Back in the nascent days of the Ultimate universe there were a lot of doubters, but lo and behold people loved reading about the early days of Spider-Man. They loved it so much it continued on when most of the other series failed or fell off the map. It appears Marvel is attempting to recapture that magic this week with Spidey, but is it good?
Spidey #1 (Marvel Comics)
This new series has no qualms about starting from scratch. Luckily it doesn’t delve into Spider-Man’s origin beyond a single page and instead spends a lot of time showing us the new relationships this All-New All Different line of stories is bringing. This issue opens with Spider-Man still in high school, but kicking butt too.
Why does this book matter?
Artist Nick Bradshaw can draw a mean line and writer Robbie Thompson has done fine work on Silk and the Spider-Verse in general, so there’s no reason to doubt they can make this work. Plus if you’re sick of the somewhat convoluted nature of the main Spider-Man titles this is right up your alley.
Spider-Man has to deal with principals now.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Bradshaw has outdone himself here. I really can’t remember his work looking so sharp and detailed. Spider-Man looks great as a gangly high schooler and the pages fly by as they’re tight with action. Doc Ock makes an appearance and he looks great too. This is top notch art that rivals anything else Marvel is putting out.
Meanwhile the story is light and easy to get into. New readers are going to love it and old will dig the new elements Marvel is adding to Spider-Man’s back story. More Gwen seems to be the thing to do these days and it works well as she looks out for Peter during the day. Flash fans might enjoy the turn the story appears to be sending him too.
Thompson does a great job getting into the high schooler’s head too. The dialogue and narration pin down the anxiety and stress a kid in high school goes through and it’s bound to rival Bendis’ run when he kicked off Ultimate Spider-Man.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Since this is a lighter series that is not connected to the main Marvel Universe it’s hard to imagine this matters much. It does reveal some new backstory as far as villains and such, but again this is a revision of a backstory we’ve seen redone over and over. That makes it tough for older readers to enjoy this. It’s popcorn action and character development though, and there’s an audience for that I’m sure.
A repeating theme, no?
Is It Good?
A solid popcorn action story showing us a new early look at Spider-Man. Purists might hate it even exists but they can’t argue it isn’t capturing the early Spidey spirit.