Comic Book Review

Spider-Man #1

Spider-man #1

(W) J. J. Abrams, Henry Abrams

(A) Sara Pichelli

(CA) Olivier Coipel

Marvel

2019

WHO IS CADAVEROUS?!
The most shocking and incredible comic of 2019 is here as J.J. ABRAMS (STAR WARS, STAR TREK, SUPER 8) and his son HENRY ABRAMS are joined by superstar artist SARA PICHELLI (MILES MORALES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) team up for SPIDER-MAN! What do they have planned for Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson?! Who is Cadaverous?! The Modern Master of Mystery Makes His Marvel this September!

I feel like I’ll give half my readers everything they need to know with the sentence “J.J. Abrams’ take on a re-imagined Spider-Man,” but that’s not quite the whole story. Some folks will hate this from page one simply because of his previous works, and I guess that’s fine. I have writers I can just never enjoy too. But for any one still reading, there’s actually a lot more to this new take on an old friend.

Most easy to like, as one might expect from almost anything Marvel these days, in the amazing artwork. While I wouldn’t call it “beautiful”, that’s more because of the atmosphere than the art. The story is not bright and shiny at all, so it wouldn’t make any sense for the art to be. But it is well done, consistent, and thoughtful on every page. The settings and backgrounds reflect the story well, from the dingy corners of the high school, to the bland rental car. It’s technically solid, and adds to the tone of the story perfectly, standing solidly on both it’s feet.

And that bleak tone is carried through to the writing masterfully as well. Peter’s hopelessness and helplessness is clearly portrayed, even while the reader disagrees with him over it. The dialog is always solid, and the story is emotionally effective in all the right places. Even the villain is interesting in several ways, no easy task for the little amount of screen time he gets! The writing and storytelling is well done, of course. It’s one of Marvel’s biggest titles, and a writer who has tackled plenty of blockbuster IPs, and the budget shows.

My biggest complaint about it, is the IDEA behind the story. Here’s a high school student with a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, standing up to bullies and getting into trouble with authority figures, living with Aunt May and dealing with a tragic death. Does it matter that his name is Ben instead of Peter? Do we need to “reboot” another franchise, another time, in hopes of making even more money? The comic is fine – it’s well drawn and interesting and it’s likely to sell a million copies just because – but the IDEA is bereft of artistic merit. It’s a play right out of Hollywood’s book – hire big name celebrities, involve a perennially popular character, and advertise it to hell. And it’ll probably work just fine. It almost always does. I just find it all rather unnecessary.

 

 

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Any reason for a reboot...

Another all new Spider-Man story, except this one's not got much "new" to it. Well drawn and well enough told, but really leaves me wondering how many versions of Spidey we really need.

8.2
Art:
9
Direction:
8
Story:
7.5

Brian has been reading comics since January, 1987, when the death of Optimus Prime rocked his young world. Once a regular presenter on The Nerdstravaganza Podcast, Brian now writes for Florida Geek Scene.

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