Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #1 (Story 1)

 Posted: 2004


Peter Parker's got a leg up on his new life, but can his obsession surrounding the new Spider-Man pull him back into the good fight? Is a bear Catholic?

Story 'Power Without Responsibility!'

It's a scene that people at the Bugle assume happens all the time, but one we've rarely seen; Peter Parker snapping photos on the sidelines while the web-slinger mops up the baddies. But wait! If Pete's behind the camera, who's in the webs? (You might not want to find out.) Spider-Man's trying to stop a jailbreak, but isn't quite up to speed as a new mercenary called the Ranger breaks free from his bonds and escapes the scene.

Back at the Bugle, Betty gets upset that J.Jonah rewrote her Spider-Man piece, implicating webhead as an accomplice. The recently re-instated editor Robbie Robertson (when he'd come back?) assures Betty her piece will retain the original, and sends her and Peter on assignment to interview Presidential hopeful Senator Ward. Peter gets a '911' page from Aunt May, but she won't answer the phone. So, he slips on his promise a little and uses the rooftops as a convenient route home. When Peter asks Aunt May about the page, May remembers that Mary Jane is returning home the next day from her whirlwind modeling lifestyle.

The next day at JFK, MJ and Peter have a passionate reunion, but it's quickly overshadowed by the arrival of Senator Ward. The chaos caused by the press gets even more hectic when the Ranger (remember him?) leaps from the shadows, headed for the Senator! Peter wrestles with his conscience, flashing back to the death of his Uncle Ben. His worries are abated when Spider-Man arrives on the scene. Spidey keeps the villain occupied, but only for a while. Ranger jumps down to the tarmac, disables the bodyguards, only to come face-to-face with... Peter Parker! He gives Ranger a toned-down punch, which doesn't do much. That distraction gives Spidey all the time he needs to jump the Ranger, and pummel him silly. Seems like this new Spider-Man has issues, because he's taking them all out on the Ranger. The villain is subdued, Spidey leaps away, and Peter wonders whether he's made the right choices.

General Comments

No sir, I didn't like it.

First off, let me say my piece on my two new least-favorite characters - J.Jonah Jameson and Aunt May. Both seem to have been pulled out of Spider-Man comics from the 70's! They're so 2-dimensional, they could slip through door cracks. Jameson was just getting to the point of being a human being before this whole Final Chapter crap started, now he's just a plot device. And speaking of plot devices, why why WHY did Aunt May come back from the grave? So she could offer Peter tea and talk on the phone to Aunt Anna? The last thing Peter needs is more responsibility! Damn, give the guy a break! Hopefully Aunt May will get taken out by random violence or a stray bullet or something, cause I sure as hell can't stand her!

I can't stand the Parker's new digs either - it's just not them. I liked it better when him and MJ were scraping by. It gave them character up next to the Tony Stark's of the Marvel Universe. Now, they're just another jet-setting couple, living in the lap of luxury that all main character's enjoy. Thanks to John Byrne and his 3D modeling software for screwing something else up (again).

The story was pretty predictable - it's inevitable that Peter will resume as Spider-Man, and the story doesn't even leave that to doubt. The new Spider-Man mystery gave us some fun for a while, but now even that cat's out of the bag (but I'm not going to spoil it for you), the fun is gone. In fact, it seems like the fun is gone out of it all.

For the first issue of a reboot, this issue reminds me of the really bad Friends of Humanity story-arc from a year or so ago. Nothing amazing happened, the only new face was a rather lackluster villain with standard shtick, and Mackie is introducing even more characters that no one cares about. The parts that might have been enjoyable aren't, and the whole thing comes off like a slow month at Marvel, instead of a badly needed jump-start to an injured series.

Overall Rating

The first issue of a series, even a re-boot, should give us something to look forward to, and this one fails miserably at that. I hope that this book gets better, quick. Right now, I couldn't care less about Peter, his stupid Aunt, or anyone in the Spider-realm. And that, my friends, is a bad sign.

One web, and that's for the cover art.

 Posted: 2004