SPIDEY’S FACE SOUNDS FAMILIAR by Marco Manalac
A few issues into Amazing Spider-Man’s latest volume, and we’re only starting to get acquainted with the new Spider-Man. After years and years of seeing a struggling superhero, we finally have a Peter Parker who is rich, successful, confident, and simply in control. You better get used to it, because this seems to be the new status quo. And things aren’t going to be changing anytime soon. As we gear up for the new year, and before all the Star Wars craziness takes over and invades all of the Internet and social media, here’s my list of interesting web-slinging, wall-crawling titles you may want to check out as we enter the new era of the Marvel Universe. Loud cheers, heavy clapping, or violent reactions are welcome and encouraged.
- Amazing Spider-Man- Already on issue 4, this book may have a very different look and feel to it, but it remains just as good as the previous volumes. As expected, the consistent, entertaining writing by Dan Slott that we are used to is equally as attractive as Alex Ross’ cover art. Plus, it’s always fun seeing Peter Parker teaming up with Mockingbird, totally disregarding Nick Fury’s authority, and using high-tech gadgets and equipment in true 007 style. Not everything is all-new and all-different though, as in issue 4, Goblin terrorists attack an African community, forcing Peter to come to the rescue. Even though Peter Parker has achieved Tony Stark status, he just can’t seem to escape the shadow of Norman Osborn.
- Spidey- Only one issue has been released so far, but its brand identity is very clear. This book will focus on Peter Parker’s younger years in high school, learning how to balance his superhero life with his personal one. The book is a bit of a reboot, as we see that Sajani, current business partner of Peter Parker, was actually his classmate when they were teens. We also see a spunkier Gwen Stacy than what we got when she first appeared in the classic issues of Amazing Spider-Man. In the pages of Spidey, we get a Gwen Stacy that defends Peter, fights back against Flash, and does so with oozing attitude. I really like the fierce Gwen, and it’s a great contrast to how wimpy Peter Parker is when he is not wearing spandex. Spidey is a title for all ages. It’s clean, innocent fun that celebrates the days when life was simpler, but not necessarily easier. The first issue’s main event was an early clash between Spidey and Doctor Octopus. Needless to say, a lot of trash talk and corny insults were thrown around during the fisticuffs.
- Spider-Gwen- Speaking of Gwen Stacy, you cannot go wrong if you decide to follow her in the pages of Spider-Gwen or Web Warriors. The most recent issue of Spider-Gwen features a cute, meaningful meeting between the titular hero and Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman. Gwen opens up about how she still feels guilty over the death of her universe’s Peter Parker. She talks about how difficult it is to see Jessica Drew’s Peter Parker alive and well. It only reminds her that she doesn’t have one where she’s from anymore. Gwen is still finding closure regarding her world’s Peter Parker. But something in the air is telling me that closure might actually come in the form of a big return. The latest issue of Spider-Gwen also brings back Harry Osborn, so it should be one heck of a ride seeing what kind of dynamic Spider-Gwen will have with her old friend.
- Amazing Spider-Man 1.1- This one’s coming out this week, and I don’t really know what to expect. All I know is that Simone Bianchi will be doing the art, so just by that, you can count me in. His past work on Wolverine, Astonishing X-Men, Thor: For Asgard, and Thanos Rising is simply amazing… Pun intended. Bianchi’s dark style is a good balance to the very bright, and lively art of the main issues of the flagship series.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be going into greater detail about these books, and I’ll also be exploring the other Spidey family members. Flash Thompson, for one, is doing excellent work in space, flying around alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy. And we still have yet to see how Miles Morales will find his place in his new universe, in his new solo series. The kid has to deal with everything that Peter Parker did when he was a high school student, but he’s an Avenger as well at such an early age. Spidey titles are popping up like bunnies, so it’s essential to be smart about which ones to follow. You have to know which books suit you best, for the maximum fun possible. Have a great week ahead, and enjoy the Star Wars mania. May the Force be with you all, and see you guys around very soon.
(When he’s not out on the streets saving the world from made-up villains, Marco Manalac is usually surfing the internet. Follow him on Twitter @marcomanalac. Email him at email@example.com)