Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #1 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 1, December 2015
Promising an “all-new, all amazing” Spider-Man whose “friendly neighbourhood just got a whole lot bigger” this “over-sized” opening issue of a brand “new series… written by fan favourite Dan Slott” is certainly the “action-packed” read its stunningly colourful Alex Ross cover promises. But just because a comic contains the likes of Mockingbird, Spider-Man 2099, Silk, Peter Porker, Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales all battling it out with a horde of villains and costumed criminals doesn’t necessarily mean the fifty-eight page periodical delivers an entertaining experience, nor is arguably value-for-money…

Indeed the magazine’s lead story, which bizarrely portrays Peter Parker suddenly as “a globe-spanning entrepreneur” complete with “classic Spider-Mobile” and a “new costume” is so totally different to anything this side of a “What If?” title, that it's actually hard to take in what is going on within the narrative. Especially when having stopped some Leo-Sect technology thieves following a car chase through the streets of Shanghai, it appears that Hobie Brown, a.k.a. the Prowler, is apparently the current “Web-head” of San Francisco; “Come clean, Parker. How many of us Spideys do you have running around?”

Interestingly though having established such a phenomenally different aspect to the inventor’s “wall-crawling alter-ego”, the second half of “Worldwide” inexplicably then reverts the titular character back to the luckless “poor man’s Tony Stark” from the title's 2014 comic book series, complete with his scheming, untrustworthy business partner Sajani Jaffrey. In fact, with the exception of Hobie’s Spider-Man getting mauled by the ‘wedding crashing’ Zodiac, Slott's supposedly fresh take on “the world’s greatest super-hero” is disconcertingly all-too familiar to what he has written before, and even ensures that the anachronistic automaton, the Living Brain, makes an appearance at Parker Industries in London.
Equally as disheartening is the quality of this anthology’s other (much shorter) stories, as four of the five tales appear to be nothing more than teasers for their own titles and thus dissatisfying end with either the words “to be continued in the pages of…” or “find out what happens next in…” Fortunately “The Cellar”, written by Slott and Christos Gage, does provide some semblance of fun with early Sixties Spidey crook the Ox making a welcome return to the Marvel Universe; albeit Steve Ditko’s super-strong co-creation is only featured within the adventure in order to better reveal the sinister 'behind-the-scenes' shenanigans which are going on at “the new [New York] prison… The Cellar.
Writer: Dan Slott, Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Inker: Cam Smith

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