When it comes to titles if you have “Full Circle” in the name you’re bound to get a tale that’s more about the journey than the destination. Add in 7 creative teams with talent spanning some of Marvel’s greatest modern comic stories and that whole journey thing really sounds appealing. Marvel Comics has put together a fascinating new one-shot that may cost you $10 bucks, but it was written with quite a unique approach. Tom Brevoort seems to have come up with the idea that each creative team enters the story round-robin style picking up where the last team left off. The requirements were simple: Get Spidey out of the last story’s predicament, move the events of the story forward, resolve at least one plot element, and end on a cliffhanger. Simple, right? After reading this I can confirm it was simple…simple-ey crazy!
The book opens with a story by Jonathan Hickman, Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, and Al Vey which sets up a story involving Nick Fury and space. Bachalo’s art is fantastic and Hickman writes a solid Fury. The story is strange, has weird turns, and ends up with Spidey shot into space. It’s just wacky enough to jive with the crazy twists and turns this story takes.
We then cut to Gerry Duggan and Greg Smallwood who take the story to Florida. Their story here plays a large part in the bigger narrative that unfolds. Smallwood’s art is going to make you wish he was back on an ongoing series.
Next is Nick Spencer, Michael Allred, and Laura Allred pick up with well-written captions and a setting that suits the Allred’s retro pop look. I will forever love Spencer for writing, “Come with me if you want to learn.” Science fanatics can’t miss this one.
Kelly Thompson, Valerio Schiti, and Mattia Iacono take the story up a notch in the hilarious setup situations when Peter has the worst birthday party ever. Props to Schiti for quite an awesome double-page splash that literally slices a building in half to fit all the chaos and action as Spidey fights from left to right.
Just past the midway point is the chapter by Al Ewing, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and Dave McCaig which should have Spider-Ham fans giddy. It’s a clever use of the character.
Comics dramatist of the day and comedian of the age Chip Zdarsky writes the next piece with Rachael Stott and Triona Farrel add a lot in at the last minute. The cliffhanger is possibly the best in the book.
Then we have Jason Aaron, Cameron Stewart, and Nathan Fairbairn writing the penultimate chapter which is a standout one in its own right. It throws in a lot of wacky and out their ideas and makes them stick, which may not have been possible if not for the craziness that other creators contributed earlier in the comic. You will never look at a pig the same way after this one folks.
Finally, the 8th chapter is a collaboration between Gerry Duggan, Nick Spencer, Al Ewing, Mark Bagley, John Dell and Frank D’Armata which is expertly explained as to how this giant team came to the conclusion via a few pages of texts at the end of the book. I rather liked the message of this story which plays into the incredible guilt Peter has over letting the gunman go who ended up killing Uncle Ben. It’s a strong statement about moving on and living your life that adds a touch of joy to the overall story.
This is quite a unique comic book that may not matter to the main story being told by Nick Spencer, but as a work of comic book craft, it’s quite a tale to be remembered. Each creator clearly took their story seriously working off what they were given and only once or twice begrudgingly commenting on the silliness of the story. Given how out-there werewolf people, humanoid pigs, and a mysterious hidden person whispering at Peter throughout the story is I’d say this is a huge success. Do you have to read it? Not at all. Do you want to see if they can pull off such a wacky extra-sized story? If you read as many comics as me the answer is definitely yes.