It’s a whole other kind of brand new day for Peter Parker in the post-“Secret Wars” landscape, as “Amazing Spider-Man” #1 finds Spidey flying through the skies of Shanghai in a fast and furious introduction. Writer Dan Slott once again reinvents the world of Peter Parker, who enters a new era as the friendly worldwide Spider-Man. Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli does some reinventing of his own, not only chronicling an incredibly fun and engaging opening sequence but actually giving the oft-lamented Spider-Mobile a worthy reimagining that not only looks cool but actually has a place in the new Spidey mythos.
Slott doesn’t wade tentatively into this new environment for Peter Parker; instead, a highly successful and confident Peter comes out swinging, both figuratively and literally, and in a couple of different contexts. The origin of this all-new, all-different backdrop has yet to be explained, and Slott makes no apologies for that; knowing it’s the first issue of a pseudo-relaunch, Slott knows there’s plenty of time to get into the “hows” and “whys” later on. For now, he just impresses upon readers how things have been taken to the next level in Spider-Man’s world and wows them with the idea that the entire world is now Peter’s neighborhood. Despite the sudden changes to Peter’s world, though, Slott doesn’t forget Peter is still subject to that old Parker luck and comically demonstrates that with a reminder that even the CEO of Parker Industries isn’t immune to leaving his fly unzipped at the most inopportune moment.
Camuncoli not only choreographs a thrilling opening chase scene, but — along with inker Cam Smith — also settles things down nicely when the action stops and some of the other cast is introduced. All characters are well-defined and clearly identifiable by the artists, an important aspect as Slott’s story focuses on the newer members of Spidey’s team. In fact, there’s even a wedding featuring one of Slott’s more modern characters, and Slott remembers that — if there’s a wedding in a superhero comic — then a supervillain attack must follow, which it indeed does, amping the story back up and giving Slott the opportunity to reveal more of Spidey’s new arsenal.
Throughout the thirty-plus page main story, colorist Marte Gracia takes a standard approach to the story’s palette; the colors work largely because they’re not noticed. They’re bright and fiery during explosions and subdued at all other times. Alex Ross infuses the issue’s standard cover with his usual degree of awesomeness, likewise painting with realistic colors while Spider-Man himself almost seems to swing right off the page.
The massive, sixty-eight page issue contains five additional short backup features, all of which lead into other upcoming new titles in the Spider-Man universe (or multiverse, as it were). Peter David and Will Sliney’s “The Last Time” is probably the weakest of these features, which stars Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, in a rather pedestrian but decently drawn bank robbery story that is intended as a teaser to the upcoming series. However, David attempts to squeeze a full story into a mere five pages and it falls flat.
A better teaser follows in the form of “Breaking Bad” by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee, a more stylish entry that features Silk recovering some property belonging to Parker Industries but turning it over to a somewhat unexpected Spider-Man foe. “What To Expect” is probably the best backup of the bunch, where Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez tell a fun story about a noticeably pregnant Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, as she frets more about her impending motherhood than she does about three third-rate supervillains in her home. The banter between her and Carol Danvers is witty, and Rodriguez’s clean, simple layouts perfectly compliment Hopeless’ story.
“Church and (Quantum) State” by Mike Costa and David Baldeon is a fun, lighthearted and nicely detailed preview of “Web Warriors,” which fans of “Spider-Verse” will love. “The Cellar” by Slott and Christos Gage is another beautiful intro thanks to artist Paco Diaz, featuring a villain seen in one of the “Secret Wars” tie-ins that many probably didn’t expect to return.
“Amazing Spider-Man” #1 is packed with enough variety to satisfy practically every Spider-fan, and Slott and Camuncoli’s lead story alone is enough to draw them in, making the six dollar cover price a bargain for so much fun.