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Posted on the 30 April 2014 by Geekasms @geekasms

Peter Parker is back!  He’s back, and just the feel and tone of the book overall is back to something that will feel much more familiar to fans vs what they had been reading during the Superior Spider-Man run.  It’s like putting on your favorite lounge pants you found at the bottom of a drawer.  You know they use to feel good, but you forgot just how good they felt after putting them back on.  Rather that’s a good thing (or good analogy) or a bad thing is up to the individual, but there’s no argument or denying that the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is back, even with the changes, good and bad, that have come from Doc Ock spending time in ole Pete’s noggin.

To start off, this is another #1 issue, which means a reason to go back and give a quick retell of the day that Peter Parker gained the powers of a spider.  With this revisit, we also are given an idea of what’s coming with the Original Sin tin-in and subsequent stories, and if you saw the preview for this book or the teaser for Original Sin, you now know that Peter is not the only one that was bitten that day by that radioactive spider.

With that, we’re spring boarded to present day, in the middle of a robbery by The Menagerie, where we’re treated to Spidey fighting crime in nothing but a mask, his web shooters, and underwear made from webbing.  Amazingly enough, there’s no mention of the Parker luck in this sequence, even though there are plenty of times to squeeze it in.  It’s clear Slott wants to bring the readers in and understand that yes, we have fun, joking Peter back, in his body, but he’s still adjusting, just like the world around him is having to readjust to his returned persona.  There’s even a scene where one crowd member points out that he’s joking again.  It’s nice to see that people around both Peter and Spider-Man can clearly see the difference in who they were dealing with, versus who they have now, when previously they didn’t pick up on it.  Makes me curious if we’re going to have certain people in his life come straight out and question him at some point.

The quips and attitude are even enough to convince certain people like Spider-Woman, that whatever was going on with him previously, that he’s back to his old self, costume and all.

Not all things are great though.  We see a window into the life of Peter Parker, who is honestly, in over his head in regards to the life that Otto had created in his name.  Peter finds out he owns his own corporation, and is now a Doctor, plus he’s having to deal with a design that could completely make or break him, but it’s a breakthrough and design created by Otto Octavious, and not Peter Parker.  I’m enjoying the fact that Peter’s personal life has this whole new dynamic to it, but the pieces have already been laid out that Parker Industries might not be a staple of the new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN for very long.

On top of that, we have Anna Maria, who is going to have to be let down easy at some point, but I just don’t see Peter having the heart to just drop her.  I’m completely clueless where Slott is going with that storyline, but I’m all for it as long as it doesn’t feel overly forced.

That is one other thing I can say, unlike the last reboot/relaunch we had with Spider-Man, during the Brand New Day era, to me, things don’t feel overly forced like they did during that relaunch.  This book feels much more like Spider-Man to me, than it has since Brand New Day.

Beyond the storytelling from Slott is the art from Humberto Ramos, who, along with the brighter and more vibrant colors, helps add to that old familiar feeling of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.  It definitely looks like Ramos has altered his style just slightly, which to me adds an extra layer to the whole relaunch, and evolution of the character.

One thing is for certain, the haters of Dan Slott, the ones that say he has it in for Peter Parker, might have to eat a little crow after checking this issue out.  He might just have a better grip on the character and what makes Peter Parker/Spider-Man who he is, more than anyone gives him credit.

However one thing I will say about it, is that it reads almost like it should have been the last issue of Superior Spider-Man, as it reads as much as an epilogue to that storyline as it does the beginning of a new.

The real forward momentum comes from the backup stories, especially the stories featuring Electro and Black Cat, who both end up being involved in what has to be considered a pretty major event in the Marvel Universe.  Both characters have their sights set on Spider-Man now, after the events of their individual stories, so the backups lend well to that buildup.  (Even though Electro being involved should come as no surprise to anyone)

The other backups include a “How My Stuff Works” giving a look at what Spider-Man does and how he does it, a Spider-Man 2099 story, a Scarlet Spider story, where Peter checks up on what Kaine has been up to, and a lead-in to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1.1, which teases the fact we might be seeing a new upcoming hero?

I’m assuming the main story and those first two backups contribute to next issues solicitations, but I’m not entirely clear on what that could be, including the thing that “freaked you out” unless they’re referring to the cliffhanger, which to me, should Anna Maria be the only one able to pick up on that, or are we to assume that Parker just hasn’t gotten around all that much?

The higher price tag of $5.99 might make a few people concerned, but you can rest assured you definitely get your money’s worth with the 20-page main story and the backup stories, not to mention the special bonus of INHUMAN #1.

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