Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 - Marvel Comics

As fresh starts go, Issue One of “The Amazing Spider-Man” undoubtedly proved an incredible read for its 532,586 strong audience, as its contents were clearly tailored to appeal to both long-standing fans of Peter Parker as well as a new generation of "Marvel Worldwide" readers. It certainly should have come as no surprise that such a comprehensive collection of collaborative talent, alongside a phenomenally high page count, would help make it the biggest-selling comic book of April 2014 and outsell its nearest competitor, "Superior Spider-Man", by an incredible four hundred thousand copies.

Despite its girth however, and the fact that it contains multiple short stories featuring Electro, Kaine, Spider-Man 2099 and The Black Cat, the narrative most bibliophiles must surely have focused upon was this mighty tome’s lead tale “Lucky To Be Alive”; an adventure which heralds both the highly-anticipated return of the original web-slinger and also tried to rationalise some of the insane ‘superior’ shenanigans which occurred to the Wall-Crawler's body whilst inhabited by the brain of his greatest enemy, Doctor Octopus.

In order to achieve such a dual goal Dan Slott has quite wisely written a relatively straight-forward piece involving Spidey besting a colourful and bizarrely costumed team of robbers, whilst simultaneously discovering some of the changes to his life Otto Octavius has wrought in his name during his prolonged absence. Rather than tell this story in a linear manner though, the American author instead throws the reader straight into the action with Web-head partially foiling the Menagerie’s thieving caper, and then simply resets the clock back four hours to a time when a disorientated Peter is delivering a press statement outside the partially collapsed remains of Parker Industries.

This ‘pacing gimmick’ both immediately captures the attention and also quickly establishes that the fast-talking smart-mouthed (and unlucky) web-slinger of old is apparently back. In addition it also means that those who missed the thirty-three issue-run of “Superior Spider-Man” can slowly discover, alongside an oblivious Parker, what Octavius actually accomplished when he swapped their brains, without it being necessary to purchase a load of back issues... And there have been alterations aplenty as Peter discovers he is the C.E.O. of his own cybernetics company, Aunt May can walk again unaided, he has a doctorate and… a girlfriend, Anna Maria Marconi.

All of this is stunningly illustrated by Humberto Ramos, whose slightly cartoony but superbly detailed artwork is just perfect for the arachnid’s acrobatic antics; albeit his depiction of Doc Ock’s miniscule girlfriend makes her appear disconcertingly young and child-like, especially when stood beside the much taller Parker.
The regular cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 1 by Humberto Ramos

No comments:

Post a Comment