Many comic book arcs will start around the time of a brand new comic book movie or TV show’s release. (“Superman: Unchained” with the release of “Man of Steel”, “Rage of Ultron” with “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and even “Black Panther #1” with “Captain America: Civil War”) With the release of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” right around the corner, we are given “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1”. Now, is this issue worthy of the Spider-Man name? Or is it just a simple cash-grab due to the hype of the upcoming movie? Lets swing into it!
The story of the Webhead’s newest arc starts with a retelling of his origin story. However, the second I thought, “I’ve heard this a million times, why are we retelling it,” Johnny Storm takes those words out of your mouth. I’ll admit, I chuckled. The story continues with a much more familiar Spidey story than can be found in the Amazing Spider-Man issues. In contrast to the Amazing Spider-Man series, the focus of this comic seems to be more narrow and centered around a specific item rather than a villain (as of now). In the story, Spidey finds something that really acts as a driving agent for the narrative. The object is somewhat of a mystery to young Peter and this issue focuses mainly on his investigation. As of now, it seemed a little underwhelming. In other words, I enjoyed the characters and their interactions more than I enjoyed what was driving them.
As for most issues, there is a cliffhanger ending that drives you to want the next issue, and it works! Johnny Storm, again, says what we all think when it is revealed. I am more excited about the cliffhanger than what Spider-Man is investigating.
The introduction of a few new characters was very welcome as well. Namely, the character of Mason who has ties to Spider-Man in a unique way. I understood Mason’s motive for what he does, as it also ties into Spidey’s famous phrase: “With great power…” you know the rest. A new, potential romantic character is introduced as well. So far, besides having neat hair, she isn’t the most impressive. The character in the last panel however… Whoa… That’s all I’m at liberty to say for the sake of spoilers but goodness-me, it was a crazy reveal! There are also many guest superhero appearances that bounce off of Spider-Man perfectly and don’t feel forced in.
I was a huge fan of the art in this first issue. The cover art is reminiscent of Superman in that Peter is tearing away a white button up to reveal his iconic spider logo across his chest. The colors of the characters, namely Spider-Man, really popped out in their environments. The focus is on the characters with no distractions from the backgrounds. Whilst Spiderman has kept his iconic look from day one, his suit in this issue has a darker blue that accents the red perfectly. Also, his poses as he “thwips” through New York are very Spidey. The art matches the lighter tone of the story with it’s almost cartoon-like character designs and it’s brighter colors.