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Spidey #1

SPIDEY #1

Capsule Review

I’m not entirely clear that this book is an in-continuity part of Marvel’s re-launch, but what the heck? I dinged the new Amazing Spider-Man for starring a Peter Parker that I scarcely recognized, so this more traditional Spider-Man series should be just the tonic. And it is, to a point. This is certainly the canonical Peter Parker — he’s in high school, hanging out with Gwen and Harry and enduring Flash’s abuse; he’s uncertain of his powers; he has a doting Aunt May waiting for him at home; he tussles with Doctor Octopus. Robbie Thompson’s script checks all the boxes and I can’t find fault with Nick Bradshaw’s art. This is an entirely entertaining, professional, and recognizable Spider-Man … but it still isn’t for me! Nor is it intended to be — this is an all-ages book (though branding it such does it an injustice), aimed at people who haven’t read Peter’s story, and who will be chilled by that last-page reveal about the elder Osborn’s malevolent secret identity. For me, well, I’ve read these stories almost as many times as I’ve seen Bruce Wayne’s parents get waxed. For readers like me, who still want new stories about the old Peter Parker … well, there’s no place in all of Marvel’s Spider-Verse for us, even with dozens or hundreds of Spider-People running around.

Approachability For New Readers

The book assumes you already know about Spider-Man and his origins … but that’s really not too much of a stretch (and Spidey’s origin is recapped in case you were raised in a cave). Everything else is there for new readers to get on board.

Read #2?

No. As was the case with The Force Awakens, I feel like I’ve already seen this movie!

Sales Rank

#25 December

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

Spidey #1

 

 

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Venom Space Knight #1

VENOM SPACE KNIGHT #1

Capsule Review

There are two types of comic readers in my audience — the kind that will greet with a yawn the news that a double-amputee Flash Thompson inherited Spider-Man’s old Venom suit and then joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, and those that will wonder how Marvel has so thoroughly jumped the tracks. I actually think there’s a pretty good book here for both camps. This Flash Thompson is a distant (DISTANT!) echo of the Steve Ditko original, and he may not be OUR Flash, but he is A Flash … a jock with a soft spot in way over his head and afraid to show it. This Venom suit was purged of its worst impulses in a previous Guardians of the Galaxy run, so there aren’t any evil overtones in this book — just a Flash Thompson well past his bully phase, determined to do good, thrust into outer space adventures and making it up as he goes along. Writer Robbie Thompson’s plot is similar to the adventure we saw in Drax #1, but the quips are better here, and there is more meat on the bone, with Venom meeting grouchy aliens and picking up a robot companion that can “… speak three million languages, and (is) fluent in 217 forms of torture.” Artist Ariel Olivetti’s digitally painted interiors class the book up quite a bit. This is a frothy book and it won’t make you think too hard, but it provided some space opera fun.

Approachability For New Readers

OK. The text slug at the beginning helps and the flashback image showing our hero playing football will assure old vets that, yes, this really is THAT Flash Thompson. Readers who don’t care about Marvel ancient history can just buckle in for a fast-paced and pulpy adventure that tells us everything we need to know as we go.

Read #2?

Sure.

Sales Rank

#29 November

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Venom Space Knight #1

 

Silk #1

SILK #1

Capsule Review

I gave the new Amazing Spider-Man poor marks because so much of what made Peter Parker into Peter Parker had gone missing. I think I found those missing elements — they’re at the core of Silk. This spider-hero is a penniless young person making their way in the big city with a low-paying media job, covering up her core insecurities by quipping with the villains, and facing family issues that would challenge someone several years her senior. Sound familiar? I’m still not sold on the need for multiple spider-characters, but I liked Cindy Moon well enough. The credits page slug told me she was bitten by the same radioactive spider that nailed Peter Parker (hey, it’s comics), and that she was raised in a sealed bunker, which sounded interesting but didn’t really pay off in this issue. Her powers are broadly similar to Spidey’s. There’s also some espionage and double-crossing stuff going on that adds a dollop of intrigue. The tone and pace were similar to Spider-Gwen, but with less teen angst, and because we aren’t literally going over the same ground as classic Spider-Man stories, Silk’s running battle with a Green Goblin cult felt fresher. Writer Robbie Thompson’s script was breezy and fast-moving. I wish colorist Ian Herring had used the same rich palette on display in Silk’s back-up story from Amazing Spider-Man #1. This particular outing didn’t look as warm, failing to round the rougher edges off of Stacey Lee’s art (which shows a little manga influence, for better or worse). It all holds together. Entertaining book.

Approachability For New Readers

Slightly better than the other rebooted spider-books, which is to say not very good. But captions from Cindy’s point of view pull us into the character, and we get to discover the world through her eyes, which helps a bit with onboarding. Would be nice to have had more whys and hows about Cindy’s early life in a “hermetically sealed bunker,” but I’m willing to be patient.

Read #2?

Yes.

Sales Rank

#33 November

Read more about Spider-Man at Longbox Graveyard

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

Silk #1

 

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