Just because an issue says #1 doesn’t really mean it is #1 these days, especially with a series like Amazing Spider-Man that’s been around for 600 issues. That said, this is an introductory issue of sorts, and clearly meant to get new readers on board, but is it good?
Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens with a recap of Peter’s origin, getting bit by the spider, et cetera et cetera, but then adds a new layer that I won’t spoil here. We do get a confirmation it’s been 13 years since, so I think that puts Spidey at what, 28? The issue then cuts to the real Peter Parker taking on the “Menagerie,” which appears to be a slightly comical villainous team that’s recently changed its name. It’s the perfect sort of bad guy for Spidey to take on right now to showcase his wisecracking ways. To up the comical ante, writer Dan Slott has also given one of these villainesses the power to turn fabrics into a weapon and she quickly disrobes Spidey with incredible force.
Doc Ock WAS superior…in some ways.
Slott deftly moves between multiple elements keeping us up to date on characters and keeping the pace and action taut and captivating. He does this by cutting to four hours earlier, where we get a nice summary of Peter and his relation to the company Doc Ock started, his relationship with May, and his befuddlement with Doc Ock’s inventions. It’s a nice nod to Slott in this regard, because it shows Doc Ock was better than Peter intellectually. Once Slott gets the recapping over, I’m very intrigued by what he’s doing with Jameson, we cut back to the action sequence that opened the book. This lets us get a little conclusion to the battle, but Slott once again swiftly moves on with the drama of Peter’s life. There’s also a development with Doc Ock’s girlfriend that should deliver an entirely new story Peter has never faced before. Exciting stuff.
Some hehe moments.
Humberto Ramos draws the main feature and he does an impeccable job with it. This is a very very good issue, from writing to art, and it’s because the pacing is so good. By issue’s end you’ll probably be happy with the purchase even if it’s a bit more money, because there’s so much jam-packed in.
Is this puppy worth the extra dime? For 6 dollars we get our typical $3.99 22 page issue, with the added bonus of 6 shorts running three to eight pages each. It then closes with Inhuman #1 for no reason at all other than Marvel promoting a new event series. Anyhoo, how is this extra material? ::Deep inhale ala Ace Ventura::
The first short reminds us of what Electro’s deal is and how he breaks out inmates, the second recaps Black Cat and reminds us she wants revenge on Spider-Man after he threw her in jail, the third is a cartoony look at Spidey and a reminder on his powers and such. The fourth delves into Spider-Man 2099 and reminds us he has a new series coming out soon, the fifth goes into Scarlet Spider and his new cosmic dealings and finally there’s a story about a boy who was actually there when Spidey was wrestling. This also seems to be coming up in a new series soon, specifically Amazing Spider-Man #1.1. These shorts range from great to almost pointless, but they are a nice way to set up the stories we’ll be seeing in the next few months. They don’t feel like filler, which is the most important thing. They’re also drawn very well with different styles that complement their stories. The short about the boy at Spider-Man’s unveiling for instance, looks a lot like what Steve Ditko would have drawn.
The added Inhuman #1 isn’t so great however. This book is being sold for quite a bit, but there’s only 56 pages of actual Spider-Man comics to read. The rest is filled out to 80 with that issue, which is particularly confusing considering it’s not very Spidey centric. That said, it is a value considering that issue, if purchased separately, would put this over the $6.00 mark.
They need to put Black Cat in an “Orange is the New Black” series.
Is It Good?
This is a very good issue indeed. The main 22 page feature is exceptional, the six shorts are fun and look amazing with the added bonus of giving you a taste of the new series that are being produced from them. The entire issue is a great introduction to a lot of elements and characters. Recommended.