Friday, November 13, 2015

REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man #1-3

Writer: Don Slott
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Review: Madman

First off, level the plane out . . . Secret Wars Part Deuce is over and we survived, although the MU . . . not so much. Things are so mixed up and coo-coo bonkers over at Marvel right now. Everything you thought you knew, everything you loved in the continuity of your super friends has gone the way of the buffalo. That’s right, ‘tis no more . . . aaannnnd I hate it already. Maybe I’m just old school? Maybe, just maybe, I’m being a hater? The fact is I’m sick and tired of the Big Two rebooting every other week. I get that they do it, because it brings in the $$ and puts the comic n00b on the same level as the veteran reader as far as long term knowledge goes. Screw that! Write quality works and spare us the $6 first issues. At a certain age the cute sassy little kid turns into a real annoying jerk. So I shelled out the $6 because . . . Spider-Man . . . Marvel . . . Never a question, but for $6 someone is getting my opinion.

So the whole deal is Spidey’s gone global . . . oh yay. The first panel of the first page is Parker showing off his fancy computer watch, while in a commercial for Parker Industries’ tech , and he says “With great power . . . comes greater speed, storage, and battery life”. Yep. Told you I hated it.

The 2nd page opens with a high-speed car chase through the streets of Shanghai. In the rabbit car we have members from the Leo Sect of Zodiac’s forces. In the pursuit car . . . er, umm, pursuit Spidermobile . . . we find Spider-Man and Mockingbird. I dig Mockingbird. I do not dig the Spider-Car. It looks ridiculous, and it’s tacky as hell. Things get worse. It sticks to walls and at one point it actually transforms into a giant flying spider . . . that’s right. It would appear it grows legs and flies. I told you I hated it. The rest of the comic goes as you can imagine. Spidey and Mockingbird beat up the bad guys with their Spider-Tech, and then we get invited to the marriage of Max Modell and his partner Hector. The book goes on and Spidey tussles with Zodiac some more, and then the strangest thing happens: the cover’s promise of an “oversized and action packed first issue” evaporates into thin air as I realize that by “overstuffed” Marvel means full of gratuitous teasers for every other Spider-Person book Marvel is dropping. Yay. I hate it.

So far my previous doubts are justified. I hate the addition of all the tech. I hate how Peter has totally become Tony Stark. I hate it. I hated just about everything about this first issue except Mockingbird. I dig Mockingbird.

Issue 2

First off this issues cover was as bad as the cover to the first issue. They both are very turn-offish for me. Alex Ross, you have failed this city.

I’m really bummed about this new Spider-Stark concept. This issue continues to push the topic of Peter relying more and more on his fancy new tech. Ya see, two issues in and The Zodiac has already stolen Pete’s personal Super-Spider-Tech-Watch and of course the world will end if the good guys can’t retrieve it. The good guys being Spider-Man (who is posing as Peter Parker’s bodyguard . . . ), the Prowler (who dresses up as Spider-Man when Spidey and Peter need to be seen together . . . ), and Fury-n-Mockingbird are still in play.

Now if you liked the Spidermobile wait until you see the Spider-Sub . . . yeah, that’s right. I said it. I wish I hadn’t, but I had to. The sub has some super-awesome super-spider tech that allows it to project a hologram allowing it to appear as something it’s not. Such as turning into a humpback whale. As dumb as that sounds, Slott felt that triumph was worthy of a flashback of Parker telling Fury his Spider-Sub makes a mean Humpback whale. That happened. The Spider and the Prowler roll up on the super-secret super-bad guy hideout somewhere in the bottom of the ocean and win. They retrieve Parker’s stolen Skynet Rolex but not before Zodiac can send Parker’s encrypted data to every super-secret Zodiac base on the globe. Oh no! Whatever will our heroes do? Just kidding, Fury is on it. They trace all the emails and now S.H.I.E.L.D and our heroes can take the fight to Zodiac . . . hopefully in a super lame Spider-boat or Web-Copter, or maybe on the Spider-Vespa . . .

Have I mentioned I hate this Parker Tech business? I get a strange feeling that all this b.s. is going to unleash some super AI or something along those lines. Face it, no matter how much you dress Parker up he’s going to screw things up royally. Oh, he’ll no doubt save the day at the last possible minute as he tends to do. Slott, please I’m begging you . . . just give me a good ol’ fashioned Spider-Man vs. The Spot arc, and we’ll let bygones be bygones. No harm done.

This is the part where I call Camuncoli out for flat out ripping off Ryan Browne of God Hates Astronauts fame. Just as Spider-Man and the Prowler make it into the super-secret super-bad guy hideout is when it happens . . . a man with a crab for a head. I don’t care that his code name is Cancer. He has a crab for a head. That’s Ryan Browne right there. How many people can think up guys with a crab for a head? Busted, Marvel. Write that man a check. Saw it here first. I’m debating not reading issue #3 in protest. Just kidding . . . I’m going to read it.

Issue #3

At first glance this cover is much, much better, especially with the Human Torch blazing his way across the sky. Boy, I sure do enjoy a Torch/Spidey team up. I believe that’s pretty much a requirement for all Spider-Man fans. A lot of history there. I do feel the need to express my displeasure about the fact that Spider-Man’s symbol on his chest appears to glow now . . . I hate it. Maybe this whole ASM volume is really just a flashback back to sometime around Demon in a Bottle, and Stark is just having a "What If?" kind of drunken hallucination . . . please?

Peter Parker has bought the Baxter Building, and this angers Human Torch. So much so that he and Parker battle it out for a few at the beginning of the book. After the two call a truce Spider-Man takes his buddy on a tour of the new and improved Baxter Building. During said tour we learn that Harry Osborn (now known as Harry Lyman) is running the day to day of the building . . . ok. As the tour passes by Johnny’s room he goes inside to take a peek. It turns out Johnny’s old room is now the new Spider-Garage . . . huh. I know I was totally joking during the bit about all the super lame Spider-Vehicles (except the Spider-Car and Spider-Sub those are totally real . . . with pictures and everything) the last issue, but Johnny Storm made my worst fears a reality when he opened his old bedroom door. We got the new Spider-Mobile, the Spider-Skimmer, Spider-Copter, and Spider-Cycle, just to name a few. This is straight up torture. I hate it.

In other news, The Zodiac attack S.H.I.E.L.D's heli-carrier (which by issue #4 will be named the Spider-Carrier). The main crew of Zodiac reminds me of Battle Beasts and that pleases me. Zodiac puts a real beatdown on Fury and his minions and get away. All the while Peter, Johnny, and Harry are out at the bar drinking nonalcoholic cocktails.

On the last page we are teased with a last panel glimpse of a man in green and purple camo with a bandaged up head that is being identified as . . . Mr. Osborn. Sigh. Too soon. I hate it.

So there it is, as a life long Spidey fan I will honestly say I hate this new run. I hate it. My desire to continue reading this title is rapidly fading. Maybe Spidey and I have come as far as we were meant to come. I have a rule: never abandon a title until the 5th issue. I figure if you can’t make me want to read your comic by issue #5 then you never will, so ASM has until issue 5 to fix my Spider-Man or our love affair is over. After all, I can get my Spider-Person fix from one of the many Spider-titles out there, and to be perfectly honest there are a lot of GOOD comics coming out by way of Image and other independent creators. So far this is book is the biggest let down of the year and that’s a damn shame.

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