WHOOLOPIN WEBSNAPPERS THE ORIGINAL KING OF THE SPIDERS IS BACK. Does it live up to the hype? Read on and find ouuuuuut.
“Lucky To Be Alive”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Humbero Ramos
INKER: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
“Capturing That Old Spark”
WRITERS: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
PENCILER: Javier Rodriguez
INKER: Alvaro Lopez
COLORS: Javier Rodriguez
“How My Stuff Works”
WRITER: Joe Caramagna
ARTIST: Chris Eliopoulos
COLORS: Jim Charalampidis
“Homecoming. Sort of”
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLORS: Antonio Fabela
WRITER: Chris Yost
PENCILER: David Baldeon
INKER: Jordi Tarragona
COLORS: Rachelle Rosenberg
“Learning to Crawl: Amazing Reality”
WRITER: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Ramon Perez
COLORS: Ian Herring
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
VARIANT COVERS: Marcos Martin, Ed McGuinness, Pop Mhan, Jerome Opena, Skottie Young, and Alex Ross
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
MAIN PLOT: Our issue begins with the typical recap of Amazing Fantasy #15…but wait this time after the spider bites Peter he (or she) also biites….A GIRL OOOH MY GOODNESS we’ve NEVER SEEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS A SPIDER-MAN COMIC BEFORE. Yeah so there is presumably going to be yet another Spider-Girl/Woman/Person. From that SHOCKING REVEAL, we go to a robbery in progress. White Rabbit, Hippo, Panda-Mania (yes that is the real name), and Skien are stealing faberge eggs much to the confusion of a onlooker with a baby. Who ponders aloud as to whether this is an Easter thing or a belated April Fools joke. Its not of course and Spider-Man saves him before his baby is crushed. From there your average Spider-Man stops bank robbers scene progresses until suddenly it’s revealed he’s NAAAKEEED. So far this issue has two non-shocking reveals; but wait there’s more to come.
Spider-Man then makes use of the way back machine in order to show how he came to be the naked crime fighter. It all started when Peter gave a press conference confirming to the world that he was not dead, and that he is cutting all ties with Spider-Man FOR REALZIES THIS TIME. Jonah senior then gives Peter some fatherly advice letting him know that he needs to take this job seriously. Peter promises that he will be good this time. We are then shown Ana Maria getting to Peters apartment after the Green Goblin fiasco and discovering a RING. A news report then details a jailbreak after Electro broke a bunch of goons out of prison during goblin nation. Then we see who is watching the television its ex-mayor J. Jonah Jameson who throws a bottle at his TV and ponders where he goes from here. Suddenly it hits him, HE IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHER OF THE DAILY BUGLE AGAIN…oh wait no he isn’t because they wrote a bad headline about him which made him upset.
Back in Parker Industries Peter is looking at all of Otto’s projects realizing he doesn’t know a thing about them. He asks a few employees to print off a schematic for him and they freak out because everyone is afraid of THE BOSS. They then go into a room and reminisce over all the old Spider suits they now have to get rid of, and he finds out he has a doctorate. He then dons his red and blues and sets out to stop a robbery which brings us right back to the beginning of the story in which Skein uses her mastery of fabrics (THE LAMEST SUPER POWER IN HISTORY) to strip Spider-Man. Before things get too frisky he dons webbing underwear and we see everyone taking pictures and mocking him. He beats them and then gets home to see Anna Maria waiting for him. She then asks why he never told her he was Spider-Man, and then it’s revealed they got frisky sometime during the Superior era giving her intimate knowledge of Spider-Man’s freckles.
B PLOT: So this issue has a lot of backup stories as you can tell by the credits let me sum them all up super quick. In the first one Electro is being made fun of at a super villain bar (EIGHTBALL IS THERE) so he decides to reenact his breakout scene from New Avengers but finds out his powers are all out of wack because Otto mind controlled him in Superior Team-up. He angrily vows revenge. The next story involves The Black Cat sulking in prison due to her capture by Otto in Superior 20. She gets released after Electro blows up the prison she is in. She also angrily vows to mess up everything in Spider-Man’s life. Then is a short and funny recap about how Spider-Man’s powers and abilities work. Hulk angrily vows revenge on his agent because he was promised sandwiches and didn’t get any. The next backup involves Spider-Man 2099 flying around complaining about 2014 and stopping some muggers. He angrily vows revenge on the time stream. In Kaine, Peter Parker visits Huston and learns about what happened in the Scarlet Spider comic series. I angrily vow revenge on Chris Yost because its just a glorified ad for New Warriors. Finally we get the first part of the learning to crawl storyline in which a young man becomes enamored with Spider-Man’s first TV appearance and gets the idea to become a superhero of his own.
STORY: To be honest this was a very back to basics approach to the web-head. Fans of Dan Slott’s pre-Superior Spider-Man run will be happy, but those who were expecting him to write Peter in a different style will be disappointed. This is the same Peter Parker we got before Otto. He still doesn’t really seem to take things that seriously, and is dropping more bad puns than Deadpool at a Bar mitzvah. I enjoyed the issue but I felt like it was definitely a “back to status quo” approach. Sure we have the looming awkwardness of Anna Maria’s confrontation at the end of the book, but other than that not much has changed. The naked Spider-Man was a charming alternate costume that I am sure will be available in a videogame somewhere down the road, and The White Bunny getting together a ragtag group of super villains to steal a bunch of expensive eggs is amusing. It is a rather forgettable reintroduction to the character.
My big con in this book is the ending mostly. MJ declaring Spider-Man an idiot, The Avengers continuing to be convinced he is back to normal, and the reveal of more intimacy with Anna Maria. To me Spider-Man is a character that should stay out of the bedroom. I am really sick and tired of Spider-Man sleeping around ever since his Brand New Day era. Michelle Gonzales, Black Cat, Carlie Cooper, that disturbing scene regarding Mary Jane in Superior Spider-Man #2, and now this. He is getting to Daredevil levels of Man-whoring. Amazing Spider-Man the film will most likely bring more and more children to the new comic who wants to read Spider-Man after watching the new movie. This means that A LOT of parents are going to need to come up with convenient lies as to what exactly Anna Maria is referring to at the end of this issue. It adds nothing to the story. Prior to the 2000’s Spider-Man was able to tackle love interests and romantic drama without the loom of sex.
The best parts of this story are undoubtedly the backup stories. Many of them are essential reading if you want to understand where the Spider-Man universe will be heading in a few months. I for one am REALLLY looking forward to Peter David’s Spider-Man 2099 book, as I love the “Man Out Of Time” storylines and the writing by David is still top notch. I have some issues with the Learning to crawl segment but they are mostly time related nitpicks. Overall if you really want to get the bang for your buck they are worth reading.
ART: I must be honest I wasn’t super thrilled with the artwork by Ramos in this issue. All of his characters just look and feel a little off. Also Ramos sure loves to draw busty women, if you are looking for anatomically correct females you’ve come to the wrong book. That being said all of the artwork in the backup issues is magnificent so it is a 50/50 on good and bad artwork.
ODDITIES: J. Jonah Jameson getting mad at the Daily Bugle for coming up with an accurate news story. The White Rabbit claims that she has been planning this heist for months, and seems legitimately surprised when Spider-Man shows up, which is odd considering Spock busted her in Superior Spider-Man and she was well aware that Spider-Man had stepped up his surveillance game. Peter claims that he isn’t skilled as Ock with tech even though he wrangled up those mini Spider-Man goblin cure-bots in like half a second in Superior Spider-Man 31. Peter mentions attempting to access Otto’s memories and then thinks it better not to. This is a clear instance of foreshadowing we will be seeing Ghost Otto soon in this series. The Hippo was shown reformed in Superior Foes of Spider-Man and had big hippo breasts like in fight club. This Hippo seems like he is in remarkable shape and attitude. PANDA-MANIA…ARE YOU KIDDING ME SO DUMB. Why in the Electro Flashback is Eight Ball red….given Eight Ball is the greatest character in comic history he should be Black like he was in all his Superior appearances. I know the bartender mentions the villains have a lot of their colors wrong but I can’t tell if this is said in order to cover up a mistake or intentional. NOW we bring you my timeline inconsistencies segment. So in the first few pages of this book they mention that Spider-Man was bitten by the radioactive spider 13 years ago, which mean he was bitten in 2001. In the Amazing Spider-Man learning to crawl backup story that takes place literally months after this event we see a young man using an: iPhone (2007), YouTube (2006), and a really new looking i-mac. We didn’t even have touchscreen phones back in 2001…those were the dark ages my friends…THE DARK AGES.
BEST BACKGROUND CHARACTER: Clearly this has to go to Stein because only a master of fabric could make that ridiculous costume stick together. I mean do you see how thin the straps are on her costume…talk about illogical costume design.
ON THE NEXT AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: There are fluxes of back-up stories that are still way more interesting than the core story.