Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Comics Review)

The reign of the Superior Spider-Man is now over. Doctor Otto Octavius, better known as the supervillain Dock Ock switched bodies with Peter Parker when he found out that he was dying. As a result, Doc Ock spent several months as Peter Parker aka the Amazing Spider-Man and renamed himself Superior Spider-Man because he thought he could do a better job at being a superhero. And so followed 31 issues of one of the most daring comics in the industry as writer Dan Slott pretty much changed the game and the stakes. But now, now we are back to the Peter Parker we all love, the true hero, the goofball, the joker.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 marks a big phase in Spider-Man comics for Marvel this year. In addition to being the first reboot of this particular series to date, after the previous one ran for 700 direct issues, this comic is also the launch-pad for several new comics coming up later this year as Marvel basically double quintuples down on its number of Spider-books. Lots of fantastic short stories in this issue, and all of them with some great art to match.Amazing Spider-Man 01Aside from that really weird-looking cover, Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a pretty damn good read. It covers the length and breadth of the Spider-world as we get to see not just Peter again, but also Kaine, Spider 2099 and some of Spidey’s classic villains as well, such as Elektro and Black Cat. What this issue does is set up a lot of plotlines for future issues, and that’s excellent. This is a pretty special relaunch and Marvel is definitely going out of its way to make sure that it is one to remember. I mean, packing in bonus content in the form of Matt Fraction’s Inhuman #1? That’s something!

The first story in the issue, by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos deals with Peter’s return and the fallout of the Goblin attacks on New York, which the city is still reeling from. And Peter has to adjust to everything that has happened in his deathly absence since not only did Otto go and finally get that Ph.D. in Peter’s name, he made sure that Aunt May could walk again without the need for a cane, created a company called Parker Industries with Peter as the CEO, and more besides. It is a hell of a lot to take in, and Dan Slott gives us some nice teasers here. Ramos’ art, with Victor Olazaba’s inks and Edgar Delgado’s colours, is also pretty top-notch. There are a couple places where the artwork is a bit too gratuitous, but on the whole, job well done.

The second story, by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, is all about Elektro. He is one of the main villains in the recently released The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, and it seems that the writers are cashing in on that for this story. Which is a good move. Better tie-ins between the movies and the comics is the way to go forward as far as I’m concerned. And in this story the writers do a good job of getting across who Elektro is and they give him a re-origin of sorts as well, which was fun. Javier Rodriguez does some awesome art in this issue, just as he has done previously for the Superior Spider-Man annuals he drew and the inks by Alvaro Lopez complement his work perfectly.

The third story, also by Dan and Christos, ties in to the previous one and this is a character piece focused on Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat, on-again/off-again lover for Spider-Man. At some point before the events of this story Spidey pretty much got Black Cat arrested and she’s been having a hard time getting over that betrayal. If the the electrifying ending to this story is any indication, then Spidey is in for a hell of a time. Giuseppe Camuncoli draws this story, with inks by John Dell/Cam Smith and colours by Antonio Fabela. I liked this story as well, although it was a bit too dark-themed for me, visually. And there are some odd expressions on Felicia’s face as well. So not the best of art, but it comes very close to being good.

Oft-letterer for a whole bunch of comics, VC’s Joe Caramagna writes the next short story, which is a humour piece that describes most of Spidey’s abilities and powers. It is the humour that really sells you on the concept, with the story being told by a very “teenage-y” verison of Spider-man. Will Sliney and Antonio Fabela contribute the art for this, and it has a really nice cartoon vibe to it that I liked. Simple and direct.

The penultimate short story is by Chris Yost, current writer of the New Warriors series in which Kaine features quite a bit. A clone of Peter Parker, he is one of the many alternate Spider-Men of the Marvel comics-verse and the story serves as an introduction to exactly who he is and what he is. And what kind of a hero he is. This story was definitely much better than any issues of New Warriors that Yost has penned in Marvel Now. David Baldeon draws this story, with Jordi Tarragona on inks and Rachelle Rosenberg on the colours. Fairly decent (but inconsistent) artwork with the inks and colours being the best of the whole bunch.

The final story is an intro to Spider-Man 2099, who is getting his own series in a couple short months and this is once again an intro character piece. I feel like all these stories have a setup for the upcoming Spider-Verse crossover, and I’m hoping that’s the case. Every character who has ever been Spider-Man or related to him in some way is going to feature in this, whether across time or dimension. Loved Spider-Man 2099 in this, and would definitely like to see more. The art here is by Ramon Perez with inks by Ian Herring.  A bit of an inconsistency on the colours in the first few pages, but then the issue really gets going, and ends up being awesome.

But hands down, the best visual of this entire issue is a bad-guy unraveling the threads of Peter’s costume until he is rounding up bad-guys in New York while buck-naked, his privates protected by his own webs. Amazing, hilarious and so-totally-Peter image that.

Peter is back and this is going to be a great time!

Rating: 8.5/10


Posted on April 30, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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