Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 Review: AndrewRoebuck’s take

ASMRENEW2015001_DC11_00001SAmazing_Spider-Man_Renew_Your_Vows_1_Young_Varianto, I’ve not read one single page of the Secret Wars mini-series. How does Spidey’s return to the married life play out? Is it all that fans were hoping for? Or is it just Marvel playing another cruel joke on long time web-heads.

WRITER: Dan Slott
ART: Adam Kubert
COLOR: Justin Ponsor
INKS: John Dell
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

STORY: Our issue begins with a married Peter Parker working on his webshooters at the dinner table. Mary Jane is upset that he isn’t at home spending enough time with their new baby girl Annie. He explains that on top of his rogues gallery he is also battling Moon Knights, Iron fists, and Daredevils villains stating the heroes haven’t been showing up to stop crime. He promises to make it up to Mary Jane. From here we cut to the offices of the Daily Bugle. Operating just the same as it did back in Spidey’s hayday. Peter wants to sell his brand new photos of Spider-Man when he discovers that Jonah has been given an order by the mayor not to run anymore pictures of superheroes in the paper. When Peter asks why Urich explains that heroes are missing, and turning up dead all around New York.

renew1Spidey immediately decides to go to Avengers mansion to see what is happening to all of the missing heroes. Once he arrives he discovers that they have been expecting him. The Avengers are preparing to take down the man suspected of killing the heroes. Simultaneous to their assault Hawkeye states that there has been a breakout in Rykers prison. Captain America tells Hawkeye they need all Avengers to take on the threat, and that they will deal with the breakout later. Spider-Man realizes which villain he has locked up in Rykers and immediately rushes home to Mary Jane. The Avengers go to face the threat whilst Peter goes home. Once he arrives home he discovers Venom sitting there with his child and Mary Jane as hostage. The two foes go at it while MJ runs downstairs to get help. Eventually she finds a fire truck and sneaks on hoping to get to a place to hot for Venom. While this is happening the Avengers face down the man menacing their world. He has stolen all of the X-men’s powers and uses it to destroy the team. Venom then follows the fire truck and Spider-Man manages to corner him in a flaming building. At this time Venom begins to go on a monologue about how Spider-Man is now beatable due to having a real weakness. This causes Spider-Man to decide murdering Eddie Brock is the only way to stop him. After the murder we cut to a few years later where we see Spider-Man ignoring a robbery, and renew2walking his daughter down the street.

PLOT: I have not been reading Secret Wars because I am not Scrooge Mcduck and cannot afford the immense cost such an endeavor would involve. My only experience with the event is this book. This issue might as well be called “I’m right you’re wrong” because this doesn’t feel like an organic story. Instead it feels like Dan Slott pushing his opinion down your throat. I mean even the title “We can’t have nice things” is built to just anger old Spider-Man fans. This issue has Spider-Man murdering Eddie Brock without even attempting to find a solution. This is for Spider-Man what Man of Steel was for Superman fans. The only reason he kills in this issue is because this story is written to undermine the very idea of the Spider-Marriage. It really rubs me the wrong way, why even write this story?

Before I go to far into the negative  there are some good things about this issue. Mary Jane is written like a character who can solve problems, and is helpful to the situation. This is contrary to many of her modern portrayals so that’s good. The moments with Annie the Spider-Baby are really cute, and it seems like how it Amazing-Spider-Man-Renew-Your-Vows-1-Preview-3-9fdc7would be in a real marriage for the character. The artwork is magnificent with splashes of unique costume changes that successfully let you know this isn’t the 616 Marvel Universe. The artwork also does some real wonders with perspective, particularly when you see the reflection of the scene through Spider-Man’s lens’s. Kubert is an awesome artist who hopefully gets more Spider-Work.

Now back to my ranting. So take a step back from Spider-Man, just who the hell is the main villain? Some weird super power version of TaskMaster? Furthermore since when is the skin of Colossus, and the eye-beams of Cyclops powerful enough to stop the Hulk? I mean yes it’s an alternate universe so anything is possible, it just doesn’t explain these changes. Also just an incredibly minor point wouldn’t it have been nice to see the child be named “May” or something a little bit more meaningful to the Spider-Universe. Annie at least to me seems a little bit of a wasted opportunity. Is she named after Aunt Anna? We’ve seen Spider-Man time and time again rise to every foe, every herculean feat, and throughout it all he uses his wits to save the day. WITHOUT MURDER. Now again this being an alternate universe you could say its a different Spider-Man but Venom before his death makes it clear that this is a character change. So him having a child turns him into a murderer? This had the potential to be a story that could have been a nice “here’s what could have been” plot. Show a nice normal love filled Spider-Man, who has adapted to the married life. A different perspective on the Spider-Man marriage, a positive one. Instead we get a rehash of what Marvel’s PR team has been saying for years. Which is a disappointment and insures these two books will be the only stories I delve into for the Secret Wars tirade.

Grade: D


(26) Comments

  1. Shawn

    P.S. If you want to read how a supehero in a relationship and with a child should be written and is currently being written well, check out Image Comic's Invincible.

  2. Shawn

    My question was, what version of Venom is this? If this is supposed to take place in a portion of the original time stream when the baby was first born, wasn't Venom the Lethal Protector then? A good guy (while the costume looks more Mac Gargon than Eddie Brock). And yes, soon as I read Annie, I knew this was a 'Screw you fans, I may be giving you a version of what you want, a married Spider-Man, there's no way I'm going to make you perfectly happy by naming the baby May. I'll never give you full happiness even in an alternate universe story.

  3. Doc Wyoming

    @12 Jack, great points all around. This version of Venom is an unredeemable sociopath with no regard for human life. If he were after my daughter, I wouldn't even consider it murder to leave him in the burning building. He brought it on himself. That said, Venom will be back in this series I wager.

  4. Ronny

    @xonathan #20 Ok I can agree with you 100% it wouldn't be the smartest to come out with reagent around for just the Vulture. Wasn't sure if that's the way you meant. I don't think he had to quit being Spider-man all together though. Just get to a lab & try to figure out a device to depower/beat, Reagent. I agree it's plot induced for him to quit all together 100% the rest made sense in the context, even off-ing Venom. I can't believe he'd put his daughter in the same possible situation he did with uncle Ben though. It'll come back to haunt him in a worse way.

  5. Sano

    @13 - I'm not a fan of Carnage either, but at least he's a character that does not know Spider-Man's identity. That right there stops him from killing every one of Spider-Man's loved ones. He is a homicidal maniac, he doesn't really care who he kills so long as he kills. If hid did know Spider-Man's identity sure he might go after them, but I think he's a little too in love with killing indiscriminately to think like that. Maybe just kill everybody he finds on the way to Peter's house or something. If they used Carnage in this story and he found out who Peter Parker was, while I still think Spider-Man would find a way to deal with him other than murder at least I can kinda / sorta / maybe / after a few drinks / uuuum you got Elmer's Glue I can sniff / believe that Spider-Man would kill him. Naaah still don't buy it. But hey this is Slott's Peter Parker who would put a chemical substance over his own daughter's bottom and let it dissolve and get into her nether regions instead of changing her diaper. His own daughter! Slott's Peter Parker is an idiot. In every reality apparently. ASM 18.1 by Conway was great though! I think I need to reread it to cheer myself up.

  6. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    Its good to see all of the discussion. Still I would argue that had Venom been making a leap at his daughter and Spidey had no choice but to kill him then THAT would be justifiable homicide. If you are in a court of law and someone threatens your family so you kill them it would not be ruled as justifiable. I think the story would have made a lot more sense if a villain other than Venom was used. Switch him out with Carnage or Norman and the story makes a lot more sense. Venom isn't normally a mass murderer so his empty threats are pretty apparent. Also worth noting that I think the characters are written fairly well up to that point. Those are just my views, because it seemed to be an issue built on showing how the idea everyone wants would ruin the character.

  7. xonathan

    @Ronny what I meant was if he decided to persue the vulture, the Reagent would/might take notice I him and also make him disappear leaving his family fatherless. Obviously the writer want to put the character in this situation so we'll see what happens.

  8. Ronny

    @xonathan #16 The only thing that put his family in danger was a villain knowing his secret ID It shouldn't put his family in danger for him to take Annie over to MJ or somewhere safe then track down & knockout the Vulture quickly. Now if you want to say it could possibly put his life in danger ok but that wouldn't put his family in danger. Besides we know with guys like the Vulture it's the start for gathering money for a deadlier plot. but ok, even if we let that go. To decide to do nothing about Regent is letting a killer waltz around your community making him a threat to your family. Can you really walk around & eat ice cream with your daughter with a known killer owning the city you live in. Sounds like a great future for your daughter...Even a group of soccer moms wouldn't let anyone that poses a threat to their child roam free around them. Spider-man is a smart guy. He could safely be in the lab coming up with a way to take this guy down. That would be protecting his family. You can't take down Venom as a possible future threat & leave a worse one that may be the reason the Venom thing happened in the first place. Seems silly in my opinion. Who thinks that way?

  9. ItsMichaelReid

    Yeah I know people have been saying this but yeah the Regent take over was a big no-no. Peter should've realized his daughter wouldn't really have much of a future with Regent in charge.

  10. Jack

    I agree that Peter being okay with having the Regent in charge is also ridiculous. Being ruled by a murderous autocrat like the Regent is a constant, daily threat to MJ and Annie. If this story was not utterly contrived, Peter would start studying the Regent. He would focus on de-powering and/or destroying him, which Peter is uniquely qualified to do, since Peter is a genius, and trained in biochemistry on a near-doctoral level. Considering that peter knows how to prioritize, he would ignore the small-fry in order to deal with the Big Bad. Let the Shocker rob a bank or two; Peter would know the Regent is the real problem. Keep in mind that Slott's 616 Bumbling Idiot Spider-Man was on Reed Richards' life-raft, so this Spider-Man isn't even the real one. This is a What If character. He only exists in order to "prove" to you married-Peter fans how stupid you all are.

  11. xonathan

    I agree 100% with @12. Great points. Why risk your family for a purse? And about time he dealt with Venom. This is what I've been saying. Married Peter is a more competent hero. When he's single he doesn't have anything worth to fight for, only some "responsibility" mantra.

  12. ryan3178

    I agree @14 Killing Brock, you completely got the situation and I don't fault Peter for that. However, with the Regent, he just killed several people that Peter did consider friends and comrades in arms. He is killing people and saying he is the all out ruler of the city. Peter goes; "Eh, he's like a politician, here Annie, let's get some ice cream." No, that didn't work. It was a good story but that rang so false.

  13. Ronny

    @Jack #12 I agree 90% I'm glad you actually read it. The part I don't agree with is that this means he has to quit being Spider-man...Maybe Slott wants you to agree with that part. It makes no sense to me that Peter would think that doing nothing about a guy who just murdered a lot of people would just go away & it couldn't possibly affect him & his family ever if you just let him take your city. & possibly the world Lol. Come on. seems silly in my opinion. I That was the ending I thought made no sense. He should of been in the lab trying to create his own "ultimate nullifer-ish thing" or something. To think, "Oh dangerous guy just murdered a lot of people wants to conquer world seems like a good time to quit. Can't possibly come back to affect me & my family, that'll never happen... again. Seems so silly or is it just me...? If everyone agrees with that part then everyone agrees a married Spider-man has to quit being Spider-man. I mean don't you think you should stop that guy that's much worse than Venom as a threat? Cause if you don't your family is going to be in serious trouble along with the world. Wouldn't you think?

  14. I.M.

    @10 - That's why Carnage never worked for me as a recurring character. He was Venom sans the 'roadblock' of not killing innocents. Heck, Carnage's entire raison d'etre was killing innocents. A character like that could never work on an ongoing basis in the Marvel Universe, and really should have stayed defeated after his very first appearance in the books. @12 - Agree with everything you wrote. This is a self-defence / justifiable-homicide situation, and no jury in the world would convict Peter if charged with Brock's death. I think the cries of, "Oh no, Peter would NEVER kill, this is ALL WRONG!" are misplaced in this circumstance. Heck, I've long felt that Venom was the one Spidey villain who could be marked for death. He was the one villain who wanted nothing else besides Spidey's death, would stop at nothing to get it (his 'no innocents' thing was .... flexible), and was too powerful to be confined / defeated by normal means. Add in the threat to Peter's daughter, and it was finally time to put the rabid dog down. No loving father would think twice about it at that point.

  15. Jack

    A problem I can see happening with the story -- a problem for Lowe and Slott, not for the readers -- is that no one will disagree with Peter's decisions. If I'm right, then that will mean readers won't buy the idea that Peter compromised himself, which is the spine of this story. First, Peter didn't "murder" Venom, he killed Eddie Brock out of self-defense. Brock is possessed by a homicidal alien entity, and he knows Peter's real identity. Then Brock promises to murder Peter's baby. So when I read those panels, I didn't feel, "Oh, Peter, no!", which is what I think Slott expects us to feel. Instead I felt, "Good job, Peter, and about time, too!" MJ would commend and console him for doing it, and successfully help him get over it. But if a lot of people take it the way I did, that Peter did the right thing, then the hinge of Slott's story breaks in two. Second, Peter **already** divvies up his time between being Peter and being Spider-Man. He certainly understands that crimes are committed while he's asleep, while he's taking a shower, or working for the Bugle, and so forth. He also knows there is a police-force, even in this weird world. So am I supposed to clap my hand to my forehead and cry out, "Oh no, Peter! What's happened to you?!", if he lets the Vulture steal a purse? No, I don't do that. I think the "Oh no!" reaction that Slott imagines will happen in the readers isn't going to happen. Instead, I expect most people will think, "Sure, you're a dad, you don't go running off after the Vulture when you've got your elementary-age child with you. A couple of bullets from the cops, and the Vulture is down anyway. About time the NYPD earned its pay." Third, if you now have an unbeatable super-super-villain who goes around infallibly slaughtering super-heroes and eating their abilities (Sylar on HEROES, by the way, for those who remember that show), then given that situation, of course you give up being Spider-Man for a while. Problem is, the Avengers and the X-Men have destroyed bad guys who were far, far worse than this Regent. >>So the whole premise is rigged.<< For example, there is no way that the Hulk gets his arm torn off. Slott jobs every single hero character, in order to make the contrived plot happen. So whatever "lesson" Slott ends up preaching by the end of the story is bogus, because the whole scenario has been contrived by him.

  16. Pete Wiggins

    @ #9: What this guy said. I'd call it "justifiable homicide" rather than "murder". Someone attacks your baby, you do anything and everything possible to make damn sure they never get the chance to keep doing so. Ever. Considering that Venom is a psychopath with superpowers greater than Peter's, whose vendetta against Peter stems from an utterly stupid reason, who has repeatedly assaulted, stalked, and tormented Peter over the years, and was now threatening to do the same to his infant daughter, having ALREADY HELD HER HOSTAGE in order to get to her father... no jury in the world would convict Peter here. Not that I want Spidey to be a Punisher-type, but come on, people, use your common sense here. I worry, though, that Slott might be using this scenario as an argument as to why Peter shouldn't be a family man, because it might compromise his no-killing stance...

  17. Sano

    It's the DNA of Eddie Brock right from the beginning. That's what stopped him from killing Mary Jane in his first appearance in ASM #300. That's what stopped him from killing Aunt May when he visited his house way before Lethal Protector. I get that this is a different reality and so forth but if this Venom is a murderer than how is Mary Jane still alive in the first place? Ditto for everyone at the Daily Bugle? Spidey stopped him every single time? Shyeah right. It's how the character works. You have someone from the very beginning when he got the Symbiote who knew Pete's identity and nulls Spider-Man's Spidey Sense. You need to put a roadblock on the character (which was done through his twisted interpretation of Catholocism) of sorts otherwise nothing stops him from killing everybody. It's not only us Spider-Marriage fans that got screwed, us Eddie Brock fans got screwed, AGAIN... I guess same ol' same ol' for the current regime.

  18. Franz29

    I don't agree with Peter killing normally, but playing devil's advocate here - Peter killing Venom to stop the threat felt OK to me. I'm approaching it as the father of two young girls here - you threaten them and then promise to return to torment them even after I stop you then I will do ANYTHING to prevent that - even if I have to put you down like a dog. And don't forget, this isn't the 616. Maybe Venom didn't go through his lethal protector phase and has a history of murder, we just don't know the rules of play in this reality.

  19. Ronny

    That is a great point though, Sano. Venom does not kill innocents except he may make an exception for Pete. He didn't actually say he'd kill his daughter either though. Just torment her basically. Which could be worse or same thing. I don't know. Maybe he could of just killed the symbiote & not Brock. Well at least not directly since Brock would presumably die without the symbiote after a while they've shown in other Spider-man stories.

  20. Sano

    Venom doesn't kill innocents when he can help it so the threat of him killing Peter's baby not being seen as an empty threat was dumb. Peter didn't have to kill him. Just stop him and that's it. There are many ways to safeguard a baby in the Marvel Universe. Ask Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

  21. Ronny

    I don't know guys. I usually pretty much agree with his reviews but I think this one you actually have to read for yourselves. Things make a little more sense than the way he put them in his review if I'm being completely honest...The only thing that made no sense whatsoever was the ending! lol The rest was actually very good and exciting...Ok there were some things I had to ignore but couldn't take away from the excitement in this issue. I take away one whole star from the ending but it still left me wanting more....spoilers:........ So little details I think should be mentioned. One, we really don't know enough about the big villain & only the heroes without powers were dead the ones with powers were missing. This guy had the x-men's including Xavier's & other heroes' powers he used Nightcrawlers along others more so to do something surprising to a Hulk limb. They didn't show he killed him or the rest of the fight just that it started off bad for the heroes. As for Mary Jane & Spider-man/Peter they were actually written well. Mary Jane played a role in Venom's supposed death after Venom during the fight in the fire basically said how he'd never stop & he was going to do horrible things to their child. (I really don't blame either one in this case) They showed He didn't want to but felt he had & he brought the whole burning place down on him as he jumped out. (He could still even be alive. Doubt it but him & Carnage have come back from worse) This was actually good for Slott best he's ever written Spider-man & MJ prob...Like I said in my opinion it was just the end that made no logical sense ESPECIALLY for Spider-man.

  22. RDMacQ

    Wow. Even when I'm geared for a complete disappointment, Slott still manages to find a way to screw things up in even new ways. I read a review that Slott "gets" Peter. IF Peter did kill Venom here (Did we see the body or the act, or just Peter saying he'd do it?) then Slott knows nothing about this character, and instead of telling the story people actually WANT, we are going to get four issues of Slott shoving his opinion that the marriage isn't "right" for Peter before we get to the end.

  23. Shaun Martineau

    If all the heroes are dying who is going to end up saving the day? Because we all know Slott's Spidey is too incompetent to do it himself

  24. C-Spider31

    Spider-Man murders Venom?!? That's it. It's official. Slott has no clue how to write Peter Parker. I didn't like his stories before, but now I've just had it with him. No more.

  25. Phantom Roxas

    "This is for Spider-Man what Man of Steel was for Superman fans." That right there pretty much sums this up. IF Slott is leaving the book after this, then all I get from this book is "If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me." If not, then it's a fart in the wind that serves no purposing beyond fulfilling the regular quota of pissing everyone off just so those same people can be accused of being overly sensitive bullies.

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