By Dan Slott and Ramon Perez
Marvel sure is milking the Spider-Man hype. That’s is necessarily a bad thing, though. As long as the material inside is great, who cares? So, does Learning To Crawl have said goods? Surprisingly, yes…and what a wonderful surprise it is.
Overall, this is probably one of Slott’s most solid Spidey issues. The usual writing concerns have mostly disappeared. Perhaps writing a Peter that’s at a very different stage in his life is just what Slott needed. We’re presented with a Peter Parker that is very much in a transition period. Uncle Ben’s body has just been buried and the Spider-Man legacy is making the awkward transition from celebrity to legitimate hero. There’s actually more interesting ground to cover in this than you might think and Slott introduces it all to great effect. In many ways, this feels a lot like the fan favorite Untold Tales of Spider-Man.
Ramon Perez’s artwork only helps this story become even more enjoyable. Perez will never be Steve Ditko, but nobody can get that close to perfection and we won’t hold that against him. However, he manages to vaguely mirror a similar style to Ditko’s early Amazing issues. Attempting to mimic a legend is a risky game, but Perez manages to pull it off.
This book initially appeared to be another crappy retread of Spidey’s origin or perhaps a bad imitation of the classic Batman: Year One. It’s actually neither of those things. Slott has simply found a story that takes place during Parker’s early days and runs with it in grace and style. That’s to be commended. A great story is a great story, whether you’re treading on sacred ground or not.