Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #1-3

Dan Slott has been writing Spider-Man comics for a long time. And while I faded out a bit during the One More Day era, I have to say I’ve loved everything since Superior Spider-Man a few years ago. Once again, Slott has a new, fresh take on Spider-Man that is different than everything we’ve seen before but that still remains true to the Peter Parker we know and love.

Peter has finally used his brain to get himself rich. Parker Industries is doing big things in the world, and while he isn’t Tony Stark (yet) he’s doing pretty well for himself. Peter has employees, friends, family, and plenty of other supporting characters that should give plenty of opportunities for upcoming stories.

Best of all, Spider-Man almost has a super-team. Spider-Man has been on team books in the past, but he’s rarely the financier and driver behind the story. In this incarnation of the title, Spidey has Mockingbird as a SHIELD liaison and Clash as an employee struggling to give up his costumed identity. Best of all, Hobie Brown, the Prowler, is on the payroll too. The Prowler fits in the book perfectly as both a partner for super-heroics and as a straight man for Spidey’s buffoonery. It never hurts to see the Human Torch either, and playing him against a “friend rival” in Harry Osborne is a great move too. There were multiple times while reading these comics where my daughters and I laughed out loud.

In addition to the high concept and the guest-stars working perfectly, Slott is using one of the best “classic” villain teams in the Marvel U: The Zodiac. Sure, it is a new incarnation, but man, they are already a great team. The Zodiac is presented as a real threat with a large, well-financed organization and a cadre of super-villains at the top. And Slott is knocking their characterization out of the park. He is able to give bosses and flunkies alike delightful personalities in only a few lines of dialogue.

Giuseppe Camuncoli is an artist well-accustomed to Spider-Man, and he shows it. The new Spidey design is just a bit off from the classic look, so I accepted the new look with no reservations. The Zodiac designs are instantly recognizable and striking. I also like the design of the fleet of Spider-based vehicles and gear that Peter is able to show off these days. In fact, on those gorgeous Alex Ross covers, the new costume looks nearly as good as the original!


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