Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 1: The Parker Luck Review (Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos)


I haven’t read many Spider-Man books compared to other superheroes, and reading All-New Marvel NOW! Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 made me realise why: I hate Peter Parker. 

Because I loved the Superior Spider-Man series when Doc Ock was running the show but now he’s gone and Peter’s back? It’s unbearable. 

So… (sigh)… he’s back. 

After the hasty demise of Doc Ock and Peter’s return to his own body, the first issue came out just in time for the latest (and worst) Spider-Man movie a few months ago - which also happened to have Electro as the villain. The loose ends of Superior Spider-Man are more-or-less dealt with quickly by Dan Slott so the book can focus on Electro and Black Cat teaming up to fight Spider-Man - because we had to return to status quo immediately and what better way than a pair of classic Spidey villains going up against him? 

Electro’s motivation for hating Spider-Man is a mystery - he accidentally kills his punk girlfriend because his powers are out of control but other than that, he’s just after Spider-Man because that’s what he does. Which, to be fair, was more motivation than he got in the movie - I think Jamie Foxx was mad because Spidey didn’t remember his name or something? Has there been a worse motivation in film history? 

Meanwhile, Black Cat’s angry because he got her locked up in jail when he was Superior Spider-Man, which is fine but be honest: does a team-up between Electro and Black Cat against Spider-Man fill you with excitement? Me either, and it’s downright dull and laughable on the page too. The usual scrapes occur except I was painfully aware that Cat’s dialogue was full of cliched puns:

“13. My lucky number. What’re the odds?”
“This Black Cat’s crossing your path.”
“If you’re a smart eel, you’ll slip away.”
“I’m stealing your thunder. Actually (pointing to Electro), that’d be what my friend here’s doing.” 
“Oh Max, there’s nothing you could do that would shock me.”
“Getting in here was so easy... it was downright criminal.”

Cheesy AND corny - her lines are like a packet of Cheetos!

There’s a side story featuring an obscure character called Cindy Moon, who also calls herself Silk. She got bitten with the same radioactive spider as Peter did so she’s got Spidey-powers herself except she’s been locked up for decades because of some creep called Morlun who will destroy the world or something if she gets loose. Like I said, I don’t read much Spider-Man so who the hell knows what that’s all about! 

But the rest of the book is Slott undoing what he did in Superior with Spidey rejoining the Avengers immediately, Peter deciding to rebuild a new supervillain prison like the Raft, and he gets into some shenanigans because, doh, he’s got that old Parker luck! It’s so totally boring and stale. 

Who’s interested in Jonah getting his own talk show? And why would an old man get his own TV show anyway? A disgraced former mayor no less? I guess it’s some Fox News deal or something, right? 

So, here you go, fanboys who were outraged at Superior Spider-Man - your boring old, incompetent, annoying (un)“Amazing” Spider-Man is back. Your dreary state of affairs is safely returned to you intact, as anyone with half a brain already knew would happen anyway. 

All the invention and freshness that defined Superior, at least for the first half of that run, is absent in Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 1, replaced with the red meat that traditional Spider-Man fans want - the same old, same old. And it couldn’t be a more tedious comic. 

Welcome back, I guess, Pete - I’m off to not read any more of your comics!

The Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 1: The Parker Luck

2 comments:

  1. You might enjoy Spider-Island. It's not so concerned with bringing back the status quo and does a nice job at foreshadowing Superior Spider-Man.

    It's a pity this one doesn't work so well, I've generally loved Slott's work on Spidey til now (though, to be fair, I'm only up to vol. 4 of Superior), but I'm hoping he can do something interesting with it later.

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    1. I might check out Spider Island but I'm in no hurry either. Let me know if Amazing picks up later on down the line!

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