Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #241

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This review was first published on: 2004.


After the events of last month's REVELATIONS storyline, Peter Parker has officially resumed the role of Spider-man. Now, in "A New Day Dawning," Peter and his wife Mary Jane must pick up the pieces and begin their lives anew.

In Detail...

"A New Day Dawning"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #241
Dec 1996 : SM Title
Summary: Rebirth, First Mad Jack
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils:  Luke Ross
Inker:  John Stanisci
Cover Art:  Luke Ross
Staff Only
Articles: Watson, Anna, Chameleon, Kafka, Dr. Ashley, Jack O'Lantern III (Daniel Berkhart), Jameson, J. Jonah, John Jameson (Man-Wolf), Mary Jane Watson-Parker

J.M. DeMatteis comes back on board as the regular writer of Spectacular Spider-man beginning with this issue, and he does it with style. In the first three pages, J.M. treats the readers to a touching and somewhat poetic look at the tragedies and triumphs endured by Peter over the past few years, setting the tone for the rest of the story and re-establishing Peter's role as a survivor in the often unstable world of the Marvel Universe.

DeMatteis mixes several touching scenes between Peter and Mary Jane (and other supporting characters, such as Aunt Anna, J. Jonah Jameson, and Jameson's son, John) with a subplot featuring Spider-man's first enemy, the Chameleon. By the end of the issue, the Chameleon has been freed from Ravencroft Asylum by his own doctor, Ashley Kafka, who is worried that cut-backs in funding and intrusive Federal agents will ruin the progress she has made with the fragile and damaged psyche of her patient.

In another interesting development, DeMatteis re-introduces the character of the Jack-o'-Lantern. At one time, Jason Macendale--the current Hobgoblin--wore the costume, but the identity of this new costumed criminal, first presented in issues of Captain America a few years back, remains unknown.

In General...

This issue did everything right. It paid tribute to the past without lingering on it for too long; it introduced two new subplots involving intriguing villains; it dealt with the emotional struggles inside both Peter and Mary Jane after losing a close friend and their own baby daughter; and it re-affirmed, for all of comicdom, the role of Peter Parker as the one true Spider-man.

Overall Rating...

Five Webs. I don't hand them out easily, but this issue deserved each and every one of them. I've heard a few people disagree, but as far as I'm concerned, this was classic Spider-man. If DeMatteis continues to produce stories of this caliber, and artist Luke Ross maintains the extremely high level he's at right now, then their run on Spectacular Spider-man will have a chance to be remembered for a long, long time.