REVIEW: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man – “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”

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Main Story
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Back-Up Story
Title: Spider-Fight
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Goran Parlov
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Release Date: 06/21/17
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $4.99

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider while in high school and gained the proportional powers of a spider. After using his powers for personal gain while wrestling, when the promoter rips him off on his winnings Peter decides not to stop a guy who just robbed him. When Peter returns home he finds out that Uncle Ben was killed and the man responsible was actually the robber he didn’t stop earlier teaching him that with Great Power Must Also Come Great Responsibility. Something that he remembers to this day As Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

After Peter was saved by a girl after a gunman tried to shoot him, she told him that her name was Teresa Parker and that she was his sister (in the OGN Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business #1 by Mark Waid & James Robinson) . During a battle with Kingpin and Mentallo it is revealed that Teresa’s last name is really Durand. Mentallo uses his powers to knock everyone out and when she wakes up Teresa forgets everything that had just happened including knowing Peter is Spider-Man, and that she was told her last name was Durand. Later on a man named Emile Chigaru who claimed to be Teresa’s mission controller had run a DNA test on a cup Teresa had used which causes him to smile and wonder what to make of it leaving her true paternity still in question. In a flashback Peter Parker’s parents are discussing their future as a family and Mary reveals to Richard that she is pregnant and Peter is going to have a younger sibling.

Recently Peter’s established Parker Industries an international company that rival Stark International and has taken Peter worldwide.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Plot: Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man has been worldwide lately but he is still the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Now he is catching up with old friends and remembering that it’s not always about the wild crazy super-villains, but sometimes even a common mugging can lead to something bigger.

Story: Spider-Man and Johnny Storm are catching up with each other over some high-rise lunch, where Peter recounts his origin to Johnny, who has been there, done that more than enough times, and as only a friend can, he calls him on it. I love this scene it is something I feel has been lacking in Amazing Spider-Man and that is a supporting cast, and his friends. Johnny & Peter go way back and that relationship is perfectly captured here.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Peter makes plans to hang out later and swings off to patrol when Aunt May calls him, being the daunting Aunt and wanting him to find a date with someone, even suggesting he joins a dating app. This was spot on Aunt May, calling Peter just before he is about to take out some muggers, and worrying about him, and his dating life, after all it was her meddling that lead to those famous words from M.J.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Peter does get to the muggers, but the ole’ Parker luck strikes again when he goes to use his foam webs but they stick, luckily though Ant-Man shows up and takes the gunman out. Ant-Man isn’t quite sizing back to normal. After some flirting with the lady who was being mugged introduces herself as Rebecca London, she hands Spider-Man her card and asks him out. Again, classic Spidey, he gets asked out as Spider-Man, while Peter is still single. I loved that she assumed he was sticky and flicked her card at him assuming it will stick to him.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Peter finds a phone on one of the muggers and notices it is a Stark Phone, and that apparently someone hacked the unhackable phone since it has software on it that should be there. Spider-Man tags along with Ant-Man to meet Mason, the Tinkerer’s brother who has become sort of the go-to-tech guy for the superhero world, well all but Spider-Man since he had no idea who he was. Once there he meets and finds out who Mason is and that Uatu Jackson from Horizon Labs is working with him. This is another great scene it plays off the history of the characters, while also reminding us that yes a Spider-Man book can be really funny, or at least punny.

Uatu traces the origin of the hacked phone and Peter heads out, and before he investigates he does call to set up a date with Rebecca. This scene is again classic Peter, he is so awkward and second guessing himself that you get second hand shame for him. I even enjoyed Zdarsky’s commentary here on dating protocol, it is just enough. Once Spider-Man arrives at the house he is met with someone wearing what appears to be Iron Man armor. Meanwhile back in New York Johnny Storm is stood up by Peter (who forgot they had a Man-Date) when he meets a girl, Teresa who introduces herself as Peter’s sister.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

The back-up story shows a very familiar (yet modern) scene to comic fans, a couple and their son walking down an alley when they are met with a mugger, but this isn’t the tragedy of Batman, this is Spider-Man and he swings in takes the guy out just before he is shot out. Spidey finds out it is Black Widow who took the shot and she puts him through his paces attacking him with multiple guns, and using a flash bomb to mess with his vision, and before he can see straight she has disappeared. We find out that she was sent there by Agent Mintz of S.H.I.E.L.D. to get information on Spider-Man’s Spider Sense by subjecting him to different scenarios to gauge it. I like the story, but how can taking video of him using his powers help S.H.I.E.L.D. create soldiers with video of him using it. His powers are genetic thanks to the spider bite, if they want to replicate it, they should have had Black Widow snatch a skin/hair/blood sample, I mean I am sure there are hundred of hours of news coverage showing him fighting people within these conditions they could analyze.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Art: The art here was pretty solid, but did have a few set backs. One of the major ones is the lack of background details in certain scenes, liked some of the ones where he is talking to Rebecca after the attempted mugging. Kubert just uses white space, and it felt off to me, it takes me out of the scenes. I also have issues with the costume, but that is from the Amazing Spider-Man Marvel NOW! design so I can not hold that against him.

But the good points are I feel like I am seeing Spidey again, seeing him swinging in familiar surroundings in great dynamic poses, really brings back the classic feel. I also think Kubert has found a way to make this feel very 80s/90s while also being very modern.

The back-up story is not as strong. This feels like Marvel said “Hey we need to justify a $4.99 price point so write up another story and we will throw together some art real quick.”

Verdict: Overall this was a great start and has me super excited for this series. The back-up story I like the setup, but why? We know they added this just so they can “justify” that extra dollar. Marvel needs to stop trying to rape our pockets and rebuild some good faith and give us this bonus stuff for the same price as a book without it. As for the main story I loved it with only a few minor nitpicks. I highly recommend this issue!

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

Rating: 4 ½ stars.

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