Amazing Spider-Man #1April 30th, 2014 Written By: Dan Slott Art By: Humberto Ramos
I’m actually quite down this week. It started off with such promise—“The Amazing Spider-Man” number one was released and looked to be really promising. They’d done away with all that Superior Spider-Man rubbish and it was back to being Peter Parker—like it was ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO BE! So I cracked open the book with my heart open and my hopes excitedly bouncing on the furniture. And you know what? It was actually a decent book; both the story and the art were well done and I was super pleased with the new world of Spider-Man. However, this book is also a festering turd which I wish to beat with a burning stick of wasps and syphilis—so there’s a dichotomy here.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” number one had so much going for it. First things first, it had the villain White Rabbit in the first panel. She is my absolute favorite terrible villain, like a terrible Felicia Hardy knockoff with none of the character development or pathos of the original. Then, as she is pulling her caper the jokes start flying. My Spider-Man is back! He’s swinging into action and making fun of the dumb saps trying to break the law. It’s almost as if that’s the way he’s supposed to be since his inception in the sixties.
Out of the few who read my reviews, I had some question why I never reviewed “Superior Spider-Man”. Everyone was saying how the stories were actually well written and compelling and that Doc Ock being in Peter Parker’s brain actually brought a new depth to the Spider-Man books. My reasons were two fold. First, and this one’s a bit petty, he wasn’t my Spider-Man. I know that Doc Ock is a fantastic character with interesting facets that are fun to explore, but why hijack Peter Parker in order to tell his story? It would have been just as compelling to have the two of them compete to save the city, employing different methods that make us question our morality. The second reason, the reason that filled my with rage and ulcers, is the dumbass stupid horseshit freakin idiot savant way they put Doc Ock into Peter Parker’s brain! I am willing to accept most anything in the comic book medium—Lord knows how many characters have “died” only to come back two issues later. All I ask in return is the writer give an explanation—not even a good one. I once saw Atom Eve get punched in half. And when she came back a panel later because her powers adapted to keep her alive I nodded and kept reading. But for Marvel to write a book where Doc Ock says, “I’m stealing your brain because of reasons and there’s nothing you can do,” it was tantamount to a baseball player stealing the ball from a game and claiming he’d won because they couldn’t play anymore. So yes, “Superior Spider-Man” may very well have been some of the most incredible stories within the Spider-Man mythos, but I’m not going to read a story if I have to run down a slip and slide of feces and vomit to get there.
Now, all of that being said, I don’t think anything should just be retconned on a whim. So when I saw “Amazing Spider-Man” was dealing with the consequences of what came before, I was very enthused. All too often a terrible story comes along and the next writer simply ignores all of the previous cannon. This book takes the position that everything happened, every transgression Doc Ock did with Peter Parker’s life is left behind for Peter to deal with. This builds a lot of intrigue and makes us fear the inevitable collapse. But it also makes me excited because one of the things Peter Parker does is work well under pressure. When his back is against the wall and all of his options have run dry, he comes out swinging. So when all of this goes tits up, this book will be absolutely riveting.
I see that you are confused. At the start I had some rather negative things to say about this book and yet everything up to this pint has been a glowing recommendation. Let me tell you the one thing that clinched it for me and forced me to condemn this book. So being that this is the big return of Peter Parker, there is the main story and a few additional stories as supplemental reads to celebrate Peter’s return. All of those are pretty entertaining reads. But, after all of those stories, there is one more story printed in the book. This story is “Inhumanity”. Not a tie in to Spider-Man, not an in depth look, not a director’s cut. Just plain, straight page for page “Inhumanity”. For all of you who didn’t read “Inhumanity”—and there’s a lot of you, “Inhumanity” was a terrible book where nothing happened to a bunch of characters that nobody cares about.
Here’s the thing, “Amazing Spider-Man” is a very thick book and the price reflects that. It costs six dollars to buy this very thick book, a book that has a whole second book stapled to the back. Now you can try and tell me that the addition doesn’t affect the price but I will point you to the six dollar price point as my argument. Marvel, if people didn’t like “Inhumanity” enough to buy it, it’s not right to force people to buy it in order to get the stories they do want. What if after every Marvel movie, Blade: Trinity played? Everyone would leave after the first movie finished. But theatres would have to charge double for the ticket because they’re forced to keep a theatre closed while they played Blade: Trinity to an audience of no one. If you want people to buy your books, make better books. Don’t hold another super hero hostage to peddle your tripe.
I wish I could give this book a good review because the actual story is good, a great revival of a title. But I could not in good conscience tell anyone to spend six dollars on this book.