Cover Rank: 9/10
The cover for this issue was created by Alex Ross and depicts a more realistic art style than that featured in the issue which was instead penciled by Stuart Immonen. The image of Spider-Man stuck to a Daily Bugle front page questioning whether Peter Parker is a “threat or menace” really sets the tone for what the “Fall of Parker” story line is getting set to deliver. It took me a bit of investigation to realize that the splash of red liquid near the bottom is actually a drink which has been thrown at the Daily Bugle cover and not blood. A cup is barely visible at the bottom most part to show that. I understand that it was meant to represent the citizens hatred for Peter but I think it could have been a bit clearer as to what it was. That could be what they were going for however.
Best Variant Issue:
Hands down the Alex Ross Lenticular Homage cover takes the cake for best variant. The cover features gold embossed lettering for the title as well as Spider-Man taking up nearly the whole cover. He is in his classic pose set to shoot webbing. It is simplistic in nature but I think it captures everything that the character is and hit home that this is a new start for the series and for Peter as well.
What I Like:
With Secret Empire over and Parker Industries destroyed at the hands of Peter Parker himself things have changed for our favorite webhead. So much so that the former millionaire is now sleeping on his girlfriends couch. I love seeing this fall from grace that Peter has had. It is a perfect way to reset his character and almost nearly bring him back to his roots.
The interactions between Peter and Bobbi Morse, Peter’s new love, are just classic. She goes to work everyday and he is just a deadbeat now. Of course it’s all down in fun but little things like seeing post-it notes on food in the fridge is just more fuels to show just how low Peter Parker has come.
The issue also does a great job to let us know the state of Peter’s relationship with his longtime friend (and sometimes rival) Harry Lyman, aka Harry Osborn. For now their relationship seems cordial and we see Harry living happily as a Father with a family to provide for and who loves him. Let’s be honest however, we all know that this new life is not going to last long.
I also really enjoyed that for as much set up and refreshing this issue did to begin this new arc it still made sure to include some great webslinger action towards the end with a battle against The Griffin. With Spider-Man’s normal quick one-liners and feats of heroic the fight didn’t last long but proved this writing team has the chops to portray some great action panel to panel.
What I didn’t like:
Setting Peter back up at the Daily Bugle probably seems like a no brainer but I’m not sure it will be the right thing for the character. The last few years have been interesting seeing a whole new Peter Parker as he filled a Tony Stark like role as head of a huge company. Putting him back at the Daily Bugle may be familiar and I think that’s what Marvel is going for with all the Legacy titles but I think this would have been a great opportunity to at least deviate a little bit but still keep him grounded as an everyday man.
I really enjoyed the 3 page summary of how Peter gained his abilities and the short history of Spider-Man at the end of the book. It was after the main story but it perfectly captured the journey the character has been on through the decades he’s been around and was a great romp down memory lane for fans showing off classic villains and moments.
As I mentioned above the 3 page Spider-Man summary is fantastic. As for the actual ending to the story presented in the book I thought it was great too. The battle with The Griffin concludes and we see Peter and Bobbi, both still dressed in their super hero attire return home for an embrace and some “action.” This final page shows that even though Peter Parker is down on his luck, Spider-Man’s still got it.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
I’m really looking forward to seeing the relationship between Bobbi and Peter grow. How far are they going to take it? I also wonder if the intention is to build it up to have it ultimately end in tragedy. We know how some of Peter’s previous relationship have gone and far too often they end in tragedy. I’m also looking forward to the introduction of the citizens of New York and how they now hate Peter Parker but like Spider-Man. This is a complete flip on the old dynamic of the book and even Peter himself is beginning to feel more comfortable behind the mask then he is in regular clothes.
Review Score: 8.8/10