Thursday, April 28, 2016


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1: THE PARKER LUCK (Marvel, First Printing, 2014; Softcover)

Collects Amazing Spider-Man #1-6 (cover dates June- November, 2014)

Writers: Dan Slott with back-up features by Christos Gage and Joe Caramagna
Artists: Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba with back-up features by Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Giueseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Cam Smith, and Chris Eliopoulos
Colorists: Edgar Delgado with back-up features by Javier Rodriguez, Antonio Fabela, and Jim Charalampidis

Dan Slott made me quit buying Spider-Man with #700, which is really saying something considering that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. I vowed to never buy anymore new Spider-Man comics for as long as Slott was the writer on them, as he is a jerk to fans on Twitter as well. My son checked out a stack of graphic novels from the library and wanted to read them with me, and this was one of them. So I haven't broken my vow to not buy anything that Slott does.

I am sorry, but Humberto Ramos sucks. 

Slott always had a good grasp on the character, which made his Superior Spider-Man/ Spider-Ock thing so wrong to me. It is a concept that might be fun for an arc, but for a series that lasted a couple of years? Forget about it. Humberto Ramos' art is still not to my liking, even though he has improved by leaps and bounds. His original Manga-influenced style was an abomination to the eyes. Here he is merely mediocre. So while the art left a lot to be desired, the story in and of itself is good.

S P O I L E R S ahead. Peter Parker is back. During his time in charge of Peter's brain Doctor Octopus finished Parker's doctorate, launched Parker Industries, and changed his life on a number of other levels. Peter comes back to the world like someone who was in a coma, albeit with someone else living his life for him in the meantime. Electro wants revenge on Spider-Man, as Doctor Octopus apparently was a more sadistic hero who captured and experimented on him. Ock also destroyed the life of the Black Cat, a one time love interest of Spider-Man. So Electro and the Black Cat are working together to get revenge on Spider-Man.

My son and I both enjoyed Slott's take on J. Jonah Jameson.

The other arc going on here is the introduction of Silk, a girl who was apparently bitten by the same radioactive spider that Peter Parker was. Her parents were contacted by Ezekiel and she has been in captivity for all this time for “her own protection”. In typical Parker fashion he finds out about her and breaks her out of her cell, only to discover the reason why she has been locked up: to keep her presence hidden from Morlun, whom Spider-Man fought (and apparently has killed) twice before. Only now it is revealed that he is still alive, although Spider-Man is unaware of this as of yet. So Silk gets the big set up and teams up with Spider-Man to defeat the Black Cat and Electro. Not bad. It certainly reads better as a story than it does when you write in down on “paper” and read a synopsis of the events like this.

My 9 year old son's take: It was good. I liked the fact that they sort of changed his origin (meaning that they added Silk). I liked that they used Electro and Black Cat in it. I disliked the swears, because if they didn't put the swears in it it would be appropriate for kids to read (meaning without parental supervision). That's pretty much it.

I do not indoctrinate my son with my opinions and feelings about continuity and artwork, etc., preferring for him to develop his own tastes. This is his Golden Age of comics and I can respect that. But I do let him know that I disapprove of swearing in mainstream superhero comic books, which is just ridiculous.

So this was an enjoyable way to spend time with my son and it was a decent enough story to boot. Not decent enough for me to buy this, but decent enough for us to go and check out Volume 2 from the library. Slott is still a butthead though. And I will never, ever think that it is okay for there to be swearing in mainstream superhero comics which are ostensibly targeted at a teenage audience. In reality they should be all ages since Marvel/Disney bombard young children with cartoons and merchandise of these characters. You would think that they would want the comics to be accessible to young, potentially lifelong readers. Aside from the swearing and one or two things about Silk which went over my son's head there was nothing in here that was inappropriate for a nine year old kid. So why is there a need to be “edgy” and have swearing? I am admittedly old-fashioned but come on, Marvel. You are better than this.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.

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