle Rosenberg, Ramon Perez, & Ian Herring