Monday, June 26, 2017

Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man #1 Review - Marvel Monday

The Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art Team: Adam Kubert, Jordie Bellaire
Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Cover Price: $4.99 

A Not Very Spectacular Start

Well the much hyped pairing of Spider-Man and Chip Zdarsky in Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man is here, taking the character and reconnecting him with his grass roots, in New York City, sold/marketed as a title with a little bit of a more traditional Spidey flavor to it.  After what feels like a wait of forever, since the announcement, we finally have the official issue #1 in our hands … so what’s in store for us, and should you continue to be excited for yet another Spidey book? Let’s find out.

The issue starts off with a brief one page summary of the origins of Spider-Man, transitioning into a conversation he’s having with Johnny Storm (Human Torch), as they setup a time for later in the day to go see a movie. This is the first of what feels like a thousand guest stars this issue so prepare yourself.

Spidey leaves that scene, swinging off while talking to Aunt May on the phone, before interruption strikes the conversation, and Spidey goes off to attempt and save a lady (who later becomes integral to the story) from a mugging. When Spider-Man arrives on scene however he discovers quickly his web shooters are now clogged! Thankfully Ant-Man comes out of nowhere to help take care of the situation, leading to Spidey finding an old hacked Stark Phone on one of the robbers, all before he then gets the ladies phone number he just saved … Rebecca London per her card Joker (a.k.a. comedian). The scene ends with Spidey and Ant-Man taking off to solve their tech issues.

We move to the location of a secret lab, belonging to a gentleman named Mason, the Tinkerer’s brother. Mason helps ‘heroes’ fix their tech, instead of ‘villains’, to combat his brother from the shadows. Although upset at first, that Ant-Man wasn’t careful with his secret hideouts location around new company (Spider-Man), he fixes everyone’s problems Bing bang boom. Meanwhile his assistant hacks the old Stark phone from Spider-Man giving a location for our heroes to investigate.

Five hours later, Peter is in Chicago, and decides to give Rebecca a call, setting up a coffee date as Spider–Man with her … how will this work out I’m not exactly sure. Back in New York Peter forgets about Johnny Storm now in front of his apartment building waiting for his pal.  Spider-Man, investigating in Chicago, follows the lead he was given to a house and knocks on the door.  Someone comes out of the nearby garage, in a fully armored suit, who just happens to be RiRi Williams, promptly blasting Spider-Man. The issue then concludes by transitioning to its final cliffhanger, reintroducing the character of Theresa ‘Parker’. STORY NOTE: Theresa is Peter’s ‘sister’, from a previous story in continuity, in which the answer to whether or she is truly a blood sister of Peter’s was left a little murky in the end.

There is also a back-up story featuring Black Widow and S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to secure Spider-Man’s ‘Spider Sense’ powers for a project they attempt to be working on, which was OK at best, and that’s it for this month.

Overall so far I’ve read the FCBD issue, and this first issue of the series so far, and I haven’t enjoyed either much at all other than finding a few chuckles. The story here doesn’t pick up any threads from the FCBD issue and instead just feels like a random, and fast moving, book that didn’t make the characters mission or motivation very clear in the end. I don’t understand the purpose of this book existing at the moment other than to put a new number one on the comic stands so close to a new Spider-Man movie releasing which isn’t the writers or artists fault.

Story wise there just aren’t any moments in this issue where you can slow down and appreciate a joke, a panel of action, a guest star appearance, nothing, because every page is filled with cringe worthy jokes and dialogue failing to hit the mark at almost every corner.  It’s a Spider-Man title laced with ‘Dad jokes’ and not necessarily things Spider-Man would say to distract a villain in the course of a situation.

It also feels like a crowded book 1 issue in … for example, just for shits and giggles, here is a list characters who’ve appeared in an issue and a half (counting FCBD) of this series so far:
§  Mary Jane
§  Vulture
§  Trapster
§  Difficult to make our S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents
§  Jonny Storm
§  Ant Man
§  Mason (Tinker’s Brother)
§  Iron Heart
§  Theresa Parker
§  Black Widow
§  More shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents
It just feels like this book is trying to do too much right away resulting in it not doing anything overly successful right now to hang its hat on.

The normally fantastic art team of Kubert and Bellaire were average at best this issue, with some panels looking just sloppy, and completely rushed to print. Faces and eyes look off in a lot of panels; this is just not an issue you’d point to as a celebration of this team’s best work.

A random separate problem I also have is the quality of paper for $4.99 that this book is printed on. The cover and inside pages paper quality is absolute TRASH!!!!! My cover is curling after just sitting on a desk for a day in Air Conditioning. It feels like this book is printed on used newspaper when opened. Compare this to a DC’s All-Star Batman issue, which is printed with a thicker than normal cover and glossy inside pages, for the same $4.99 price tag and its shameful. Marvel’s overall care towards its product as a whole offered to the public is nonexistent in comparison to their direct competitors which is inexcusable for the prices this company charges for a single issue at times. Even the $10 Spider-Man #25 issue was printed like this and had the same problems as well and I refuse to keep buying these expensive books when they’re presented to me like this.

Bits and Pieces

Spectacular Spider-Man is filled with hit and miss humor, leaning heavily towards the miss end of the spectrum, while also not offering up much in the story department so far, other than a semi intriguing cliffhanger, and barrage of never ending jokes that progress the story forwards. Artistically this issue is also very average, and looks very rushed in spots, especially when compared to the FCBD issue released just last month.


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