The second issue of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows is out, and once again Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman offer fans a strong product. There are, however, some red flags for Peter Parker fans.

Check out my latest YouTube review and let me know in the comments section below what you think of “Spinneret,” the Parker family’s parenting style, and Normie “Richie Rich” Osborn. Feel free to ask any other Renew Your Vows questions that might be on your mind.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

9 comments

  1. I feel like there’s a weird thing going on with this series other than what you talked about. It seems like there’s nothing but marriage stuff in this. I know it’s just getting off the ground, but there’s very little standard superhero stuff in there, it’s almost all related to Peter and MJ’s marriage, arguing, parenting, etc. It’s way too far to the other extreme.

    I’m not frustrated with Slott’s Spider-Man stuff because there’s no marital squabbling, it’s because Peter had moved on from the single phase of his life and going back to that is a huge regression for his character. I don’t want his marriage and fatherhood to be front and center all the time, I want it to be a significant background element for the character. The way they’re doing it with RYV is like the Incredibles or something, where the family dynamic is central all the time. (Even that allowed the mom and dad to do their own thing more.)

    The family stuff is solid, it’s just way overplayed, and it still makes Spider-Man himself much less pivotal in what ought to be his story. Between that and the whole Regent thing still being stupid and this being a really uninteresting universe in general, I’m not nearly so optimistic about this series.

    1. “I feel like there’s a weird thing going on with this series other than what you talked about. It seems like there’s nothing but marriage stuff in this. I know it’s just getting off the ground, but there’s very little standard superhero stuff in there, it’s almost all related to Peter and MJ’s marriage, arguing, parenting, etc. It’s way too far to the other extreme.”

      You’re getting ahead of me, Eidolon. Stop it! 🙂 But seriously, this is a concern that I have on the back burner. I was going to wait and see a few more issues before I started talking about that.

      “I’m not frustrated with Slott’s Spider-Man stuff because there’s no marital squabbling, it’s because Peter had moved on from the single phase of his life and going back to that is a huge regression for his character. I don’t want his marriage and fatherhood to be front and center all the time, I want it to be a significant background element for the character. The way they’re doing it with RYV is like the Incredibles or something, where the family dynamic is central all the time. (Even that allowed the mom and dad to do their own thing more.)”

      Yep. I totally agree. That’s why I think the Normie “Rich Rich” Osborn thing might turn out to be stupid. Is that some sort of weird excuse to have him pitted against Annie in the future? No thanks.

      “The family stuff is solid, it’s just way overplayed, and it still makes Spider-Man himself much less pivotal in what ought to be his story. Between that and the whole Regent thing still being stupid and this being a really uninteresting universe in general, I’m not nearly so optimistic about this series.”

      Again, I totally feel you on this one. I’m okay with him being in a family, but if it turns out to be The Amazing MJ and Annie Show! then it starts to just be sort of stupid to call it an Amazing Spider-Man book.

  2. The red flags are exactly what I though they’d be before watching the video. MJ in this issue got a lot of the bigger, brasher, more confidant lines, more so than Peter did in the first issue. In the first issue, Peter mentions stuff about his butt getting in the way of shots and worries that his wife thinks he wastes his time on photography and not lab work, In this issue, MJ gets more perks…even after being given that big whopper of a bill from her landlord, she lands on her feet with the former Vogue editor reading her blog.

    I too would like to see Peter assert himself more in the fatherly role, and set certain perimeters with Annie and MJ. Now, the good thing is Peter and MJ are openly discussing the limits reached with using Regent tech, so this will be a pivotal plot thread going forward, so I’ll reserve judgement.

    Annie getting away with so much is what a lot of spoiled daughters go through…and I think it may be a case of Marvel listening to too many people on tumblr who idealise Peter and MJ’s relationship too much to the point they reckon they would have the “perfect daughter”. I think the best comparisons here would be to read the 2000 era title Spider-Girl, where Mayday’s relationship with Peter was, while still loving, complicated by her willingness to be a hero where as Peter was so resistant to it that he barely ever stepped in to train her, leaving it in the hands of others.

    As for the world being “uninteresting”, I don’t know about that. We’re only two issues in and while some of us would like to see more of the Avengers zooming around (at least just to show us on the page that they exist, rather than just be told that on twitter by the creative team), I do like this more irreverent take on The Mole Man, I especially liked his Bill Murray-inspired speech at the end.

    1. “Annie getting away with so much is what a lot of spoiled daughters go through…and I think it may be a case of Marvel listening to too many people on tumblr who idealise Peter and MJ’s relationship too much to the point they reckon they would have the ‘perfect daughter’. I think the best comparisons here would be to read the 2000 era title Spider-Girl, where Mayday’s relationship with Peter was, while still loving, complicated by her willingness to be a hero where as Peter was so resistant to it that he barely ever stepped in to train her, leaving it in the hands of others.”

      That is my problem. A wasn’t reading Spider-Girl during that era, but I would not have liked Peter refusing to train her. As a father, it is his responsibility to make sure he does his best to set her on the right path. Putting the raising of a child in another man’s hands — particularly anything in a Marvel universe where people have superpowers — is extreme negligence. Peter might not be happy, but he would pure all of his wisdom into his daughter.

      Peter might be a bit of a “softie” dad in general, but he would be very firm when it was appropriate. When he meant business, there would be no question. So, to me, Annie not really taking her father seriously she nearly got herself killed means the writer did not stick the landing. Something either went wrong there, or it is a red flag of things to come.

  3. Sounds like we had different experiences, since I found this issue to be a blast and very reassuring that the series is in good shape. Granted, I’m not sure I agree entirely with the red flags that Douglas mentioned in the video, so I’m not exactly seeing what you’re seeing. Give me a chance to double-check my copies of the issues and organize my thoughts and I could provide some counterpoints and reasoning behind them. (By the way, good video and, while I’m not sure I agree with all of your reasoning, you did explain your views in a way that made sense and was easy to follow.)

    “The family stuff is solid, it’s just way overplayed, and it still makes Spider-Man himself much less pivotal in what ought to be his story.”

    “Again, I totally feel you on this one. I’m okay with him being in a family, but if it turns out to be The Amazing MJ and Annie Show! then it starts to just be sort of stupid to call it an Amazing Spider-Man book.”

    Before I say this, I should preface that I don’t want this series to be the “MJ and Annie Show” either. However, I don’t think that this series is supposed to be Peter’s story alone. The thesis statement seems to be the last lines of the first issue: “What we have together isn’t about MJ or Peter, not anymore. But it isn’t about Mr. and Mrs. Parker as a couple, either. It’s about our family.” So, I think that the family elements will be front and center on a regular basis by design. Is that a bad thing? As long as there’s balance between when one character stars and when the limelight is shared, I don’t think so.

    Now, I did go into this series with the idea that it was was going to be more like the Incredibles (and liked the sound of that), so I wasn’t exactly expecting it to be normal Spider-Man stuff within this status quo (I gave that up from the moment we learned that MJ and Annie were going to be superheroes too). Maybe it’d help if I understood better why you don’t want the family stuff being front and center. Is this just a personal preference or are there pitfalls beyond the question of if the characters will get equal time?

    (FIY, I’m not really a big fan of the title, which was only relevant to the original miniseries, but I get that we probably need to stick with it for clarity’s sake.)

    “Between that and the whole Regent thing still being stupid and this being a really uninteresting universe in general, I’m not nearly so optimistic about this series.”

    Fair enough. I’m still jazzed for this iteration of the Marvel world, but mileage may vary.

    “That’s why I think the Normie “Rich Rich” Osborn thing might turn out to be stupid. Is that some sort of weird excuse to have him pitted against Annie in the future? No thanks.”

    I do agree that having a teen (if that) Normie Osborn in change of Oscorp and with some kind of secret plan in the works could backfire if not handled correctly. I don’t know if it’d be a deal breaker if they botched this, but I’m skeptical about it. To be fair, though, I haven’t had any red flags over this plot from what we’ve seen in the comics themselves just yet.

    As far as Annie herself goes, I very much hope that she gets more to do than not listening to instructions and getting into trouble; it doesn’t reflect very well on any of the characters and will get old hat very quickly from a storytelling perspective. But, given we’re only halfway through the first story and could buy a kid having a day or so we’re they’re no on their best behavior, I’m willing to wait and see how this plays out long-term.

    Too early to tell if this’s better than the original RYV miniseries, but I like the writing and coloring better. But, overall, I’m having a good time.

    1. “So, I think that the family elements will be front and center on a regular basis by design. Is that a bad thing? As long as there’s balance between when one character stars and when the limelight is shared, I don’t think so.”

      No, it’s not a “bad” thing — but a comic shouldn’t be billed as “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” if it’s really “The Amazing Spider-Family: Renew Your Vows.”

      “Is this just a personal preference or are there pitfalls beyond the question of if the characters will get equal time?”

      I don’t want Annie to have equal time to Peter, and I don’t think Mary Jane would essentially be pushing to become “Spinneret” on a daily basis. I think she should siphon Peter’s powers when it’s necessary, but I don’t think she’d see fighting crime as her vocation.

  4. “No, it’s not a ‘bad’ thing — but a comic shouldn’t be billed as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows’ if it’s really ‘The Amazing Spider-Family: Renew Your Vows.'”

    Hmm. I think there’s one possibly good reason to use that name and another reason I’m not sure that it’s a problem. First off, as I mentioned before, I don’t like the name. Personally I would’ve called the series “Spider-Man and His Amazing Family” (a play off the old “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” cartoon and the “Ultimate Spider-Man” comic story arc), but whatever.

    I think the main reason to use the name was to keep consistent branding with the original miniseries. It makes it more clear that these two go together.

    “I don’t want Annie to have equal time to Peter…”

    Well, you can’t be wrong about what you’d like. I’d personally like to see some stories where MJ and Annie are the leads, but it remains to be seen how that goes and if it would work if that’s what happens.

    “…and I don’t think Mary Jane would essentially be pushing to become “Spinneret” on a daily basis. I think she should siphon Peter’s powers when it’s necessary, but I don’t think she’d see fighting crime as her vocation.”

    I agree the question why MJ wants to a superhero on a regular basis is a little hazy and one thing I wish was explored more. I suppose one could guess that her role in helping the family against Regent could have inspired her to want to be more active? (If they asked me to address the question, I’d probably pull from the “Doomed Affairs” comic — which specifically addressed how MJ felt about her role in Peter’s dual life, or lack thereof — and any number of the “Ultimate Spider-Man” stories that focused on how hard it was for her knowing her significant other could very well come back dead and her not being able to do much about it.)

    I do like that Conway is actually addressing the adjustment period, as everyone is still trying to figure out how to make this work. It makes the “MJ as a superhero” idea more character-driven and so gets me more invested in the story, as opposed to just coasting on the “coolness” of seeing this new approach. At any rate, I think it’ll help the story age better as the novelty wears off.

    1. Rats, forgot to list the second reason why I didn’t think calling the comic “The Amazing Spider-Man” was a problem. Basically, I took it as an overall brand name, like how in “Star Trek,” the “Star Trek title isn’t limited to the shows and movies with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest, but cover TNG, DS9, etc. as well.

      So when I read the title, I didn’t think that it limited the main cast to being Peter. My two cents, at any rate. Your mileage may vary.

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