Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 1# Review 


Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 1# Review
Writer: Chip Zdarsky 
Lettter: Travis Lanham 
Editor: Nick Lowe
 
“Part 1”
Art: Adam Kubert 
Color: Jordie Bellaire
 
“Spider-Fight”
Art: Goran Parlov
Color: Nathan Fairbairn 
 G’day Spiderlings.
“Because you demanded it.” We joke about that phrase but let us be honest many of us have wanted a return of the spin-off titles featuring Peter Parker. Well Marvel has called our bluff and delivered us PPTSSM. We got a taste of the book with the FCBD story but now its time to see a full issue.
Plot 
Peter is recounting his origins with the Human Torch. The two agree to get together for a movie before going their separate ways. Spidey soon spots an armed robbery. The victim of the crime is the books new love interest comedian Rebecca London. When Peter’s web shooters fail him the day was saved by Scott Lang aka Ant-man. Ant-Man takes Spider-Man to tech genius, and brother to the Tinkerer, Mason. Spider-Man took with him the robbers mobile as it was a stark phone apparently incapable of being hacked yet somehow it was. Mason’s assistant, the returning Horizon labs alumni, Uatu Jackson traces the call to Chicago. Peter tracks the hack to home of Riri Williams aka Iron Heart. While back at his apartment Johnny Storm is waiting for his planned movie night with Peter when he runs in to a woman claiming to be Peter’s sister ‘ Teresa Parker’.  
At another time Spider-Man is attacked by Black Widow and put through his paces. While Peter is left confused by the situation, we learn the reason behind the attack: Black Widow is testing out Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense limits for SHIELD Agent Mintz. 
Story. 
While there is a little story here (as mentioned above) but let us lets look at character instead.
Peter Parker. 
So depending on how you felt about Peter in the FCBD story is probably going to be how you feel about this Peter Parker. Chip definitely has an idea on how Peter should sound and that is very jokey. If you’re fine with that this book is for you. If not, then this isn’t the Spidey book you’re looking for . It is no secret my favourite character is Deadpool.  I enjoy a character with humour and it is a huge part of why I love Spidey. I do wish, however, we got to see a little more than just Peter joking. Even the one action scene of the main story was brief and the fight scene went to Ant-Man with Peter coming across as a bit of a failure. While I understand the story reason for this, to get him to Mason by having tech troubles, it would have been nice to see more of the fight style we saw in the FCBD issue. Apart from the jokes we really don’t see much of Parker’s character. To be honest I even found some of Parker’s jokes to be a little out of character. There is one about ‘Robbers that kill Uncles’ that seemed out of step with Spider-Man for me. Not all the jokes are horriblethough. From the mentioning of that time he grew six arms to telling the Chicago kids that there was big money in birthday appearances. These all felt like great Peter lines. My favourite humour moment being Rebecca throwing her business card at Spidey, expecting it just to stick to his body and Peters awkward reaction afterwards. A very “Bob’s Burgers” level of awkwardness. 
Now the back up story (also written by Zdarsky) is far more the Spider-man I was hoping to see out of this issue. It is clear to me that Chip can do this as he does bring out the classic Spider-man right here. I just wish more of this Spider-Man was in the main story.
Speaking of a classic style to Spider-Man, we do get mentions to Parker Industries but they are throw away at best.  While this is a book in continuity you don’t need to know ‘that’ Spider-Man story to keep pace here and the story hopefully should age better than other books tied to the concept.
Rebecca London 
The first of three new main characters we are introduced to in this issue is Rebecca London. No beating around the bush, she is the first love interest of the book. She asks Spider-Man out after the rescue and he calls her later on. Now I normally might lean towards this being a classic misdirect, like maybe she is a villain, but they gave her an interesting career. She is a comedian. Doesn’t seem like the type of thing one gives to a character without plans to develop further. It is also becoming clear to me that someone at Marvel has a thing for blonde women with pink highlights . 
Mason
Character No. 2 of the new batch. Mason looks like Josh Gad meets André the Giant. He’s the brother of Phineas Mason, aka The Tinkerer (soon to be seen in MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.). This guy does seem to be the Good Guy version of the Tinkerer outfitting superheros with their tech. If this were any other series I would think, “oh, they are setting up their version of Q.” This felt odd to me here however as at the present Spider-Man has a tech company and even before that Peter has always been pretty self-reliant, but here we have Mason here fixing up Spider-Man’s web shooters. While this works fine to introduce us to Mason I hate that yet again we are taking away from Peter. The Web shooters are something unique to Spider-Man this is something he should know better than Stark or Mister Fantastic. Mason’s sidekick is Uatu Jackson from the Horizon Labs era of Slott’s run. I got no ill will towards Uatu here but with so many characters in this first issue already, I do think he could have been left for later issue introduction.
Ant-Man and his Amazing Friends
Scott Lang. At first I considered him an odd choice for a Spider-man guest spot. Even Spidey stats they don’t have much of a history. It soon dawned on me however that one of Spider-man’s most famous scenes ever is now Spider-Man v Ant-Man.  I get why he is used here as this is potentially a book for new readers, hence the origin recap at the beginning. My only issue with him is that it is yet another jokey character in a book already loaded to the brim with one-liners. You have Human Torch in the beginning. It would have been more economical for him to introduce Peter to Mason in some way and then departing only to have Ant-Man to appear. I was happy to see Johnny and Peter hanging, which is about as classic as a Spider-Man team up can get. We see Sam Wilson for a fleeting moment at Mason’s lair, really making me question if Nick Spencer didn’t writer this book between Sam and Ant-Man. Near the end we get Iron Heart and Black widow. For a Spider-Man spin-off book, I was hoping to focus on Spider-Man, yet we are getting a lot of other superheroes. 
Teresa Parker 
So this is the last of the three new characters and obviously the biggest. This leaked  comic news sites earlier in the week. I tried to avoid it, wanting to go into this issue fresh but a comment in a Facebook post spoiled it for me. So sadly it lost its effect on me but that is not the fault of the storytellers. Marvel has played around with extending Spider-Man’s sibling family before. This seems to draw from the Waid/Robinson Graphic novel “Family Business” where Peter meets a long-lost CIA agent sister named Teresa Parker. Now that graphic novel wipes a whole bunch of memories at the end and leaves the real parentage of Teresa in question. I can see this story going two ways: 1) it’s a bluff or 2) Chip is trying for a Winter Soldier / Damien Wayne type thing by giving us one of those things most people are going to want to hate the concept of but try to bring us around by the end. I’ll give credit to him though it is a hell of a cliffhanger to end an issue on and I’m sure it will get many along for issue #2.
Art 
Adam Kubert seems a little different here than the art I am used to from him. It seems a little less refined. Sometimes characters in less important panels look more like Where’s Wally extras than Kubert art of early 2000’s. His page layouts are still as great as always.   I think what lets him down the most is the muddy color art. Now I’m not to sure if this is from the artist himself of the printing process but I so hope it is looked at and fixed in future issues. 
On the flip side is Goran Parlov of Punisher and Fury MAX fame on the back up. I know him mostly from a fantastic Mark Millar series called Star Light. This guy is on point. He has an almost Risso style with a hint of Guy Davis. These are truly the beautiful pages of the book. 
All in All 
So I had some issues with this book. It is not a good first issue and it pains me to say it. I had high hopes coming off the FCBD story and I do feel this is a sophomore slump. I don’t think anyone here phoned it in but I do feel like maybe they actually tried a little to hard and gave us too much sugar but not enough meal. There is hope here however. The back up Spider-Fight is a damn good little story. This is what I’d like to see more of going forward. I don’t want to give up on this book just yet 
Rating C-
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(9) Comments

  1. Jason

    I liked it, just for the fact the Spidey humor of old was brought back to life. I didn't see any spoilers ahead of time, so the sister reveal was a shock to me. More shocking is finding out she was mentioned in the graphic novel three years ago. I have no idea why I had never heard about its release. Knowing that kinda sours the direction I thought the book was going to take, assuming Peter still knows who she is.

  2. Masked Guy

    Yet another disappointing Spider-Man book. That seems to be quickly becoming the norm for the character.

  3. krankyboy

    God, what a disappointment. Peter is again made to look like a fool, gains a love interest that I already don't care about, and there's a plot line involving the "sister" I'd hoped was long forgotten. One issue and already I've already given up on this title. Maybe the single issue Spider-Man Master Plan will be more diverting.

  4. Mariel Caraballo

    Too many characters take away from being a peter parker book, I take away the whole mason Antman stuff and go straight to the first date with Rebecca... who I have no interest in but more dialogue... maybe. second back to the roots back in nyc...but let's go to Chicago on the first issue lol seriously? couldn't just choose a spot in NY instead?. I'm sick of Peter looking like an idiot. Antman looks better in the MCU.... give him that outfit its bad ass, we don't need to see comic cartoons faces. and final annoyance Mason knows web shooters more than Spiderman after seeing it on the news... umm what... the issue was refreshing but I still don't like it. will give it a few more issues. j Scott Campbell covers are awesome! man, if it was MJ over Rebecca, would have been so great.

  5. Alex

    It is a Marvel directive to have the most popular heroes jobbing to the lesser known ones(and yes, despite the MCU success, Antman and Black widow are not as popular as spidey) , sò no matter how many new spin-off Spidey series Marvel is going to launch, spidey will always be an idiot. That's explains the web shooter shenanigans, Peter looking like a fool compared to Black Widow and Antman (Two characters waaay below his level, who he defeated in the past, and yet get his ass kicked). The day Marvel will publish stories about Peter/Spidey duality and a good fight with some superior foe, I will buy from them.

  6. Peter

    I didn't like the first issue. Sure it was funny, but I thought they were going "back to basics" on this. This doesn't look like that or anything close to it. I'm going to give it three more issues and then I'll decide if I drop it or not. I really do like the J Scott Campbell covers to them though. Especially the Mary Jane one. In all 4 of those covers, it's the Mary Jane one that has Peter unmasked smiling. So...yeah, there's that. I was really hoping for this to be really good. I like the FCBD version. LOVE Renew Your Vows! Spider-Man, Peter's character is not about youth, but responsibility and growth as a man, to teach and be an inspiration just like Uncle Ben wanted him to be.

  7. Enigma_2099

    .moderation awaiting is comment Your You know, the minute they trot out the line "Because you demanded it" should be the minute you drop the book like a bad habit.

  8. JamesHynes

    I pretty much agree with you here - at times it did drift into too much humor, but I did like the introductions of the new characters enough for me to stick around for a bit longer. The team-up aspect is something I hope doesn't stick around for much longer.

  9. Al

    ..Am I the only one who thinks Peter going for Rebecca is OOC? I don’t mean in a ‘MJ is right there dude’ kind of way. I mean...doesn’t dating a woman as Spider-Man mean that he can’t really be himself, risks comrpmizing his identity and worse make her an obvious target? Like as Peter Parker he can at least go out with someone and it’d be fine, most people don’t know who he is. But everyone knows who Spider-Man is. They can’t do much in public meaning they’d have to have dates that are out of the ordinary...which is you know...kind of not what the guy looks for in a lady?

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