Saturday, October 10, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #1

   It breaks my comic book heart to not have Spider-Man in my life.

   It was the comic that first got me hooked on buying Marvel Comics (that was the original Amazing Spider-Man #15), and I bought every issue for decades (like, almost five decades).

   Finally, I had to give it up - between the retro-erasure of Peter  Parker and Mary Jane's marriage, and then the whole "Doc-Ock-is-Spider-Man" mess, it broke my heart to read - so I dropped the title.

   But I keep trying to give the character another chance, so I bought this "return" issue of Spidey.

   There are some good things about it. The dialogue is crisp and actually funny. The art is very good. Pete seems to be back in heroic mode, helping people, being kind to his friends, and doing the right thing.

   But despite that, this new Spider-Man just doesn't work for me at all.

   The idea behind the new series is that Peter Parker is now Tony Stark - a wealthy inventor who uses his inventions to benefit mankind, while continuing to fight crime as Spider-Man.

   So the supporting cast is gone (at least I didn't see a familiar face in there anywhere). Spidey drives a Spider-Mobile, for crying out loud. Oh, and Spidey is Pete's "bodyguard" - so for much of the issue, we have a faux Spidey in the costume.

   As I've written before, I don't like it when Peter is portrayed as a loser. The secret to the character working is that he's "real" - dealing with everyday problems, fighting against the odds, using his intelligence and his abilities to overcome and always fighting to do the right thing.

   We can't sympathize or empathize with this Peter - in fact, he's virtually unrecognizable.

   So I won't be following this title. Bummer.

   (Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the backup features in this issue, all teasing oner Spider-related comics - which reminds me of the Silver Age Superman stories, with Super-animals, relatives, cities and assorted silly stuff. It's what we used to call "beating a dead horse.")

Grade: C



El Vox said...

Yeah, I wondered if anyone else didn't like how they erased the marriage to MJ. Marvel said they went that route to preserve writing Spidey's adventures for the next 20-30 years, but it seems they've been struggling on how to take his future with reboots and what ifs. (Though some have liked those stories). Maybe they were afraid to mess with it due to the movie tie-ins. I sometimes feel they should have kept them married a bit longer and see how it played out. They could have always erased it later if they had too and they could have had a spinoff title called The Early Days of Spider-Man or something (pre-MJ adventures).

It seems a marriage situation would have set up some nice stories for a family man Spider-Man that still tries to protect his identity, maybe even have a baby Spider-Man that would have been just as great an event as the marriage issue. What if, at some point, Parker died, and the baby Spider-Man is now big taking up his father's mantle--his spider genes pass onto him. Granted this is a long shot and taking many years to develop, but just seems there's many other highlights here which might have drawn in newer (and older) readers. I dunno, just thinking.

Anonymous said...

Stan and Ditko created the "everyman" that the average Joe/Joanne could relate to. That's what makes Peter special. When a writer takes away one of the key elements that makes Spidey, Spidey, they're not pushing themselves enough creatively.

Maybe it's time for Slott to step down and give someone else a shot.

I'll pass.


Dwayne said...

Parker industries? So now he's just another billionaire support hero? That is totally unoriginal.