- Written by: Zeb Wells
- Art by: John Romita Jr.
- Colors by: Scott Hanna
- Letters by: Marcio Menyz
- Cover art by: John Romita Jr.
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: April 27, 2022
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 follows Peter Parker after he returns to NYC after a 6-month absence following a catastrophic event in Pennsylvania. When he arrives home, he finds he’s on the outs with all his friends and family because they love him but don’t love how he disappeared without explanation or contact. Struggling to get back into a normal routine (and find a job), Peter suddenly finds himself in the middle of an escalating mob war.
Was It Good?
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is the type of comic that will make you say “Huh? What? What’s happening right now?”. That can be a way to build curiosity going forward but in this case, the story dips very close to the line that separates curiosity and frustration.
Focusing on the story first, a massive explosion levels a large section of an area near York, Pennsylvania. The source of the explosion and the subsequent damage it causes (aside from the large crater) is never quantified, and why Spider-Man was present and the only survivor is never mentioned again in the issue.
Six months later, Peter comes back to NYC to resume his “normal” life in an apartment has been paying for out of his own pocket and to find a job. Throughout the issue, Peter meets or crosses paths with everyone from Aunt May to Johnny Storm. They all express how they love him but are hurt, mad or disappointed in his disappearance and lack updates. On the one hand, Wells does a good job of painting life for Peter that’s as depressing and miserable as possible (without dying). On the other hand, the lack of information about the explosion, where Peter went for six months, and why he chose to cut himself off from his circle of friends and family verges on frustrating. Again, the line between curiosity and frustration is a very thin one, and Wells may be crossing that line for some readers with this issue.
Peter tries to get back into the swing of things (*heh*) when he happens across a black market weapons deal between Tombstone’s crew and the Rose’s gang. Spider-Man intervenes and the whole deal goes belly up, giving Tombstone a very personal reason to target Spider-Man since the deal-gone-bad has given the Rose an excuse to encroach on Tombstone’s territory.
The most amusing part of the issue is a later conversation between Tombstone and Peter Parker where Tombstone asks to relay a message to Spider-Man. Peter takes the impromptu meeting with uncharacteristic bravado that plays out well, giving you the impression Peter is more confident in his abilities against a tough villain.
Beyond the initial setup, the biggest headscratcher is a peek into the home life of MJ Watson where we learn she has a husband/boyfriend and two children(?!?) This last page twist either throws the timeline into question or something completely off. Wells is getting the reader to ask questions, but he’s inviting too many of the wrong questions for some tastes. I’m intrigued by the developments, but the answers need to come sooner than later.
Regarding the art, it’s the typical Romita Jr. style. Lots of hatching (lots and lots and lots of hatching), strangely wide faces, but a unique look overall. If you like Romita Jr.’s style, this is more of the same but nearly as bad as his run on Superman.
Bits and Pieces
The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a decent start to the run by Zeb Wells. Peter starts in a bad place, and things only go downhill. Wells does a nice job of setting up the central conflict, but the lack of information about Peter’s absence and the lack of clarity about the twist ending may cause some readers to feel more annoyed and frustrated than curious.