In this day and age, it’s not too uncommon to find retellings of classic superhero origin stories at your local comic book shop. With the New 52 resetting the DC Universe not too long ago and Marvel relaunching titles left and right, we’re constantly being reminded how our favorite characters became superheroes. But what Dan Slott is doing with ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1.1 is pretty different than just your run of the mill rehash of the classic Spidey tale. Instead, he’s filling in the blanks between Peter Parker’s first appearance in ‘Amazing Fantasy’ #15 from 1962 and his second appearance in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 (Volume 1) from 1963 with this brand new series. We finally get to see some of Spidey’s earliest adventures and learn how he dealt with what came next in the wall-crawler’s life immediately after Uncle Ben’s murder.
The first issue of this arc titled ‘Learning to Crawl’ finds the web-slinger working as a television performer while trying to balance his life as a high school student that suddenly became the man of the house who needs to find a way to make ends meet for him and his beloved Aunt May. But at the same time, we also catch a glimpse of another masked vigilante that takes up a mantle after being inspired by Spider-Man.
While reading this issue, I definitely enjoyed the first part of the previous paragraph about Pete’s TV career. It was cool to see him interact with his manager and the surprise buzz saws in his performance. Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed that things didn’t pick up from his wrestling career because I would have liked to see more of that, but Slott still picked an interesting point in time to pick up with Pete after the death of Uncle Ben.
However, when it came to the second part of my summary paragraph, I was not as enthused about it. As I said in my review of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 last week, I’m not down for updating Spider-Man’s origin story for the modern day in the comics. Things like social media did not exist when Peter Parker became Spider-Man, so to see it mixed in here via Clayton Cole simply did not jive with me. In fact, it made the story feel like it was set in two different time periods. Actually, that would’ve made it work out better. If Clayton were in the modern day looking up old Spider-Man videos and being inspired that way, then the story would have made more sense. Instead, we had him with his big headphones and iPad amidst a world where it was still fashionable for Spidey’s smarmy manager to wear a fedora with his suit like an old school car salesman. Even the TV studio had a look reminiscent of older equipment and visual aesthetics. In my opinion, this time in Peter Parker’s life should have been left in the past. As if superhero timelines weren’t confusing enough, now this is thrown into the mix to further complicate things.
Aside from the modern day angle of the story, I liked ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1.1. Dan Slott truly has a grasp on the character like no other writer today and I’m excited to see where else he takes us in this uncharted territory. I also wonder how this will tie in with the flagship Spidey book, which Slott also writes, especially when things like ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Spider-Verse’ come into play.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Ramon Perez & Ian Herring