Monday, December 19, 2016

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2 Review

Spidey Mom Knows Best
Writer: Gerry Conway
Art Team: Ryan Stegman, Sonia Oback
Marvel Comics
Release Date:  12/14/16
Cover Price: $3.99
Review by: Branden Murray

Renew Your Vows is Marvel reintroducing us to the concept of super hero marriage. Think of it as, what if Brand New Day never happened in the Amazing Spider-Man title … oh Spidey and MJ also have a young school aged daughter, Annie, who possesses super powers too.  It’s definitely an intriguing concept, to see how your favorite hero would handle fatherhood, especially with a super powered offspring. So with these crazy ideas of marriage, kids, and super hero-ing all combined, and seemingly running rampant in our comic books lately, let’s see how this young crime fighter in training is hanging in there shall we?

We kick off the issue in pretty epic fashion as two thirds of our hero family, Mary Jane and Annie, swing their way through the city.  I try to piece together where last issue left off, and how this all makes sense, so I trudge on to find out my worries are thankfully for naught. What we get in the beginning of this title is a nice little prequel story providing us a little back ground info on this “duet” of ladies. Normally I wouldn't be but I’m totally O.K. with this, being given "a day in the life of" story to start things off is a clever way to get to know these newer characters. 

Since we as readers didn’t get much information between Secret Wars and the relaunch of issue one just last month, this was a great way to fill in answers to questions, while subtly centering on the mother/daughter relationship.  When the book does eventually catch up with the present day conflict, Mole Man and his crew, find out why you don’t purposely piss off a super powered mother by endangering their child.  Mama Spider goes off, clearing house of any and all of Mole Man’s little henchmen, leaving them scurrying around for cover, with a little help from Spidey of course.

With little Annie saved from Mole Man, the Spider family move on and use a little team work to take out the T-Rex left roaming the streets and chasing them. The ensuing quick escape to safety leads Mary Jane to use her version of “No Juice”, she takes a moment here to ground Annie for disobeying her and not reporting directly to school (seen in our flashback in the beginning). This is another cool moment highlighting the parent/offspring relationship in the title adding some heart and humor in key moments.

The issue begins to wrap up when the Spider-Parents send their daughter home heading off to wrap up this unfortunate meeting with Mole Man.  One the way to the conflict Spider-Man fills Mary Jane in on a new “minor problem” he’s been experiencing lately, all connected to loaning his powers out to wifey, via Regent technology he altered.  Just as they begin to discuss the developing issue the ground beneath them begins to crumble and our cliff hanger reveals the couple to be in dire straits with only a grounded daughter out there in her bedroom (maybe) to save them.

This book is a nice light hearted change of pace for any Spider-Man fan, possibly sick of event heavy comics right now, and provides a perfect mixture of action accompanied with some good fun comedic moments.  The stakes aren’t very high, and the threat doesn’t really feel like something Spider-Man would have an issue overcoming, but the situation is being used as a clever starting point to relay how these new family dynamics work in this “world”.  If you’re enjoying the DC equivalent of the Superman title that highlights little Jon this would also be right up your alley. The art, and costumes especially, continue to be a great counterpart to the story. Everything is colored bright and shines right off the page, each character is rendered carefully and given a moment to shine. 

Bits and Pieces:

Overall it feels like this beginning story arc is being used as a way to establish each characters role inside the family.  Peter is of course who he’s always been just more fatherly, Mary Jane comes across as a character fans have been begging for, and Annie is getting opportunities to develop into a hero that shows promise. Its cliche to say but there really is something for everyone to enjoy in this title if you’re not looking to take it to seriously and just enjoy a continuity free ride.


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