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.