Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos continue spinning their Spider-Man tales in the newly relaunched The Amazing Spider-Man.
This series picks up right after the end of the hit Superior Spider-Man title that caught everyone off guard with a premise that seemed to doomed to failure from the start but that proves to be all the more compelling for it (though Marvel’s All-New X-Men probably takes the cake in that department). The first half of the series deals with Spidey trying to readjust and get used to all the things that have changed while Doctor Octopus was using his body as a meat suit. After his time away, it’s great to have Peter back, along with Slott’s snappy writing for him, but it’s in the new elements of the series that the problems begin to creep up.
The way Slott handles Anna Maria, Doc Ock’s love interest, doesn’t ring true and really feels like it’s largely brushed aside before being resolved in a way that I found jarring.
The second half of the series also introduces a new character to the series who brings some interesting dimensions and sets up future ramifications, but their characterization is full of implausibility and their voice lacks any individuality next to Spidey – a problem when they become a key component for a great deal of the volume.
I’m hoping that in this first volume Slott just wanted to focus on delivering the action-packed goodies and one-liners Spider-Man fans have come to expect and is biding his time to get to some proper characterization and fill in some gaping holes.
That said, all the elements that make The Amazing Spider-Man series amazing are there – Spidey is back and Slott’s team-up with Ramos still remains a strong one. The Original Sin tie-in affects the book in a big way, for better or worse, and shakes things up like it’s been doing with most other books.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Spider-Man Vol. 1 was still a great read and is plenty of fun, and many fans won’t be disappointed. I’m excited about what Slott alludes to and has waiting in store, and I look forward to a second volume that’s even more solid than the first. Above all, rest assured – your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back!