Thursday, January 10, 2013

Entry #2: The Alright Arachnid Dude



The Alright Arachnid Dude

Hello, true believers!

Peter Parker’s not dead. He’s just hanging with Elvis, Jim Morrison, and Bigfoot. That would make a better storyline than the one Marvel did use to wrap-up The Amazing Spider-Man. Technically, the series isn’t over; it has simply morphed into The Superior Spider-Man. This current spin-off picks up where The Amazing Spider-Man issue #700 left off.

To explain a bit of back story first…

*Spoiler Alert*

Spidey did a Freaky Friday with Dr. Octopus. I don’t mean the original with Jodie Foster. I mean the remake with Lindsay Lohan. Just picture Peter Parker with red hair, freckles, and legal battles. And picture Doc Ock as Jamie Lee Curtis. On second thought, the good doctor was never that sexy.

Anyway, Peter Parker swapped bodies with Dr. Octopus. Otto Octavius body had “lost the will to live,” much like Padme in Revenge of the Sith. It would seem as if Peter Parker had gone to the four-color heaven in the sky. One wonders if he’d have entrance to Thor’s Valhalla. Perhaps maybe the blonde barbarian badass could give him a rainbow bridge ride back to Earth? It would appear that won’t be necessary, as Peter Parker is now a ghost. His soul is lingering around like Obi Won, and intervening when needed. He even stopped Dr. Octopus from pummeling a perp into the pavement (try saying that three times fast!)

There’s also the issue of Mary Jane, and how she’ll react to Peter/Otto’s eccentric behavior. One wonders if the famous pottery wheel scene from Ghost will be reenacted in the next issue. Though I joke about it here, I’m not putting anything past Dan Slott.

That being said, I did enjoy this comic. I used to read Spider-Man when I was a kid. And I did enjoy the new movie, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (future mother of my children). Spidey was a childhood favorite of mine in any medium; animated, illustrated, action figure, and live-action. With all the spin-offs out there, it was time that Marvel started to streamline things a bit. It was also time they rebooted the series. New readers would be intimidated by the 700 issue girth of a forty-odd year series. And old readers would want something new, in the wake of Marvel’s “NOW” series. You can’t blame an old dog for trying a new trick.

The series begins with an action sequence. There’s no weeping and moaning in this book. In addition to high octane action, this book has liberal doses of humor. And it is the humor that helps to carry this story. It provides a much needed release from an awkward situation. They’ve avoided many obvious clichés, like the kind we’ve seen in body swap movies (see 80’s classics Vice Versa, Summer Switch, 18 Again, and Father/Son) However, I don’t see this as a long-running series. My prediction is that it will probably run for about a year or so. Once the next Amazing Spider-Man movie is released, Marvel will reboot the original series.

Many of my cohorts at the comic shop agree. The general consensus is that Marvel ended The Amazing Spider-Man on a weak note; like an out-of tune Daily Bugle. I would have to agree. I also feel that The Superior Spider-Man isn’t really superior. It is a good read, but not a great read. It is also a continuation of a story arc started in issue #699. One wonders if this story arc should have been included in The Amazing Spider-Man proper, instead of in a separate series.

All being said, I did like reading this premiere issue. And I will continue to read the series. I’m a curious sort, and have a desire to see what happens next. While old school purists may be put off by the radical story arc, I recommend they give it a chance. A comic like this is an acquired taste. It’s fun to see a famous villain in the Marvel Universe wear the tights of a hero. The concept of an anti-hero fascinates me, and we may have found one in The Superior Spider-Man, albeit for a limited time. Dr. Octopus is still the same smug s.o.b. he always was. When he takes down a fellow villain, he’s doing it for selfish reasons. Though he’s trying to redeem himself in some fashion, his arrogance shows through. Despite the oddity of the story, Dr. Octopus’ personality is still consistent.

In conclusion, I’d say, “Give it a chance, and see what you think. You’re under no obligation to buy. Act now, operators are standing by.”

My rating: Two-and-a-half webs out of five.

Excelsior, Web-heads!

Review Copyright 2013 Johnny X.



 

 

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