Spider-Man has finally earned his place among Marvel’s first family. Of course the Fantastic Four is now the Future Foundation. Either way, Peter’s on his first adventure and you can find where that leads after the jump.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #659
Story: Dan Slott
Dialogue: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Stefano Caselli & Lorenzo De Felici
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: The Human Torch has died. In his videotaped will he asked that Peter take his place. While the Fantastic Four has been disbanded, Peter now gets to join the Future Foundation, which has found a seemingly connected series of portals/phenomena/anomalies amongst time and space. After visiting the Future Foundation in the future, Peter, Ben, Reed, and Sue are headed to one in their normal Earth.
The team arrives on the very same beach where Ben had last been the pirate Blackbeard. Peter’s excitement starts to boil here (time travel and pirates, whose wouldn’t?) and it never lets up for the rest of the issue. The group quickly meets a small local village, and after a bit of a misunderstanding, gets told about horrible creatures raiding the place nightly coming from the skull-shaped mountain across the bay (awesome) which Peter automatically assumes, correctly I might add, is where the anomaly is. Upon reaching the mountain, the FF find out about Peter’s lack of spider-sense as he wall-crawls across a button releasing dozens of zombie pirates. I don’t know who was having more fun with this, me or Peter as he shouts “ZOMG!” It seems every time I got more excited about the crazy hi-jinks, Peter got more excited as well. After some time, the FF kids come to the rescue, trying to warn the FF about the anomalies being a trap, and well the two teams meet and get trapped, by the Sinister Six.
Meanwhile, back in New York, Carlie Cooper, Pete’s girlfriend, has found out that he’s not on a business trip with Horizon labs and is lamenting his lying. The girls convince to come out and live it up and after too many drinks, she goes to get a tattoo to piss Peter off. Well, the tat she chooses is none other than the Green Goblin one running around because “Peter hates Osborn! He’ll have a conniption when he sees it!” Now, I’m trying to decide if I like this or not, as it does seem a bit out of character for her, but I also haven’t read enough with her to really determine that and the consequences sound amazing.
Yeah, you read that right, zombie parrots. When Peter opens the cave, the hoard of pirate zombies roll out and we get a pair of zombie parrots, just to sweeten the pot. Seriously though, the art is amazing. We have tons of realistic, varied body types, great and recognizable faces and an absolutely terrify and sinister looking Six with the big reveal. Also, Ben in full pirate gear is great.
DUBS BACK UPS
We also get two back up stories here that are both reasonably good. The first is a two page set up for the big Spidey event of the summer, Spider Island, as Miles Warren sends out millions of presumably altered bed bugs to take out/on/over New York. While I did have to go look up who the guy is (that would be The Jackal) it still intrigued me and looked good.
The second was a continuation of last issues Ghost Rider story. Spidey has Ghost Rider’s bike as the Rider himself has been taken by the demon Servicer. Rider’s last instructions were to get the bike away, which Spidey did. Now, he’s tracking them down and uses it to rescue Rider, which back fires, releasing Rider but also causing the specific thing Spidey had been told not to do. The art here is all fire and flames, which look cool and I like how the Servicer looks. The team up is an interesting one, and I am looking forward to the conclusions, so I’d say it’s good.
BOTTOM LINE: YOU SHOULD BE READING THIS
There is not a missed beat in the book. Peter gets to shine on every level for a change, from being a jokester, to a quick thinker, to a great problem solver; we get a fully realized Spider-Man. Each character is otherwise given enough time in the spotlight on their own. My one complaint (and it may not really qualify as that) is the use of the Beastie Boys song, Professor Booty, as it will really age the comic in further years. Still, 4.5 out of 5 stars is good.