Secret Wars has yet to end but the new Amazing Spider-Man is here in a $5.99 oversized issue. Is it good?
Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
I was hoping this issue would be new reader friendly, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. That is because previous Dan Slott characters pop up (a lot of them, in fact), and Slott spends plenty of time letting us know what stories are still in the minds of Peter Parker and the others. The issue opens with Peter Parker explaining his Webware technology offering free unlimited internet access to everyone on Earth. Parker Industries, something that was seemingly destroyed before Secret Wars started, is back in business and literally giving its product away. We then cut to Spider-Man chasing a bunch of bad guys from the Zodiac sect and he’s chasing them via Spider-Mobile. Oh boy…
This is a fun scene!
Why does this comic book matter?
Dan Slott has written this character for so long and with so many inventive stories you can’t ignore his next one. His Superior Spider-Man storyline was amazing too and it looks like all the pieces that were built in that storyline are carrying over here. That includes Anna Maria, Doc Ock’s disappearance and Parker Industries to name a few. It’s also neat to see Spider-Man fighting crime globally.
That is a terrible mask.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
As a reader and reviewer of the entire Superior Spider-Man series it’s nice to see that foundation is still intact in this post Secret Wars universe. The Spider-Mobile, however cheesy it is, is fun and an interesting element. It’s not just there to be silly though, as it’s clear Spider-Man is going much more heavy with the tech. I also like how he’s being branded as a cheaper version of Tony Stark. It makes sense due to the character’s lesser ego, but puts him up there in a more tech savvy area.
I’m also glad Slott is bringing in The Prowler to sub in as Spider-Man. So often these secret identity characters have silly ways to prove they aren’t the hero when they are in plain clothes but this addition makes sense. Plus it’s fun to see Peter root for Spider-Man.
The big reveal at the end is getting me giddy too, and you’ll know why when you see it.
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli does a fantastic job on art, especially when it comes to the Spider-Mobile scene. The car is really cool to look at, has some neat features, and makes some sense when you consider he’s got a teammate working with him. Maybe it’s only being used on teamup situations? Either way, the car and the new webbing all look fantastic.
But wait, there’s more! This issue comes with five short stories by a variety of artists and writers! That’s more content (damn skippy we get more contact considering it’s six dollars)! The first has Spider-Man 2099 and sets up his new purpose in the Marvel universe. Plus, it looks fantastic with Will Sliney’s always great work (you’ve never seen a junkie this crazed!).
The remaining stories all set up the Spider character stories that are getting their own series. That includes Miles Morales as Spider-Man, a group of Spider characters moving through the Spider-Verse, Silk and Spider Woman. They all establish some basics and give you a taste of the art and direction the characters are going in. They help make the $6 price tag worth the purchase. The reveal at the end of Miles’ story is going to make people’s jaws drop.
I kind of love this car.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
That said, new readers to Spider-Man are going to be lost when reading this. I can’t help but think this issue sets up a lot of characters in a slightly less interesting way. New readers are going to be at a loss as to who is who and why they matter at all.
I’m not certain this setup is adequate either. Okay, I get it that Peter has developed this magical technology, a technology that we immediately find out could cripple the world if the wrong hands get control of it, so essentially we have the Mcguffin for villains to chase after. But who cares and why is Peter even trying to keep Webware running when it poses such a danger?
The short stories at the end are effectively giving us a taste, but I’m confused as to where they are and what is going on considering Secret Wars isn’t over. Is Miles in an alternate reality and what is the deal with the Spider-Verse being a thing? I thought all the universes were reduced to one! Or maybe they are time travelers? Either way, these stories give a nice taste and direction but lack context.
I always love Will Sliney’s work.
Is It Good?
The main featured story is great if you’ve read Superior Spider-Man but will be a bit confusing for new readers. That said, the new direction is compelling and the Spider-Mobile works too! The price tag is high, but nearly all the short stories are exciting and interesting. I just wish there was some context, but with Secret Wars not yet over I guess they have to keep that vague.