The Amazing Spider-Man has relaunched yet again, and this time around Peter Parker is a CEO of his own worldwide company. He apparently took driving lessons to handle a car like a young Mario Andretti. He apparently took Mandarin and became fluent in a matter of months. He is “very” close to his Asian business partner, and he’s fortunate to have new technology on hand for almost any dilemma. At the end of the day, a review of this relaunch boils down to whether or not Peter Parker fans should embrace The Amazing “poor man’s Tony Stark.”
Like much of Dan Slott’s work, he offers a mixed bag of interesting ideas with the downright bizarre and embarrassing.
Take, for instance, Parker’s refusal to fire the woman he knows has a.) pro-actively worked to undermine his core vision, and b.) actually attempted to ally with a super-villain who destroyed his New York offices and almost killed everyone inside.
For those don’t remember, here is a flashback to The Amazing Spider-Man #17:
Sajani Jaffrey: I think we can be allies. I’ve heard of you. The Ghost – corporate saboteur, right? Which means someone hired you, probably to torpedo our super-prison. Well, guess what? Nothing would make me happier. It’s all my partner’s idea. I think it’s a stinker. I’ll make you a deal: Don’t hurt anyone, leave the rest of our projects alone…and I’ll show you the best, fastest way to wreck the prison stuff beyond repair. What do you say?
The Ghost: You’re a shrewd negotiator, young lady.
To CEO Peter Parker, working with corporate saboteurs to destroy his company is only worth a “talk.”
As was the case with The Superior Spider-Man, Mr. Slott must dumb down his characters in order to get from Point A to Point B. Characters during SSM needed to not realize Doctor Octopus was inside Peter’s mind to keep Slott’s story going, and so their intelligence dropped 20 points.
Mr. Slott now needs Sajani to move his plot along, so Peter Parker blithely overlooks a betrayal that any normal person would fire – and sue – her over.
One of the more interesting aspects of the book comes when it is revealed Peter has hired Hobie Brown (aka: The Prowler) to be his “decoy” Spider-Man. While the decision offers the potential for a very fun relationship to form, one cannot help but wonder if Brown is a “poor man’s James Rhodes.”
Is The Amazing Spider-Man #1 worth buying? That’s a good question. If you like Guiseppe Camuncoli’s work, then sure. If you want to read about Peter Parker-Stark, then sure. If you can put up with Dan Slott’s “sweet” ideas being drowned out by others that are seriously “sour,” then sure.
If, however, you read Renew Your Vows and felt as though Marvel finally captured the essence — no matter how fleeting — of the “real” Peter Parker, then you will probably want to withhold your cash.
Editor’s Note: Regular readers know that I am in the process of learning Mandarin. Let me just say that one does not simply begin taking Mandarin lessons and become fluent in a matter of months. This is the kind of writing that drives fans mad. Dan Slott could put Peter in Saudi Arabia tomorrow, have him speak fluent Arabic, and then make the character say, “Yeah, so…in addition to expanding this global tech-empire, fighting super-villains, inventing new technology, and learning Mandarin over the last couple of months, I just-so-happened to take a few Arabic classes as well.”
If you think that is jarring and lazy writing, then it is likely Dan Slott will call your criticism invalid.