For Peter Parker, the Secret Wars are over, and it’s time to get on with the business of being Spider-Man.

Of course, there have been a few changes…  Your Major Spoilers review of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 awaits!

AmazingSpiderMan1CoverTHE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer: Dan Slott/Peter David/Robbie Thompson/Dennis Hopeless/Mike Costa/Christos Gage
Penciler: Giuseppi Camuncoli/Will Sliney/Stacy Lee/Javier Rodriguez/David Baldeon/Paco Diaz
Inker: Cam Smith/Alvaro Lopez/Scott Hanna
Colorist: Marte Gracia/Frank D’Armata/Ian Herring/Jason Keith/Israel Silva
Letterer: VC’s Joe CaramagnaVC’s Cory Petit/VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: “Peter Parker has always had something going wrong in his life, either as himself or as his web-swinging, wall-crawling alter-ego, The Amazing Spider-Man.  But, after years of vanquishing villains, it looks like he’s finally managed to get his act together.  His ‘Friendly Neighborhood’ just got a whole lot bigger!”

“WITH GREAT POWER…”

We open this issue with one of the cleverest twists on Spider-Man’s catch-phrase/modus operandi, as part of a commercial for “WebWare”, a device that combines a laptop and an Apple Watch into one web-shooter looking wrist device.  Quickly, we find that they’re a sensation in the streets of Shanghai, as Spider-Man goes into action against the Zodiac cartel while hundreds of bystanders record everything on their WebWare.  The issue showcases Peter Parker as genius, rehabs the reputation of the Spider-Mobile (and makes it pretty cool) and even allows him to get the upper hand on Nick Fury, agent of SHIELD.  Peter is in China as part of Parker Industries’ international efforts, showing off his business skills with the launch of ‘The Uncle Ben Foundation’, dedicated to charitable efforts around the globe.  Admirably, Dan Slott realizes that the whole “superhero bodyguard industrial magnate” trick is reminiscent of Iron Man, calling attention to it explicitly, and allowing Peter to explicitly address what he’s going to do differently, and it’s good to see him showing his philanthropic nature throughout the issue…

A NEAT TWIST ON THE ‘BODYGUARD’ TRICK

We also discover that, in order to work around the old “How Can You Be Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All” issue, he has hired Hobie Brown, The Prowler, to serve as a Spider-stand-in for those times when Peter and Spidey both need to be visible.  Indeed, this book is full of such cameos, as Peter works with Mockingbird, his old friend Phillip Chang ( a deep-cut from the 70s), as well as many of the regular folk from Slott’s last run such as Anna-Maria (whose robot has a scary little secret going on.)  Camuncoli’s art maintains the asymmetric style of Humberto Ramos that Spider-fans seem to love, but has a better sense of both layout and anatomy to my eye, making the whole issue fun and dynamic to read.  The major downfall of the issue is the primary covers utterly hideous color-sense, which makes the new Spider-suit look entirely unappealing, when the interior shows it as quite cool-looking, a classic Ditko-style suit with minor updates for the 21st Century.  The issue is rounded out with short movie-trailer-style stories of the rest of the Spider-verse, giving us a taste of the upcoming solo book for Spider-Man 2099, Silk, Spider-Woman, and Ultimate Spider-Man, as well as the Web Warriors team-up book, all of which seem like they have some solid stuff going on.  (The use of a particular villain in Miles Morales’ story seems to hold real potential for me.)

THE BOTTOM LINE: NICELY DONE

All in all, this issue is a nice introduction to the new world of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, as well as working in a lot of great continuity bits, clever jokes, and really underlying the notion that Peter Parker is an amazing intellect by SHOWING us not only his extant skills, but his willingness to learn new ones.  Though he’s treading on familiar Iron Man turf, the story cops to it, and takes care to do some new things with it.  The greatest weakness of Amazing Spider-Man #1, other than the garish crime that is the cover, comes in the price point, as what we’re really getting is 32 pages of story and 32 pages of coming attractions, but even that doesn’t damage the overall quality and interest of the Spidey story we get, leaving the book with a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Slott has proven that he can take the Wall-crawler to fascinating places, and this book makes me want to add ASM to my regular pull list to see what he has in store now…

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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