Rating: 4.5/5 – A Fun Visitation to Peter Parker’s Earliest Days as Spidey.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Marvel heroes have a rich history, and the earliest days of most of their classic heroes are “of their time”. If you want to update them for the current audience, you can keep the basic gist of the story but throw out/tweak a lot (like the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies or Bendis’ original Ultimate Spider-Man run) OR you can do what Robbie Thompson does here: keep the framework and most of the basics but update/modernize bits here and there.
The advantage of taking the approach that Thompson chose is that the book feels fresh but it’s still recognizable as the Peter Parker I grew up loving. Sure, Flash Thompson’s bullying takes on a bit of a different form, Gwen is definitely a more modern girl (especially fun was the nod that as a police Captain’s daughter she would have a pretty no-nonsense ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude). We have social media and cell phones, and a lot of heart in the way Thompson writes the characters. Nick Bradshaw’s art is clean and kinetic. Lots of good detail, it felt like a combination of Art Adams and Humberto Ramos to me, as strange as that may seem, but it worked really good. My only little quibble was the choice to leave the web-lines off the back of Spidey’s mask, but I can live with that.
I’ve been reading Spider-Man since 1970 and I’m all for this update of Peter’s early days. It’s a fun retelling of the basic story that thankfully doesn’t re-hash the origin story yet again (we’ve seen that quite enough, thanks to Robbie Thompson for skipping over it and joining our hero’s story a bit later). Seeing classic bad guys like Doc Ock was fun (and thanks Nick Bradshaw for drawing him with a very classic look, updated a bit but not radically). Seeing some minor baddies slipped a bit earlier into Peter’s career (like White Rabbit) was fine with me, she has a cool visual. AND foreshadowing of Peter’s first meeting with his BIG BAD, Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, has me on the edge of my seat. I was originally going to give this series a pass, but it grabbed me. It has earned its way onto my pull list!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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