Marvel and IDW Publishing have teamed up for a new all-ages comic book line titled Marvel Action. The first release of this partnership is Marvel Action Spider-Man.
Written by Delilah S. Dawson and illustrated by Fico Ossio, this new Spidey series promises to be an ideal jumping-on point for fans of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales. Rather than try to fix decades of divergent storylines and convoluted multiverses, the book chooses to act as its own reimagining of the Spider-Verse -- and it works due to its unfrazzled simplicity.
In the Marvel Re:action section of Marvel Action Spider-Man #1, Dawson writes: "We're not focusing on origins and history here. We're focusing on the exciting adventures of three special kids who miraculously find one another and learn that they're part of something bigger."
Sometimes, comic book fans don't realize how intimidating the extensive nature of the stories can be to someone who has never picked up a book before. More often than not, newer fans don't know where to start or how everything pieces together. Think about it. Peter Parker has been known as Spider-Man in popular culture for decades, but now there's a younger guy named Miles Morales who parades around under the same moniker. If you didn't know the history of the Spider-Men, you'd be puzzled by this occurrence, too.
The approach of Marvel Action Spider-Man is reminiscent of the method applied by the various animated series. It's easy to get lost in the detail of all the marvelous stories, and it's tempting for creators to start at the beginning, but there's a more effective way: Stick to the basics and tell your own story. Of course, you can't go ahead and create a completely new character and slap the same superhero name on them, yet there is the opportunity to take some creative liberties.
Sure, longtime fans might get annoyed by yet another reimagining of a popular superhero in the Marvel Universe, but they aren't the target audience here. This book is aimed at turning new fans into regular readers. Much like Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy introduced Peter to young generations, Marvel Action Spider-Man, along with the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, could be the medium to establish Gwen and Miles as mainstays in pop culture. It's properties like this one that hook readers, becoming gateways to a whole new world of comic fandom. Isn't that the point of fandom, to share the joys with others?
As fans, we're often precious about these characters since they mean so much to us, but we can't expect new fans to assimilate all our knowledge via osmosis. There needs to be a balance between legacy and evolution, and Marvel Action Spider-Man juggles this task with ease, as it simplifies this crazy world and brings it back to a grassroots level. Like something else from the past that piqued your interest in Spider-Man, allow this to do the same for someone else.
Marvel Action Spider-Man #1 is on sale now.