“Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1 is a peculiar offering from writer David Morrell and artist Klaus Janson. With an origin recap page from Fred Van Lente, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson, Dean White and Nate Piekos, this comic book delivers a story that stands independently of the current continuity for everyone’s favorite wallcrawler.
Morrell opens the story with a day in the life of Spider-Man, depicting a number of scenarios the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man encounters as normal course of business. There are no supervillains to punch in the face, but there is plenty of trouble for Spidey to take action against. Without supervillains, Morrell is able to keep the cast lean, but relevant, while also giving the characters a nice chance to define themselves for the readers. As a point one issue, “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1 does a nice job of defining the characters and their situations in a comic book that is evergreen enough to stand the test of time.
Also able to weather the ages is Janson’s rough-edged artwork that is strongly defined with seasoned storytelling. Without flamboyant foes to fight, Spider-Man has to carry the scenes he appears in completely by himself. Other scenes rely on Janson’s ability to make the characters in this comic book engaging. Furthermore, the fashion choices Janson uses for the characters in “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1 are timeless enough to be relevant in a comic set roughly near the end of the “Amazing Spider-Man” series or at any other time in the character’s fifty-year history. Janson’s work takes the inks straight to the page, making the pages in this comic book vital with energy similar to that of margin sketches in a high school notebook. These drawings, however, are polished by the colors of Steve Buccellatto, which at times is filled with colors that are outrageously bold. In addition to being energetic, Janson packs in details, like Aunt May darning socks in a flashback scene as she talks to Peter about his Uncle Ben.
The point issue makes it approachable and marketable, especially with hype accumulating for “Amazing Spider-Man 2” following the debut of that film’s trailer. While waiting until May might seem far away as the temperatures drop throughout the northern hemisphere, “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1 is a near perfect snow day read. Morrell’s story is not necessary to be set in the waning days prior to Otto Octavius’ greatest victory and could certainly hold its own in any time period of the webslinger’s history. Once upon a time, this story (and the subsequent chapters) would have been presented as a graphic novel, but now a series of specials seems the preferred method for delivering a slightly out of continuity adventure. That’s fine with me as “Amazing Spider-Man” #700.1 provides a nice break from the constantly self-centered superior Spider-Man. I just hope the upcoming chapters are as independently enjoyable as this issue.