Due to the massive popularity that everyone’s favorite webslinger is receiving this summer, we’ve been gifted with a new Spider-Man series. PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1, written by Chip Zdarsky, debuts with a funnier, more down to Earth take on the character. While other spider titles are more serious, here we get to see Peter Parker deal with the lighter quirks of being himself and a hero. This first issue gets the ball rolling with jokes, action, and a nice setup for future tales.

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 begins with a meeting between our hero and his long time pal, Johnny Storm. Going on about his busy life, Peter explains how he just wants time to feel normal outside of his stressed adventures. From there, funnily enough, Peter ends up stopping a robbery, meeting with Ant-Man, and acquainting himself with new characters Hophini Mason and Rebecca London. The interactions with the cast put Peter on the path of a new mystery that spans from New York to Chicago. In addition to the main story, there’s also an extra included where the wall-crawler faces off against Black Widow. With Widow attacking Peter for an undisclosed reason, it’s an encounter that will no doubt set up mysteries for the future.

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1
Image from PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 courtesy of Marvel

Trying to be an Average Joe

While Spider-Man titles typically do humor, PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 takes it to a new, yet familiar level. Chip Zdarsky writes Spider-Man as not only hilarious but also as an average joe. Even though Spider-Man is now a tech billionaire Zdarsky tones him down, adding likability to this iteration. His interactions with Johnny recall older team-ups, along with their classic attitude and relationship. His moments with Ant-Man, another average joe type hero, are enjoyable, as they play off of each other with their respective comedic timing. Meanwhile, his initial meetings with newcomers Rebecca London and Hophini Mason offer new possibilities for Peter. London will likely be a new love interest while Mason may represent an obstacle given his relation to classic villain the Tinkerer.

As mentioned above, Zdarsky puts our hero in a showdown with Black Widow in the accompanying extra. While we do start with a goofy robbery, the tone quickly changes as the stakes are raised for Spider-Man. Here, we get a mix of quick-paced action and sly humor, a fighting style trademarked by Spider-Man for years. The two combatants don’t miss a beat as they exchange blows. Spider-Man’s witty banter contrasts greatly with Widow’s silence, creating an amazing fight with personality.

 WATCH: To learn more about the series, check out our interview with writer Chip Zdarsky!

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1’s Visuals Will Catch You

The art for this story is handled by the talented Adam Kubert, along with colorist Jordie Bellaire. Almost immediately after opening the issue a beautiful shot of New York appears, capturing the grand visuals of the city. Illustrations of Peter and Johnny accompany this, and the characters’ familiarity with each other is present in their designs and expressions. This splash page is just a taste of expert images, with later scenes of Mason’s lab containing amazing detail. Kubert and Bellaire manage to make the contents of the laboratory stand out from each other, creating an impressive page.

The extra, drawn by Goran Parlov and colored by Nathan Fairbairn, captures the fighting style of Spider-Man. The battle between our hero and Widow feels well calculated and tense due to the expertly illustrated background effects. Combined with Kubert’s designs, Fairbairn’s colors give the story a classic feel, reminiscent of earlier Spider-Man stories from the 70’s. One example is when Spider-Man uses his webs to disrupt guns aimed at him, with a visual “SLAM” added for effect. This, coupled with Zdarsky’s writing, sets the short story itself apart from the main plot.

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1
Image from PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 courtesy of Marvel

READ: For more web adventures, catch up with our review of SPIDER-GWEN #19!

Don’t Let This Issue Swing By

 PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN#1 is a promising first issue. A blast from start to finish, it’s an entertaining return to form for the character. With the webslinger globetrotting in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, it’s refreshing to have the character contending with life on a smaller scale in this title. Alongside the masterfully crafted stories, the art will leave you in awe at the right moment. Undoubtedly, PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 is an issue you must check out.

Purchase from Marvel or pick up a copy at your local shop today!

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PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 BY CHIP ZDARSKY, JORDIE BELLAIRE, GORAN PARLOV, NATHAN FAIRBAIRN
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PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 is a welcome return to form for a character that's already larger than life.
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