Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 Review: Back To Basics

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Another Spider-Man title? Actually, it's surprising that it took this long to bring on another one with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1. We'll still have the Miles Morales title Spider-Man 2099 for a couple more months, then there's Spider-Gwen, and then the new, lamer Scarlet Spider title that isn't Kaine (the better Scarlet Spider). But this is the second Peter Parker title to exist concurrently with another Spider-Man title in quite some time (unless you count Renew Your Vows, which I don't really since it's alternate universe/future stuff with the Spider-Family).

The story of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 is pretty much a day in the life of Spider-Man. It doesn't quite have a narrative through-line — just a chain of events that all happen to occur next to one another. It starts with Spider-Man hanging out with the Human Torch, then moves on to Peter stopping a bank robbery and finding the Astonishing Ant-Man, as well as a girl who fancies the Spider-Man. He also finds a bizarre Stark phone that has been hacked.

Ant-Man leads Spider-Man to an inventor by the name of Mason who helps superheroes, and he turns out to be the older brother of the Tinkerer. Peter also finds a former co-worker named Uatu who takes a look at the phone and leads Spider-Man to Chicago. He sets up a date with the aforementioned girl and goes to Chicago, where he enters a battle with Ironheart. Meanwhile, Johnny Storm meets a surprising person in New York.

There's also a follow-up story where Spider-Man runs into the Black Widow, and the two fight for unknown reasons. After Widow escapes, we see that she was working with a S.H.I.E.L.D contact who wanted to test out Spider-Man's agility, spider sense, and fighting skill.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 was a fun read. The jokes come hard and fast, and it has a nice flow to it. Some of the jokes do fall flat and can be a bit cringey, but there is enough of them that you're not left to suffer long.

As you've doubtless noticed, there are a lot of guest stars in this issue. I didn't mind it as much here as Jean Grey, because there's enough Spider-Man media out there that I've never been short on Spider-Man specific comics.

The action is brief, but the comic still has a fairly fast pace. The section with the Mason brother does last a little long and is a bit of an exposition dump for future stories. This part is one of the two main flaws of the comic.

The banter and repartee between Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and the Human Torch is really enjoyable. These are a lot of sarcastic and fast-talking characters that make for good dialogue.

The (spoiler) mysterious person who meets up with Johnny Storm turns out to be Teresa Parker. I had no idea that this person exists, but apparently this isn't her first appearance. I kind of hate mysterious and heretofore unknown family members, so I wasn't thrilled or astonished by her being in this comic. Maybe it will be interesting, but retconned-in family members is almost a comic book cliché at this point.

The art is a bit lackluster in the first story. It's really messy and almost grim-looking at times. There are a couple of good panels, particularly an early spread of Spider-Man swinging through New York, but the overall appearance is less than impressive. But the second story looks far better and has a very classic feel to it. The fight sequence with Black Widow is plotted out very well, and it's an overall fun, if short, experience.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 is easily a recommendable book. It's a lot of fun. It feels like a back-to-basics Spider-Man story, and it manages to fit a lot of story into its pages. Give it a try if you're interested in a good Spider-Man book.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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