While Peter Parker is bowling on a double date, Spider-Man is fighting the Tri-Sentinel in the city. Wait…what? Is it a clone? An imposter? An alternate dimension? The answer hearkens back to the original origin of Spider-Man as the device that created the radioactive spider comes back into Peter’s life, creating an interesting dynamic. For the first time, Peter has the chance to have a normal life…but at what cost?
At first glance, Peter is having a ball. He’s out bowling with Mary Jane on his arm again. The two are crazy in love and it shows. He’s relaxed and genuinely enjoying himself without having to worry about some crazy villain or robot (or in the case of the Tri-Sentinel, both) swooping in to wreak havoc and ruin his day. This is a side of Peter Parker we don’t often see.
I particularly love the dialogue between Peter and MJ. I’ve missed this relationship so much. They make each other better. Writer Nick Spencer peppers in the fast-moving dialogue that shows just how perfect they are for one another.
Artist Ryan Ottley continues to excel on Amazing Spider-Man. The regular everyday life of Peter Parker looks fun and interesting, like a CW show. Meanwhile, the wall-crawler is fighting a ten story tall robot with three faces. He’s just as energetic and lively as ever, bouncing around like a pinball to attack a foe way larger than him.
The webhead bursts off the page in vibrant blue and red. Colorist Laura Martin really makes the character stand out, especially against the drag greys of the Tri-Sentinel. The colors really give the impression that this is a new, high-spirited Spider-Man. You can practically see the smile under the mask. This is perhaps best shown in an ecstatic “YEE-HAW!” let loose by the wall-crawler. Letterer Joe Caramagna fills that word balloon with such joy and excitement.
Ottley’s talents are a perfect fit for the comedy of this book. Since a chunk of this issue includes a conversation between Peter and Spider-Man, it’s like a man having a conversation with himself, so there’s a mirror aspect to it. There are a few sight gags that work wonders, such as some games of Rock, Paper, Scissors. This kind of stuff can make or break a Spider-Man story and it definitely falls on the former.
The Amazing Spider-Man is a flagship title for Marvel Comics and it is delivering some top tier super hero storytelling. It’s going back to basics in some aspects while also bringing in some new and exciting ideas. This creates a perfect balance that should please new and old fans alike.