ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Amazing Spider-Man #1 - But Why Tho

Amazing Spider-Man #1 is written by Zeb Wells, penciled by John Romita Jr. inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Marcio Menyz, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Six months after a mysterious event, Peter Parker is on the outs with nearly everyone in his life. As Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, including his friend Johnny Storm/Human Torch, are avoiding him after he pilfered technology from the Baxter Building. As Peter Parker, he supposedly fell off the face of the Earth, leading to friction with his Aunt May. Spidey doesn’t have much time to relax, as a power vacuum has opened up in Marvel’s criminal underworld following the events of Devil’s Reign—and it’s one that Tombstone intends to fill.

Wells once again slips into the position of Spider-Man writer, having previously shepherded the “Beyond” era which saw Ben Reilly briefly take up the mantle of Spider-Man before being transformed into the malevolent Chasm. However, I feel like throwing Spidey into yet another life-changing story feels a little too soon, even if it is his 60th anniversary. Most of the big character changes at Marvel, whether it’s Thor becoming the King of Asgard or Venom’s ascension to fatherhood and godhood, were built up over a period of time. And while Spidey’s life is often fraught with turmoil, there has to be some form of balance. If Peter Parker succeeds, Spider-Man struggles and vice versa. Putting both halves of Peter’s life in danger feels a little too over the top. Honestly, the fight against Tombstone and various gangland figures would have been enough, especially since Tombstone was a major focus of the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series and I’ve personally found him to be an underrated character.

The biggest draw of the issue has to be Romita Jr. illustrating the title, as this marks his return to Marvel following a stint at DC. Romita Jr.’s artwork has been a bit of an acquired taste, but I’ve always enjoyed it when he draws Spidey. Page after page of Spidey leaping through the air or webbing up villains brought that rush of reading J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, which Romita Jr. was a huge part of. In a nod to that run, Wells brings back the gamma-irradiated gangster Digger, leading to some gruesome panels where Spidey literally rips free of Digger’s decaying fingers. Hanna’s inks add texture to the art, whether it’s the craggy lines in Tombstone’s skin or the volume of Peter’s beard.

And finally, Menyz delivers some outstanding colors, particularly when it comes to Caramagna’s lettering for the sound effects. Spidey’s web-shooters give off their trademark “Thwip” sound, but it happens to be in the same blue color as his suit. Digger breaking through an armored car is depicted as a sickly green “Wrunch.” And Spidey’s omnipresent word captions are pure white, with a red lining. Colors and letters are often overlooked in comics, but when combined they can make the artwork and story stand out – this is a key example.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a shaky start to the web-slinger’s 60th anniversary, as the story boasts solid art thanks to John Romita Jr. I hope that future issues, including the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man #900 will be a more fitting celebration of Spidey’s legacy,

Amazing Spider-Man #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on April 27, 2022.


Amazing Spider-Man #1
3.5

TL;DR

Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a shaky start to the web-slinger’s 60th anniversary, as the story boasts solid art thanks to John Romita Jr. I hope that future issues, including the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man #900 will be a more fitting celebration of Spidey’s legacy,