By Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert, and Jordie Bellaire
If you’re someone who hasn’t been keeping up with the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, but want to read some Spider-Man related stories, Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man felt is a perfect jumping-on point. Zardsky really delivers for the most part, putting Peter front and center for this issue that is basically a day in the life of the web-slinging Spider-Man, featuring plenty of cameos from people like Sam Wilson, Johnny Storm, and Scott Lang.
The book itself gets off to a strong start. Writer Chip Zdarsky nails Peter’s character as well as poking fun at the amount of times we’ve seen Peter’s origin story told over and over again; it’s something that’s been told in comics nearly as much as Batman’s. Thankfull, the origin part is kept brief and the focus instead is on Peter’s relationships with other heroes, as well as his own personal relationships. Whilst it looks like Peter may have moved up in the world from where he was, the series wisely decides to opt for a more grounded approach, really making him feel like your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. All the quips, jokes, and the humor are on point as Zdarsky really excels, acing the relationship that Peter has with the other heroes. Some may be put off by the amount of cameos in this book, but Zdarsky finds a nice balance between all of them, and never once lets the narrative slip away from Peter himself.
The art from Adam Kubert and Jordie Bellaire, on pencils and colors respectively, is distinctive and clear, serving as a real joy to read. Kubert’s pencils really capture the highs and lows of life in Manhattan, illustrating the skyscraper-heavy landscape in fantastic detail. It really feels at home with the rest of the Spider-Man books in terms of the optimistic, bright tone that matches the light-hearted feel of the story. It’s fun, it’s friendly, it’s engaging, and fans of Spider-Man will really enjoy what they have here. The light-hearted tone is something that feels really welcomed, and hopefully this is something that the creative team keeps up as the book progresses.
It’s easy to see why a new Spider-Man series was launched, especially with a new movie on the way and a video game right around the corner. But like The Defenders, Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man stands out on its own as a fantastic read, full of everything that will be really pleasing to Spider-Man fans. The only weakness here is there isn’t much attention on the plot save for a final cliffhanger, but talk about a final cliffhanger. It really makes up for the lack of plot momentum as it leaves a lasting impression on the audience, and provides a much-needed hook that will almost inevitably make you want to pick up the second issue to see how it plays out. There’s just so much potential, the second issue can’t come quickly enough.
Combining the new and the old of Spider-Man’s universe with fantastic detail and heart, Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #1 gets things off to a brilliant start with Zdarsky’s narrative and dialogue in particular feeling right at home for Peter. It’s accessible to readers who have never read a Spider-Man comic before and also does an effective job at pulling lapsed readers back on board, especially as all the potential teased in that final cliffhanger does a good job at making sure that they won’t go away quickly.