With Amazing Spider-Man #1, we enter a brand new chapter in Peter Parker’s life. This is the first new creative team to helm the title in ten years, following an impressively long run by Dan Slott. Writer Nick Spencer and artist Ryan Ottley step up to the plate and absolutely knock it out of the park.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Spencer and Ottley firmly plant their flag in this introductory issue. Pete’s life had taken some weird turns over the last decade, our new creative team wastes no time simplifying our hero’s life and putting some broken things back together.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 successfully delivers what fans have been begging for for years, but not without weight or purpose. This isn’t a cheap fan-service comic to satisfy the online comic book community. This is a firm direction that is both a step forward and backward in the best possible ways.
This issue is Spider-Man shedding the skin of Dan Slott’s era. “Parker Luck” comes back with a vengeance, taking Peter back to basics while also recapping the major plot points along the way. For years, when looking for a jumping-on point for new readers interested in modern Spidey, “Big Time” was largely considered the best place to start. This first issue is dead-set on being the definitive starting point for any reader interested in this new and exciting era of Amazing Spider-Man.
A crappy living situation, losing his job and academic credentials, falling out of favor with his fellow heroes, and even earning proper disappointment from Aunt May; Peter Parker is not in a good place throughout most of this story. Spencer immediately shows how great his voice for Peter is as he navigates the storm of shit that’s raining down on him. He keeps his chin up in his own way and follows his most important tool, his heart.
Speaking of Peter’s heart, this biggest moment of the issue has to be the romantic reunion Web-Heads have been waiting a decade for. Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, back together. Pete’s narration, and the opening scene, make the reveal of their kiss strike you in the gut even harder. It’s a well-crafted script, this moment was especially effective and memorable.
Spencer also has a firm grasp on Spidey’s cheeseball wit. His comedy credentials were never in question, but here he flexes his muscle for toting the line between hilarious and corny, just how we like our Spider-Man to be.
Our story is loaded with shocking moments that hark back to the glory days of Spider-Man comic books. The twists and turns are earned and entertaining. None of these shake-ups and resets are about retconning Dan Slott’s continuity, each of them has a rich story to tell in the coming issues. Seeds are planted throughout and each of them is worth watering.
Fresh off of a long tenure of his own on Invincible, Ryan Ottley exceeds the hype. He brings a new life and brightness to Amazing Spider-Man that just wasn’t there even during the best parts of Slott’s run. He makes Peter Parker the physical embodiment of our soul and treats him delicately.
Ottley’s action sequences are fantastic and laid out at a great pace. We get to see him not only do Spider-Man and his cast of villains and friends, but also a big chunk of Avengers and Defenders as well. Even his facial hair-less Luke Cage is forgivable. Mr. Ottley seems up to task and well worth the wait.
This is a big moment for Spidey fans and Marvel as a whole. Amazing Spider-Man #1 is exactly what was promised, and more. Spencer and Ottley (their names even sound great together) are crafting an all-new starting point for a new, exciting era of Spider-Man comics. The hype is real, this is the Spidey book we’ve been waiting for.