“Surprise” – Peter Parker 2017
***Extra than Normal, Spoiler Warnings for this issue ***
Itsy Bitsy Part 3
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller : Ed McGuiness
Inker: Mark Morales and John Dell
Colorist: Joe’s VC
Editor: Nick Lowe and Jordan B White
G’day my friends. It is that time again when we get a SM/DP issue that is done by the main creative team. These things are starting to come out less often so it seems like a treat when they do arrive. Now I have made no secret in my reviews that I have highly enjoyed both main of the arcs we have gotten from this title. I’ll lay my cards out early in this review and say this is another fantastic book. I have however found that this second arc I am not as in love with as the first. So does this book bring the title back to full prestige or is it the same level of enjoyable comic as the other recent issues of the Itsy Bitsy story arc. Let us find out together.
After being seemingly blown up at the end of the last issue (of this story, there have been two issues of this title since then) Spider-man and Deadpool had actually escaped into the pocket dimension of Weirdworld. Deadpool has been nursing Spider-man back to health and consciousness. As Spider-man comes around they find themselves caught up in misadventures around Weirdworld. Here it is revealed Spider-man is starting to find himself taking a more aggressive approach to his enemies since he has returned from the dead and felt something was missing (Mephisto Issue 5). The two return to earth 616 where only four hours had passed but Itsy Bitsy has gotten a whole lot of killing done.
Ok! I am not going to bury the lead here folks. Mephisto! This is the issue that has finally sold me on the fact that Mephisto is the main bad of this title. You actually see him a lot in this issue if you pay close attention. He is the third character of this issue after Spidey and Pool . Now a lot of that is peering out of shadows or panel borders but he is there. Another huge part of Mephisto’s impact if felt when Spidey gives his speech about returning from the grave and feeling like something was missing… Cough* a marriage* Cough … Driving him to be more aggressive. I for one thought Big M’s appearance in issue 5 was just a tease to the fan base but no its clearly going to have impact on the title going forward
As for the main man himself. Spider-man actually gets a lot of character in this issue. This is the Peter Parker I like to see. He is Smart, Funny, confidant when wearing the mask, a hero (for the most part) and driven to protect those he cares about. You actually fully understand his motivation through the whole issue. He has to return to earth to protect people from Itsy Bitsy who is proving to be a formidable foe. It is only Deadpool keeping him on Weirdworld to be a hero and clean up the mess they keep creating for themselves (freeing slaves who turn out to be a genocide driven army and so one). We see Peter using his science knowledge and creating bombs out of gas and minerals. We also get to see Peter kick the butt of a Galactic level threat all by himself.
Now in this tale Peter is being more vicious on his foes than he might normally be and that’s ok as it is a story beat so it was clever of Kelly to set this in a pocket Dimension. (Also one of the best jokes when you learn the world is inside Eternities pocket). Here Peter can maim a little more without the guilt of it being a human.
Deadpool is a character I have loved but it is safe to say that over the course of this title he has gotten more love from the writers than Spidey. To be honest I think that’s fare, as Spidey is one of the most fictionalized characters in all of literature. Batman and maybe Superman are the only ones who would have had more written about their adventures. Not to mention the character of Wade is just super hot right now. So I can see why they might be drawn to Pool over Spidey. I am very pleased however to see Joe Kelly giving Spidey love and character progression here. Some might argue with me but I feel confident is saying this is the best written Peter Parker on the comic stands right now.
I love Joe Kelly’s fun style off handling the story too. The misleading first page where we think a horrible transporter accident happened combining the two leads together or the ‘lantern hanging’ off plot strings to which Deadpool replies about how does a radioactive spider actually work.
Ed McG is back. As much as I miss Joe on the words, the best thing about this team returning is the gorgeous line work of Ed Mc Guiness. Now his cover is once again not accurate to the books interior. We never see those giants. It does give you an idea on what you will find on the interior however. Now Ed’s art is breathtaking but I can’t describe it anymore gloatingly than I have in previous reviews as I am running out of words. Sadly however the inks and colour work here is a little mixed. I think they where close to a deadline on this title as it seems some pages where handed off to others. Not to say any work is bad by inkers or colourists but it does make the art inconsistent. Some pages have a more scratchy feel or sometimes the glowing spider symbol is off and sometimes it is on.
All in All
This was a great issue. I feel Joe has got a game plan here. I think this book is building and this issue will be one folks will look back on. Ed is still terrific dispite very minor overlay issues. Most importantly we get back to read a solid Peter Parker Spider-man story