Time travel can be complicated.  Your ever-Spectacular Spider-Man is about to find out how complicated.  Your Major Spoilers review of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #304 awaits!

Spectacular Spider-Man #304PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #304

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Nick Lower
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 9, 2018

Previously in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man: “PETER PARKER and allies TERESA PARKER and J. JONAH JAMESON may have saved the past from the Tinkerer’s nefarious scheme – but they’ve returned to a future they never knew!  Have their heroic escapades destroyed the timeline or created the nightmare of an alternate future?  A future where an even deadlier threat than the Tinkerer has taken over…”

SO, SPIDER-MAN HAS A SISTER

As we open, Spider-Man, Jonah and Teresa (Peter’s long-lost sister who is a super-spy, created by Mark Waid five years or so ago) return to New York after saving the past, only to find that things in the city aren’t what they were when they left.  Harry Osborn is President of the United States, for one thing, and the city is patrolled by Octobots under the control of Otto Octavius, while the heroes seem to be entirely gone.  A visit to a still-extant Parker Industries reveals that, in this world, Peter Parker gave up being a hero and he and his wife Gwen are running a successful business under a totalitarian regime.  Of course, Gwen also has connections in The Resistance, and they might have an idea of who can get them out of this mess…

That’s assuming Peter can break Doctor Doom out of Norman Osborn’s Maximum security prison facility where he keeps his political enemies.

“IS THIS REALLY WHAT A WORLD WITHOUT SPIDER-MAN WOULD BE LIKE?”

I’m of two minds about this issue, with the biggest question being Adam Kubert’s art.  The composition feels scratchy and unfinished and even big spectacle moments (like The Thing wearing the Venom symbiote, which should be a big, bombastic Go Home page) feel incomplete.  Zdarsky’s script gives some depth to JJJ, thanks to his worries about whether or not he’s a good person and whether he has made the world worse by attacking Spidey, and La Resistance’s team leaders being Ironheart, Captain America, Doctor Strange and Gwen Stacy herself feels fresh, even with the familiar trappings of “time gone wrong.”  There is also potential conflict in two versions of Peter Parker eventually having to come to blows over what is and isn’t important in the world.  I’m also torn on whether Richard and Mary having a secret spy daughter that nobody knew about is a genius moment or total cheese sandwich…

BOTTOM LINE: KINDA FUN

Still, even with my discontent about parts of the art, this issue moves quickly, has some fun characterizations and interesting use of familiar characters is new roles and ends with a cliffhanger that makes me want to come back next time.  Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #304 makes for a fun read, with a little action, a little self-reflection and a joke about Dr. Strange’s trademark tunic, that overcomes any weaknesses of Kubert’s art to create a pretty enjoyable comic, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  As long as we don’t bring alternate-Gwen into the main reality on a permanent basis, I’m on-board with this whole time-travel arc…

Time travel can be complicated.  Your ever-Spectacular Spider-Man is about to find out how complicated.  Your Major Spoilers review of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #304 awaits! PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #304 Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artist: Adam Kubert Colorist: Jason Keith Letterer: VC's Travis Lanham Editor: Nick Lower Publisher: Marvel Comics Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: May 9, 2018 Previously in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man: "PETER PARKER and allies TERESA PARKER and J. JONAH JAMESON may have saved the past from the Tinkerer's nefarious scheme - but they've returned to a future they never knew!  Have their heroic…
Adventures in a strange, alternate timeline with his sister and step-brother... What's not to like?

PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #304

Writing
Art
Coloring

Adventures in a strange, alternate timeline with his sister and step-brother... What's not to like?

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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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