Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Review: "Peter Parker - The Spectacular Spider-Man: Into the Twilight"

Brave, smart, funny, anxious, responsible: Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, is all of these things and Chip Zdarsky, the writer of this latest incarnation of Spidey's "second" title (the flagship has always been considered "Amazing Spider-Man"), nails all of these qualities in his characterization of our hero. Particularly "funny."

While I've loved Dan Slott's long run on "Amazing" (sadly coming to an end soon, apparently), I found Zdarsky's take refreshing and exhilarating. This collection of his first six issues on "Spectacular" is one of the most fun Marvel comics I've read in a long time. 

I love the humor, which extends to Zdarsky's Stan Lee-style conversational explanatory blurbs. Some readers may think the humor is over the top, but it works for me. It's good to see a writer having so much fun in his work, while also poking a little good-humored fun at Marvel history and we, the readers.

Consider this blurb, which gives us the background on Normie Osborn "...son of Harry Osborn, who used to be Green Goblin, who is the son of Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin. Man, I would bet good money that Normie grows up to be a Green Goblin."

And, speaking of family trees, the first five issues here are illustrated by the great Adam Kubert, brother of the equally awesome Andy, who are both sons of the legendary Joe. Comic timing is tough to capture in a superhero comic, where figures are depicted more or less realistically, but Adam does an excellent job in capturing both the funny bits and the action, of which there's plenty. 

The sixth and last issue in the collection is ably illustrated by Michael Walsh, though his style is significantly different from Kubert's.

I won't get into plots, but there's good, surprising, stuff in this first collection, including great guest bits from the Human Torch (I love to hear Spidey and Johnny Spar), Mary Jane Watson, a female "Iron Man" I didn't know existed, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, Peter's "sister" and an even more bitter than usual J. Jonah Jameson.

I'm now a wait-for-the-trade guy, so it will be a little bit, but I'm looking forward to a second helping.

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