Peter Parker is back in the saddle again! He’s got the webs, he’s got the costume, he’s got the witty repartee…and he’s got a doctorate, his own company, and an unknown girlfriend who is madly in love with him. Sounds like the typical Parker Luck to me. And that’s exactly what you’re going to get in the new Amazing Spider-Man #1: your typical Peter Parker. The experiment that was Superior Spider-Man is over, and writer Dan Slott is ready to bring back the Peter Parker we all know and love.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 is actually kind of quaint in that way.
Peter Parker is a nicer, friendlier and all around more cheerful fellow than Otto Octavius, and that positive energy seeps through every page of this new issue. There is no lingering darkness from the Superior days, no existential dread over who Peter Parker is and what he’s going to do with his life. Under Slott’s pen, Peter jumps feet first into figuring out the mysteries of his new life and what exactly Otto changed. He’s ready to patch things up with his friends and family, and seems more than ready to take over the reigns of Parker Industries, even though he just found out the company exists. And therein lies the fun of the issue, at least for me. We all knew Peter Parker was going to come back, and therefore we could all imagine just how much fun it would be to see Peter deal with the ramifications of Superior Spider-Man.
This first issue of Amazing definitely lives up to those expectations. The best part, of course, is the confrontation with new girlfriend Anna Maria Marconi that ends the issue. Peter has yet to figure out what to say to her, so that’s one level of awkwardness, but Anna has a few more levels to pile onto Peter before the issue ends in a cliffhanger. Slott has promised that he has a lot more in store for Anna Maria, and I can’t wait to read it. She’s the best thing to come out of Superior Spider-Man, and I’m very excited to see her story unfold. Amazing Spider-Man #1 only gives us a taste.
But that’s not all it gives us. Picking up where Superior Spider-Man left off is important, but so are the usual Spider-Man shenanigans. Peter goes out web-slinging for the first time back in his real body, and it goes about as well as it ever goes for Spider-Man. Slott leaves all the big name super-villains for the next few issues, instead giving us a visit from the White Rabbit and her gang of animal-themed, Z-list nobodies (though Panda-Mania is a hoot!). The fight is a little light in terms of content, which is slightly disappointing, but Slott has some fun with it.
Plus I’m a White Rabbit fan, so sue me.
Humberto Ramos returns on pencils and does his usual fine work in bringing Spider-Man to life. Ramos’ Spidey is big, bold, colorful and dynamic, and his Peter Parker is especially good. When you look at Peter out of costume, it’s very clear that this is Peter we’re looking at, not Otto. There’s a wide-eyed sense of wonderment in Peter’s face, something Otto clearly never had. The fact that Peter is just a nicer guy is evident on his face, even though the two characters literally used the same face. And with Victor Olazaba on inks and Edgar Delgado coloring, this new issue is as bright and as bold as its hero.
Being Amazing Spider-Man #1, the issue is also filled with several back-up features to tease upcoming stories and other comics. We get peeks into the lives of Electro and Black Cat, and how they will be coming after the web-slinger in future issues, as well as a new villain from Peter’s early years that’s going to pop up in the Amazing Spider-Man 0.1 issues. Writer Christopher Yost also provides a nice epilogue to the recently cancelled Scarlet Spider series (with a nudge to get us to buy the new New Warriors comic), and Peter David provides a teaser strip for his upcoming Spider-Man 2099 book. I enjoyed the Scarlet Spider epilogue, because I loved that series, but none of the other back-ups are overly important or necessary. They’re just quick little bites to fill out the overstuffed anniversary issue.
Though it makes me wish Marvel had sold a smaller, cheaper comic that was just the main issue with none of the back-up filler. That would have been nice.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 is an enjoyable return to form for Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego. It’s light, funny and full of the kind of adventures you’d expect from a Spider-Man comic. Slott’s Peter Parker is as heart-warming and as entertaining as ever, and Slott clearly has a lot planned for rebuilding Peter’s life. Personally, the best parts of the issue were the moments that picked up from Superior Spider-Man. As a major fan of that series, I can’t wait to see Peter settle into Parker Industries and figure out a way to explain everything to Anna Maria, if he even can.
This issue and these moments have been a long time coming, and already Slott is making them worth the wait.
Rating – 8/10.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!