Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencillers: Juan Cabal and Marcelo Ferreira
Colorists: Nolan Woodward and Jim Campbell
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 01/09/18
Plot: For years Peter Parker’s called himself a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”. Now readers are finally getting the chance to learn about Peter’s neighbors and how his Spidey life affects the area where he lives. Also there’s an interesting back up story featuring Aunt May.
Story: Tom Taylor really emphasizes the neighborhood portion of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man in his debut issue. Taylor quickly establishes that this story will mainly focus on the part of NYC Spidey calls home. Taylor quickly introduces some of Peter’s neighbors in his building such as Marnie and Leilani. Taylor also shows how Peter interacts with some of the residents outside his building which sets up some more potential supporting characters. However we do get a re-introduction to Peter’s third roommate, Fred Myers (a.k.a. Boomerang). This is my only drawback for this issue because it just keeps setting up potential for a great story but nothing’s really come out of Boomerang being Spidey’s roommate.
Tom Taylor’s dialogue is very entertaining. It’s very rich and full of humor which is perfect for a Spider-Man title. Taylor’s words give Spidey the right amount of humor and awkwardness readers expect from this character. Also Peter’s interactions with most of the characters has a sense of familiarity which helps readers understand Peter’s been living in this area for a while.
This issue also features a somewhat tragic back-up story. It follows Aunt May as she goes to the hospital and she’s writing a letter to Peter explaining she might have cancer. The interesting thing is this story opens up with Peter and Mary Jane having a romantic breakfast on top of the Chrysler Building and May’s revelation at the end. One theory is May’s cancer could be a consequence of MJ and Peter getting back together. Peter and MJ gave up their relationship to save May’s life, maybe getting back together negates it. However this could just be a coincidence and some fans are just overreacting. Nevertheless this is a well-written story that I’m going to keep reading.
Art: The artwork for this issue is amazing. In one of the first pages we get a spectacular double page shot of Spider-Man swinging through the city. Nolan Woodward makes all the colors in the main story feel bright and dynamic. The shading by Jim Campbell in the back-up story is great because it sells this as a more serious story. Also I loved how Peter gave MJ one of his Spidey costumes so he can be romantic and keep his secret identity. Plus it reminded me of Peter and MJ from the Renew Your Vows series.
Verdict: For it’s debut issue, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man lives up to it’s name. Tom Taylor crafts some excellent stories that have some amazing potiential. Also the artwork team does a fantastic job bringing the story to life. If you’re looking for a more grounded Spider-Man story or if you liked Tom Taylor’s work, then this is something you should read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5