Who doesn’t like Spider-Man? Seriously, the guy is a wonderful character. In the Marvel Universe he’s quite possibly the most well connected hero. There have been entire comic series based just on his team-ups. The fact that other heroes like him is what kicks off this book. After the tragic death of Johnny Storm of the Fantastic 4 (one of the best handled comic deaths in recent memory), the rest of the team (now calling themselves the Future Foundation) ask Spider-Man to join them, which he accepts. Quite a large part of the book is about how much Spider-Man enjoys the wacky adventures of the FF (such as going to the microverse to heal a living atom, helping people from the future, and fighting zombie pirates) compared to his more somber “street level” adventures (stopping robberies and murders and such). He’s also come into his in his civilian life. People tend to forget that Peter Parker is a genius in his own right. Now that he’s working for a think tank, he gets to show it off. There’s one really touching story where he stops a minor villain, recently released from prison, from retuning to crime not by punching him as Spider-Man, but by offering him a job as Peter Parker. It’s a wonderful, heartwarming tale that shows just how critical both sides of Peter Parker’s life are to the the character as a whole.
This comic is approachable to new readers, while still being friendly to people who’ve been reading Marvel all their lives. You don’t need to know that the Thing was once wrestled the Rhino as part of a Super-Hero wrestling league called the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. But if you do, you’ll catch the offhand reference to it will bring a little smile to your face. That’s just one example of the many allusions to Marvel the canon new and old in the book.
While I didn’t like the art, I can’t honestly call it bad. It’s just not a style that appeals to me for superhero comics. The colors are a little too bright and the lines are a little too bold. But objectively, it’s not bad art.
This is a Spider-Man book. Spider-Man loves to laugh, joke, and act like he’s 12 half the time. So it’s suitable for all ages. Really young children may not understand all of what’s going on though.
If you’re looking for a fun, enjoyable read, give this a whirl.
The Amazing Spider-Man: The Fantastic Spider-Man
by Dan Slott and Christos Cage
Art by Javier Pulido, Stefano Caselli, Reilly Brown and Humberto Ramos
Marvel Comics, 2012