Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #307
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Adam Kubert & Juan Frigeri
Y’know what I really missed reading for a while? A fun Spider-Man book. And by Spider-Man I mean THE Spider-Man, Peter Parker. I’ve been a Spider-Man fan since I was about three and I enjoy reading the character when he’s well written and has a fun, but not too childish. And for a long time, I was put off from Spider-Man *cough Slott cough* sorry my throat hurt. Sure I enjoyed the adventures of Kaine and I checked out Scarlet Spiders this year and thought it was somewhat decent. Renew Your Vows was very good too, finally giving me the family Peter deserves. But there was still something missing for a while. And then I found it.
It was Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Now I will start off that this comic has its ups and downs, but hey, nothing’s perfect. But as a whole, Zdarsky has put together a fun, action-packed Spider-Man adventure and even shook some things up with his supporting cast which I’m honestly glad. Changing the status quo just slightly with Jameson knowing has been great and the (re)introduction of Peter’s sister has been something I’ve enjoyed. I was honestly worried about the first issue of this series, where Peter was written more childish like Slott’s run, but he’s really come into his own. Zdarksy also manages to balance a grounded setting with the characters but also have Spider-Man go off and have BIG adventures with time travel, robotic aliens and other crazy stuff. It feels a bit like a 70’s wacky comic at times but keeping heart.
Anyway enough of me praising the run, let’s get down to THIS issue. So we’re at the conclusion of the current arc ‘No More’, where we see Spider-Man making the sacrifice with the Vedomi capsule ready to save Earth only to be stopped by the good old Tinkerer. Now Zdarsky has managed to make one of my least favorable Spidey villains and give him a little bit of depth and I enjoyed reading him. Nothing against the Tinkerer, it’s just any time I read an issue with him he was just the guy with the robots and upgrades villain tech. But here he’s become a genuine threat but his reasons are sympathetic and understandable. Something I always enjoyed reading about Spider-Man villains is how you could understand their goals at times.
With Spidey faced against Tinkerer and the Vedomi hordes on his own and the clock ticking, it’s up to lil sis Teresa to help save the wall-crawler. Teresa is also a character I didn’t think I’d like but end up loving. Her dynamic with Peter is great and I’m glad that they’re expanding the Parker family (NOT the Spider family, there’s already too many of those crawling around) and I honestly hope Teresa appears in the main Amazing title. The story itself wraps up the last few plots nicely, the Vedomi have been just these generic alien invaders but again it’s the characters and their moments that make this title shine. The talk between Spider-Man and the Tinkerer was just Spider-Man at it’s best. The story has been fun, I’ve enjoyed this different take and I’m excited about the next issues, although I wouldn’t mind a few more ‘street level’ stories for a little bit, giving us a bit of room to breathe after time and dimension hopping for a while.
The art is by Adam Kubert & Juan Frigeri, Kubert doing breakdowns with Frigeri on finishes. The art is decent, able to show plenty of action and give energy to Spidey’s movement. My only complaint is some of the faces look small for the heads on some characters. The comic is colored beautifully by Jason Keith & Andrew Crossley, each page is bright and colorful but get’s dark with the tone when it needs to be.
Overall, if you’re like me and was sick of the Slott shlock that we’ve been fed for years, give this title a chance. It starts off a bit wonky but Zdarsky finds his footing pretty quickly and seems pretty comfy with the characters. With Nick Spencer’s first issue on Amazing out last week, which I thoroughly enjoyed (it’s only one issue so my guard is still up, I’m a big Spencer fan so I’m giving him a decent chance) and Renew Your Vows as the comfy family action, could this mean that we’re finally back to having some decent Spider-Man again?? Let’s hope so, the future is starting to look a bit brighter, something that Peter desperately needed.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #307
Zdarksy has a good handling on Spider-Man and his world. This is a title worth picking up if you've missed the 'fun' side of Spider-Man