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Spider-Man #1

SPIDER-MAN #1

Capsule Review

Amazing! Creators Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (with rich colors by Justin Ponsor) bring their A-game to this first/last issue of the Miles Morales Spider-Man. First, because there is a big #1 on the cover, but last, because half the reason for the recent Secret Wars seemed to be to put paid to the Ultimate universe, and bring the very popular Miles into the main Marvel line. This was my first encounter with young Miles, but I can see why he has so many fans — he’s still a beginning Spider-Man, concerned about grades and girls, hectored by his parents, dealing with his best friend, and in a bit over-his-head with this whole superhero thing … you know, all the qualities I felt were missing from Peter Parker’s most recent series. Bendis’ gift for dialogue is on full display here, with Miles and his best buddy disagreeing over how to handle dating, and then Miles taking a call from his parents where he gets chewed out about his grades. Innocuous stuff, but well-handled … and chilling when you realize this might be the last time Miles ever talks with his loved ones, because what happens towards the end of the book sure looks like the end of the world. Or at least the end of Miles’ world — I’m still confused about Marvel’s post-Secret Wars cosmology. There’s no confusion in Sara Pichelli’s art, though — she hits for the cycle with beautiful drawings, inventive layouts, solid action, and great character emotions. A wonderful book, among the best of this relaunch.

Note: This issue marks the last of Marvel’s originally-announced All-New All-Different relaunches, but I will review another half-dozen or so additional #1s as they trickle in over the coming weeks. Watch this space for more capsule reviews!

Approachability For New Readers

There probably should have been an in-story notice that this is (was?) an alternate-universe Spider-Man, but the title page kind of closes that gap, and the story stands well enough on its own.

Read #2?

Yes! I want to see what becomes of this kid.

Sales Rank

(N/A)

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Spider-Man #1

 

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Spider-Gwen #1

SPIDER-GWEN #1

Capsule Review

Writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez provide a vivid, bouncy, exuberant, and fun superhero tale. I feel bad that I didn’t like it! And in this case I think the problem is with the reviewer, and not the work. Taken in isolation, Spider-Gwen is a high-quality bit of teen superhero storytelling, but in the context of the Spider-Man “franchise,” it feels like a gimmick, like a line-extension, and like it “doesn’t count.” All of which is unfair, because this is a nice book, but your ability to enjoy it will hinge on whether you think it’s really cool that this time the radioactive spider bit Gwen and this time it was Peter Parker who became the Lizard and this time Captain Stacy has to deal with his own daughter (instead of his daughter’s boyfriend) being the superhero. If you’ve never read a Spider-Man book, you might like it (but might also be puzzled by all the meta stuff); if all you’ve ever read are Spider-Man books, then maybe you’ll like this niche-of-a-niche stuff. I didn’t. An excellent book that I didn’t like! You can’t win them all.

Approachability For New Readers

Trying, but it’s hard. The splash page is a “Previously On …” recap, but the events themselves didn’t make sense to this new reader. Who was that dying guy? (Oh, it’s Peter Parker …which isn’t a spoiler, by the way). There’s a big text feature in the back that brings it all together. So you can get up to speed on Spider-Gwen, if you want. I applaud the effort.

Read #2?

No. This is a nice book, but I’m not really interested in it’s-the-same-as-Spider-Man-but-only-different-in-this-alternate-universe-butterfly-flapping-wing-way.

Sales Rank

#3 October

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Spider-Gwen #1

 

Invincible Iron Man #1

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1

Capsule Review

Superior art! Justin Ponsor’s colors are particularly nice, luxuriously illuminating Tony Stark’s after-midnight Manhattan penthouse world. David Marquez can draw subtle changes of expression and so he holds up to Brian Michael Bendis’ parades of talking-heads-in-boxes. Panel sequences on some of the two-page spreads are hard to follow. As is common with Bendis books, the characterization and dialogue is strong, while the plot moves at a … languid … pace. Limited action. Nice reveal at the end. The new armor design is a snore.

Approachability For New Readers

Good! If you know Tony Stark from a comic or a movie or a cartoon, you will be instantly up-to-speed.

Read #2?

Yes. Iron thumbs up!

Sales Rank

#1 October

Read more about Iron Man at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Invincible Iron Man #1

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