The latest issue of the Amazing
Iron Man Spider-Man hit store shelves (for Jenny) and digitally for everyone else today. (How many of you guys still read the majority of your books that are made from dead trees?) Let’s take a look at it, and the post-Secret Wars Spider-Man in general after the break. Careful, this way be spoilers.
You may find this hard to believe but there was a time when I had completely given up reading Spider-Man comics. I was so disappointed in the direction that Marvel was taking Spider-Man starting with his revealing his identity in Civil War and then his deal with the devil in One More Day to save Aunt May but let his marriage to Mary Jane be erased from history. Much like that run on sentence, I said “enough was enough”.
After that point I didn’t read Spidey for years. I’d check in now and then if a particular arc caught my interest. For example the story “One Moment In Time” by Joe Quesada and Paola Rivera. When Mephisto erased Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage, he essentially wiped out twenty years of Spider-Man continuity. Much like the problems with DC’s New 52 and Miles Morales after the Ultimate Universe folded fans were left wondering what was still in continuity and what was not. The only answer that usually comes from the powers that be in this situation is that “everything happened, only slightly differently”. i.e. Spider-Man still fought Venom, but Mary Jane wasn’t part of the story. Or something like that.
“One Moment In Time” was an attempt to show the altered events of Spider-Man’s timeline around the time of what should have been their wedding. I was curious about that, but what also interested me is that they reused actual pages from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, the original marriage issue, to remix and show what changes had been made. So much like company wide crossovers, replacement heroes (think Azrael as Batman) and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations”, I am sucker for that kind of thing.
It was an interesting experiment, but it had no power to draw me back into the collecting fold. That moment would kinda, sorta come in 2011 with the release of Spider-Island. While I did enjoy that, I dropped off again. Waded back in for Ends of The Earth…and then was gone.
Ironically, it wasn’t until the Superior Spider-Man came along that I was hooked into picking up this pick thrice monthly. I say ironically, because it was the last big status quo shake up in “One More Day” that turned me off Spidey, but I had returned with this story that took Doc Ock’s brain and placed it in Peter Parker’s body. But that run was, pardon the pun and apologies to Octavius, amazing.
That was followed shortly after by the very fun Spider-Verse, which I’ve written about way, way too much already. And then of course, Secret Wars.
Which brings us to the post Secret Wars Marvel Universe, and after the longest mindwandering intro in Gabbing Geek history, to talk about the current state of affairs for Mr. Parker.
With the inclusion of Miles Morales now in the main Marvel Universe, Marvel seems to be attempting to have their cake and eat it too. Comic book readers are a fickle and unpleaseable bunch at the best of times. A character stays the same too long, we complain that he is boring. Shake up the status quo and we complain that “this isn’t my hero” until things eventually return to normal. Then we complain again about him being the same old same old, etc.
With Miles now in the fold, Marvel has quite a bit of free range with what they can do with Peter Parker. Want your Spider-Man to be struggling with school and his parental units and worrying about money and other classic Spider-Man tropes…read Miles book. Want to see what original recipe Spidey is up to after 50 years of continuity because he can’t stay the same because that would just be silly, read Amazing Spider-Man.
And I think that is working for them for the most part now. I think without Miles there, we would hear a more vocal audience asking that Peter be returned to more of his roots. But as it is, they have essentially turned Peter Parker into Tony Stark. And so obviously so, that the characters in the comics themselves make reference to it. How meta.
Peter Parker is now rich. He runs a successful tech company (that essentially makes Apple Watches). Spider-Man now has more gadgets than Batman’s utility belt. He has a flying car. His own rocket to fly into space, complete with space suits that feature a panel on the front to dynamically show the crest of whatever hero is wearing it. Or emoji’s, if you want. He has offices all over the world and spends more time away from New York than there. Does any of that sound like the Spider-Man you grew up with? Not likely.
I think I’ve mellowed in my old age. Where “One More Day” had me walking away from comic stores in disgust, now I let things like Superior Spider-Man and the new status quo roll off my back. Sometimes I am rewarded with excellence like Superior. The jury is still out on Rich Spider-Man.
One thing I know for sure though…I hate that glowing green spider on his chest.
(Editor’s note: Jimmy, this is like the worst review of Amazing Spider-Man #10 ever.)
Review of Amazing Spider-Man #10? What are you talking about…oh right…Amazing Spider-Man #10!
Remember how I just said I’d mellowed with age? Well, it’s a good thing, because last issue when Spider-Man survived FALLING TO EARTH FROM SPACE, I might have thrown my arms in the air in disgust the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Indy survived that nuclear blast inside a refrigerator.
This issue picks up just after that event as an understandably weary and web fluid empty Spider-Man confronts the cause of most of Peter’s current headaches, Scorpio. Unfortunately, not Hank Scorpio, because that would be awesome. And might make more sense. But this Scorpio is the head of Zodiac. A group that can supposedly see one day into the future, but never seem to win a fight. I never knew there were so many loopholes with looking through time that lined up perfectly with the plot of a story.
The Zodiac portion of the book is good, but generic. Spidey takes advantage of his vast riches and resources (and some help from the good people of Paris) to stage multiple fights with Scorpio and discover his identity as Parker Industries biggest investor. All setting up another showdown between Spider-Man and Zodiac next issue.
The book is your typical 22 pages in length with big elaborate Mission: Impossible like fight sequences that really allow Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art to shine. If you complain about anything with this book, it won’t be that. But it is only two of these pages that really got my attention.
The next Spider-Man event is scheduled for this fall, so the build up for Dead No More is going to be a very slow burn. We’ve already seen the beginnings of it in previous issues, but here we have the mysterious man in the red suit “recruiting” (i.e. having Rhino break them out of prison) The Lizard aka Dr. Curt Conners and Electro. This mystery man has already reunited Rhino with his wife and has promised Conners the same with his wife and son. One wrinkle, the three of those characters have been dead for years.