Reviews

Review – The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comcis) variant cover (detail) by Jim Cheung
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comcis) variant cover (detail) by Jim Cheung
The Amazing Spider-Man #1
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 8.75/10
    8.8/10
  • Art - 9.25/10
    9.3/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Summary

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release: July 11, 2018

Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley swing into the Amazing Spider-Man with a big surprise and a return to basics!

 An Amazing Debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #1

Swing into the new era of Spider-Man comics with Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley. Peter Parker is back to basics as he faces the Kingpin and teams up with the Avengers in this debut. The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is one of the most exciting Spider-Man reads in forever, but what will Spencer and Ottley do to upset the status quo?

Writing: New Blood

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Ryan Ottley
Main cover by Ryan Ottley

There are many reasons why this book is extremely exciting before you’ve even read it. Nick Spencer is the first new main line Spider-Man writer in a decade. This is Ryan Ottley’s first new book after a fourteen-year-long run on Invincible. Not to mention that this is all coming together under the leadership of Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, CB Cebulski. It’s a small miracle, then, that The Amazing Spider-Man #1 mostly delivers on all the promise it contains.

Spencer bookends this issue with a clear statement about the trajectory of his series. It begins with a flashback to a famous Spider-Man story that’s strongly associated with a certain relationship, and it ends with a current depiction of that relationship. This is one of the strongest parts of the issue and Spencer has a wonderful grasp on the voice of this particular character. This is also the part of the issue that gives Peter the most agency in his decisions, which is when Peter is at his best.

Writing: Back to Basics

Readers are then invited into Peter’s new living situation, which is simultaneously hilarious and ripe for story developments. Peter is currently living with Randy Robertson, the son of his editor at the Daily Bugle, and Fred Myers, the villain Boomerang. Having Peter have to deal with the small inconveniences of living with a supervillain is extremely fun, and it also allows Spencer to stretch his legs with his sense of humor. This is the first of many spots where the humor really does land, which is so important for a Spider-Man book.

The biggest issue I have with this series is how Peter is portrayed as being hungry for validation from everyone. It’s made clear at several points that Peter wants to be accepted, and that people like the Avengers don’t accept him. The problem with this is that this isn’t high school Spider-Man, this is college graduate, one of the greatest superheroes in the whole world Spider-Man. It doesn’t make sense for Peter to lack this much confidence and to be panned by his peers at the age and maturity level he’s at. Spencer does build an interesting plot point out of this though; if he’s able to tone down the extent at which he does this, it could work in future issues.

Writing: Future Promises

So much is built into this issue. Spencer is consistently building new and interesting plots off of things that have come before him. One of the most interesting strands of narrative he sews is coming out of the events of Superior Spider-Man. It’s such a logical move and puts Peter in a genuine down-on-his-luck situation, and gives him a genuine reason to question his own decisions. This also creates a sad and heartfelt conflict with Aunt May that doesn’t feel manufactured.

Outside of Spider-Man, Spencer shows a fantastic grasp of so many other character’s voices. Early in the book he’s writing the entire Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy and they all feel spot on. Specifically, he really gets the Kingpin and the dynamic he shares with Spider-Man. When Wilson Fisk shows up it’s one of the most intense parts of the issue.

There’s still so much in this issue that I haven’t covered and it’s really because it’s a jam-packed issue. There’s so much more I can say, but there just isn’t the time. 

Art

Ryan Ottley is a treasure. Marvel should be so ecstatic they got him on this book because his style couldn’t fit the character more. He’s spent years having his art associated with the down-on-his-luck hero who’s coming of age, and it pays dividends here. It just feels like he was meant to draw this book. His panels are traditionally clean all throughout and this evokes a classic feel for a Spider-Man run that’s trying to go back to basics. He’s also consistently able to show strong emotion despite having an almost overly cartoony style.

The action is where Ottley really shines, though. There isn’t a page where you don’t feel the power and movement in the panels. His characters are consistently posed in a way that readers never feel as if they’re standing still. Specifically, he makes sure heads are almost never straight on. They’ve always got some sort of direction which makes them feel more alive.

Ottley intelligently doesn’t over-detail his art. This allows his form and action to shine through, importantly. Even more importantly for The Amazing Spider-Man #1, though, it means Spider-Man’s design stands out and things like his webbing lines are never lost in the clutter of the art.

It can’t be overstated how much this feels right for the book, though. Even when readers can’t exactly describe why, Ottley’s pencils feel like a classic Spider-Man artist, even in his first issue. If he stays on the book for a while he’ll be remembered as one of the premier Spider-Man artists.

Conclusion

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is largely the successful, bombastic debut Marvel would’ve wanted from this team. Spider-Man is back and if you weren’t a fan of Dan Slott’s extended tenure then this is your time to get back with the web-head.  This book mostly captures Peter’s voice well and excellently shows off his supporting cast and relationships. It sets up several interesting plot threads that will be exciting to explore in the future. Ryan Ottley makes it all beautiful the whole way. He will be one of the definitive Spider-Man artists one day.


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!

Social Media logo PatreonFollow Word of the Nerd on

Social Media logo FacebookSocial Media logo TwitterSocial Media logo TumblrSocial Media logo InstagramSocial Media logo YouTubeSocial Media logo PinterestSocial Media logo Google Plus

Social Media logo Twitch

Bringing out YOUR inner nerd!

About the author

Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry is a News Editorial Major at the University of Southern Mississippi. He started reading comics at the advent of the New 52 in 2011. Some of his favorite runs are Snyder & Capullo's Batman, Invincible, Lemire & Smallwood's Moon Knight, The Sheriff of Babylon, Azzarello and Chiang's Wonder Woman and Thompson & Romero's Hawkeye. He also enjoys movies, cartoons and pretending he's Green Arrow because he's shot a bow and arrow at least twice.

Advertisement

Check out our YouTube Channel

%d bloggers like this: