Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #789


The Crawlspace is back and so is Peter Parker!  Well… sort of.  Parker Industries is no more, spider-gadgets are gone, and Peter is down on his luck again, supporting cast is back, and we see the return of a villain everyone has been waiting for.  So we are back to STATUS QUO – right?  Read on, my friends, as we jump into Marvel Legacy with the Fall of Peter Parker part 1!

The Devil in the Details

Story Title: The Fall of Parker: Top to Bottom

Writer: Dan Slott

Penciler: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Editor: Nick Lowe

Published: October 11, 2017

 

Remedial ASM 101

Just to catch you up, here is what has happened:  Peter Parker became a CEO.  He was horrible at it.  He neglected business meetings.  He used his company to invade another country. Finally, in order to stop Hydra Ock, he destroyed his whole company.  Now there will be a price to pay.

 

The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test

Peter is crashing at Bobbi’s apartment, freeloading.  She’s off getting a job to support them, Harry’s doing all the company clean up, and Peter is just sitting on the coach being the total loser that the news media keeps calling him.  Harry and Liz are back together.  Peter, upset that the Daily Bugle has written a story that shows him in a negative light, bursts in to yell at Robbie.  It is unclear from the art, but I think Peter still has his bed hair and has barely dressed (I’m pretty sure that is Bobbi’s shirt (the one he slept in) still on under that grungy hoodie).  I think I could even smell his BO coming through the computer as I read it.  Betty throws a party for Flash and everyone is there (even Aunt May for some reason), but Peter never goes in.  He just sulks outside the door and listens to people talk about him losing his company.  Bobbi cheers him up by going out superheroing with him to face their deadliest foe – THE GRIFFIN.

This bad guy is too much for Spidey because he has a tail and we all know that tails are Spidey’s Kryptonite.  So Mockingbird beats up Griffin for him with a blow below the belt.  She also makes the crowd appreciate Spidey.  They end with a kiss.

Poor Rebecca London…

 

POP QUIZ

The Griffin has super strength, the ability to fly, and a prehensile tail.  What OTHER power does he have that he used against Spider-Man when he faced him decades ago in Marvel Team-Up?

a. mental psychic blasts
b. the ability to control animals
c. the ability to control other people’s powers
d. time manipulation

Click the image above for the answer

 

What Passed:

I really liked the new title page.  The logo and font make it look like an old Lee/Ditko thing.

Nice nod to the “Ask me about my feminist agenda” cover.

And of course, I appreciate the allusion to “Ozymandius”, my third favorite poem of all time.

Spider-Man re-connecting with his roots by going after a loser villain and saving a food truck was a nice touch.  I was getting tired of every story being a world-ending event.

Supporting cast appearances:

Aunt May, Flash, Betty Brant, Liz Allan, Harry Osborn Lyman, Normie and Stanley (Allan? Lyman? Osborn?), Robbie Robertson, Mary Jane, Randy Robertson (I think), Martha Robertson, Nora?, and Glory Grant (I think).  Did I miss anyone?

 

OOTI

On a scale of 1 (POW) to 10 (BLRKBQRKPQRBLNB), this rates a 4.  It was pretty much go with CLICK or this.  Sorry Evan.

 

What Failed:

It’s pretty crappy that Peter leaves Harry with all the company clean up.  He’s moaning about how he has nothing and nobody except for Bobbi, but he is completely dumping on his supposed best friend.

Plus this whole woe-is-me is going too far.  He won’t even get dressed?  He sulks?  He bursts into the Daily Bugle to whine?  Give me a break.  I don’t know who this is, but I don’t like this character.  I know he is going through a hard time right now, but he’s been here before.  He’s been in worse states before.

Analysis:

There is good and bad in this issue.  Taking Spider-Man back to street level with the Griffin fight to save a food truck was a welcomed story for me.  It showed the hero that Spider-Man should be.  He is risking all so that one man doesn’t lose his truck.  Spider-Man didn’t cause the truck problem.  Spider-Man didn’t need the empanada man to save the day.  Spider-Man just put it all on the line to save that man’s truck.  Well done.

The relationship with Bobbi Morse working better as a Spider-Man/Mockingbird relationship harkens back to the early Black Cat days.  Those were good stories.  I can only hope that this run can pull something similar off.  I don’t believe it will, but I hope it does.  The relationship with Mockingbird doesn’t bother me any more than the relationship with Rebecca London.  The Mary Jane thing just ain’t* going to happen, so we might as well keep the stories going until someone else comes in and brings her back.

This issue hails the “return” of Peter Parker, but the fellow we have here is even farther away from my concept of Peter Parker than the CEO version was.  Maybe we ended up with the clone after all…. The constant whining, the leaving Harry to deal with the legal fall out of his business decision, and the lack of personal hygiene is, well, irritating to read at best.  It is not like he lost his business – he made the decision to end it.  He wants to yell at Robbie, but he’s not out there defending his actions.  This isn’t a beaten man who is dealing with life’s crap.  This is a loser.  That’s NOT Parker luck.  That’s NOT Peter Parker.  That’s NOT a good story.

Final Grade:

I can get whiny teenagers all day long at school.  I really don’t want to read whiny Peter Parker.  It had some moments, but not enough to outweigh that.

D

 

Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?

 

What’s Next?

THE FALL OF PARKER Part 2

Down on your luck Peter Parker is back, for good or ill. New York has changed, and so has Peter – but entering a new phase of his Spider-Man life isn’t easy; neither are new relationships OR new foes. Peter Parker is not the Spider-Man you remember, but why is he taking his fight to THE DAILY BUGLE? And what happened to PARKER INDUSTRIES?

 

Well, they have one thing right: “Peter Parker is not the Spider-Man you remember.”  The silver lining may be Gage is back writing Clash.

 

* That’s right – the MJ thing makes me so irritated that I will use the A word.

‘Nuff Said!

 

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