Peter Parker is trying to put the pieces of his life back together. He now lives with Randy Robertson and Fred Myers (aka the Boomerang). Fred sucks as a roommate, but Peter is more concerned in fighting an alien invasion as Spider-Man at the moment. That doesn't stop Peter from reflecting upon his day, which included an impromptu Mayor Wilson Fisk ceremony and a disastrous Empire State University presentation for the Daily Bugle's science column.
In the back-up story, Mysterio has a court date.
It's a new era and a new start for the Amazing Spider-Man, and writer Nick Spencer and artist Ryan Ottley are at the helm. This issue sets up the new status quo for Peter Parker and challenges for the Amazing Spider-Man.
An overly-expanded story is a common problem for comics, but this may be one of those rare occasions where a comic is expanded to tell its own story and still feels a little too long. Of course, if they made it shorter, then they'd have to charge less for the comic. I'd be fine with that; Marvel may not be.
There is a decent amount to set up this new status quo, but it's given so much explanation and space that I was struggling to stay checked in the back half.
It would help if the comic were a little…well, better. The comedy didn't often click for me. Much of it is centered around Peter Parker's life continuing to collapse around him. The comic tries to play it off with a c'est la vie attitude, but it's still a cavalcade of human misery. I know a perpetually out-of-control life is par for the course for the Webhead, but this was a bit much.
Also, the other superheroes are jerks to him for a half-explained reason, and that just added to the misery.
That said, I can't say this comic is outright bad. Though it was long, there were parts in the back half that started to reel me back in. Spider-Man is still a hero and has some good hero moments. There are occasionally tolerable lines. It also adds a bit of nuance to the "villains are ruining my life" subplot that genuinely shows Peter Parker taking responsibility for the mess that is his own life.
Also, the Mysterio section is a weird mixture of comedy and horror. I dug it a lot.
Ryan Ottley's artwork is a bit underwhelming. Like Spencer's writing, it's not outright bad, but it isn't great. The faces are light on detailing and the figures are a little too angular. Some of the facial expressions are a bit off too. When he's in the suit, Spider-Man does look good, though. The alien designs feel a little undercooked, but that might be the point (as you discover). Laura Martin's color work is decent but also leaves a little to be desired. It's a little too bright and saturated and could have used some dimmer shades to balance it. That said, it doesn't look bad.
The back-up story with Mysterio has Humberto Ramos on the art, and it looks decent enough too. There's no credits page for this, so I'm unsure of inker and color artist, if any (Edgar Delgado tends to work with him, but I'm not sure).
Amazing Spider-Man #1 is alright. It doesn't astound or amaze, but it does a lot of things decently enough. The comedy isn't good nor is it insufferable, the art doesn't grab but it's not disastrous, and the pacing is slow nor fast. I can recommend it, but only tentatively and only because it is the beginning of a new era of Spider-Man. Feel free to check it out.
Also, yes, I gave this a lower score than ASM #800 but am still recommending it. I think ASM #800 was a little better quality-wise, but it was also a $9.99 book. This is four-dollars less and only a point lower in quality.
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