STORY BY Dan Slott
ART BY Matteo Buffag
PULISHER: Marvel Comics
Since the Secret Wars, Marvel has had a two-part solution to its universal problems. On one hand, they have kept the status quo with books like Thor, All New X-Men and Spider-Woman. On the other they’ve tried to re-package some of its popular heroes. Sometimes this works as with the All New Wolverine other times you are left with the Amazing Spider-Man.
Peter Parker, leaving his loser tag, is now head of the Parker Industries. Supplying S.H.I.E.L.D with cutting edge tech, starting a non-profit charity to supply humanitarian aid, with the help of his alter-ego. So, like Marvel, Parker has a problems on two fronts; enemies of Parker and of Spider-Man.
Long time Spidey scribe Dan Slott is on hand to untangle the webs that have been woven. Slott writes in an energetic fashion which may add pace to the story but the frenetic style also allows for potential sub plots to be glazed over. This issue is part one of an arc called The Dark Kingdom and with the inclusion of the Mister Negative you can get an idea of where this story is going even before we see Reverse Cloak and Reverse Dagger. Dialogue wise, I am on shaky ground. At first glance it all sounds very “Spidey style”, that is until you take a look at the details. The song Wrecking Ball makes an appearance which I find a tad befuddling due to its age, and the video’s notoriety which seems to fly in the face of this books age target.
Marvel veteran Matteo Buffagni provides the art for the book. Much like the dialogue, the art is a mixed bag. There is movement through the panels, especially within the opening act, however this makes way for some non-descript Peter Parker moments, before a very awkward Spider-Man makes an entrance. Colors are provided by Marte Gracia who does a solid job.
Now, I have been a comic book fan long enough to know that characters go through a level of revision. Sometimes its subtle, other times its Mecha Bat Rabbit! This book falls into the latter for me. Sure Parker is a brain, but on Stark level? Also, by having him successful takes away the things I liked about the character. I liked the whole “can’t pay the rent”, “girl troubles” that went with Parker’s life.
Now, the book just seems like an Iron Man type of deal, with just a different costume, an idea that seems to have also recently confused Mary Jane Watson.