PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #3
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciller: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 08/23/17
Plot: After last issue, Spider-Man learns Wilson Fisk is distributing the untraceable Stark phones. Spidey confronts the Kingpin with his best friend, the Human Torch, and his not-sister, Teresa, as backup. However Fisk reveals he didn’t give the phones to criminals, and it was actually the phones’ manufacturer, the Tinkerer.
Story: Chip Zdarksky has excellent skills with dialogue which go well with this title. Since Spectacular Spider-Man is more self contained, this allows us to see more of Spider-Man’s humorous side. Zdarsky does a good job capturing the wisecracking side of Spidey that fans love. Also Spidey’s not the only character benefitting from the writing, Human Torch and Kingpin get some clever lines too.
However, while I enjoyed some of the humor, the issue itself does rely on it too much at times. One example would be Spider-Man’s conversation with Uatu Jackson, when Spidey discussion quickly turns into rambling. Ultimately these types of moments did not move the story along. The only thing that advanced the story (even a little) was the last page appearance of the Tinkerer.
Fortunately, another enjoyable factor of this title is Spidey’s support cast. Spider-Man and the Human Torch have one of the best friendships in the Marvel Universe. Also since the FF are MIA, it makes sense for Johnny to have adventures with Peter. Teresa is also a great addition. While she and Peter may not be actual siblings, they do get along well with each other. Although the scene where Kingpin teases Teresa about whether or not she actually is a Parker is a bit annoying. Plus Teresa’s presence sets up a bigger story arc in the future.
Art: The artwork for this issue is spectacular. Peter wears his Spider-Man mask for the majority of the issue. Fortunately, Adam Kubert manages to draw excellent facial expressions despite Peter wearing a full mask. This allows readers to interpret the right emotions for Peter while he speaks.
Also Teresa gets a really cool super suit designed by the Tinkerer’s brother, Mason. The wings are a nice touch and a possible reference to the Vulture. Also I like how the suit looks more secret agent rather than a super hero. This fits Teresa’s character since she started out as a CIA agent before joining (and quitting) S.H.I.E.L.D. Additionally the design of Teresa’s guns help let the reader know these use non-lethal rounds (taser bullets, ice bullets, etc.).
Verdict: Spectacular Spider-Man is an enjoyable series. This issue has great dialogue, fantastic artwork and amazing characters. Plus this is great for readers looking for a light-hearted Spider-Man comic. Also the Tinkerer’s appearance is a nice low-key reference to Spider-Man: Homecoming. The only flaw would be this issue’s over reliance on humor. Otherwise, this is an awesome comic book.
Rating: 4 out of 5