Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1

Story by
Art by
Adriana Melo, Mariah Benes
Colors by
Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Marvel Comics

Reconnecting with the new Jackpot -- who is, of course, the old Jackpot -- isn't such an easy task. After all, the character we've seen most of in the role died some time ago, as this series instead follows Sara Ehret, the woman who originally owned the Jackpot name.

The re-introduction of the character requires a little bit of an overhaul on Guggenheim's part. Although she had appeared prior to this series, Sara has very little personality of her own to build on, and what she did have was abrasive, self-pitying and a little on the feeble side -- hardly the stuff of good superheroes. Back in costume, Ehret displays a more confident, more competent and slightly more flippant attitude than she ever did in her "Amazing Spider-Man" appearances. To be honest, she's a more likeable character for it.

Speaking of the threads, Jackpot's new costume (or should that be "the new Jackpot's costume"?) is a rather mute and more functional affair, more befitting of Sarah's attitude, and arguably a necessity so that we can distinguish her from the previous incarnation of the character. But it's a shame that such a distinctive and well-designed costume has been replaced by something that doesn't jump off the page quite as much, with purple, black, and red being a stark contrast to the green, white and gold of her predecessor.

In this issue, we finally get an origin for Ehret's powers and, like the rest of the book, it's keen to play up the parallels with Spider-Man. Indeed, we eventually get a couple of Spider-Man super-villains, one even turning up as a final page revelation which, if you remember the fairly obscure character, doesn't exactly thrill you with the memory of beloved storylines past.

There are a couple of interesting asides that give the book some value: the idea that Ehret is deliberately underachieving, by only going after regular, unpowered villains; the fact that she's a superheroine who is also a mother; the look at her time spent with The Initiative; and the application of her training, with the question of whether it's really adequate. Any of these things could have been turned into a strong center for a Jackpot series, but instead it's a fairly generic story in the Spider-Man format, and a bit of a wasted opportunity for it.

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