THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #529
In which Spidey test drives his new costume, and Civil War gets underway.by Frank Pittarese
Spider-Man is my favorite superhero, and I’ve stuck with him through some ups (the early McFarlane years) and downs (the infamous Clone Saga). Lately, it’s been a lot of down.
The 12-part epic “The Other” amounted to a whole lot of nothing, and only served to add yet another layer of psuedo-spiritual mumbo jumbo atop Stan Lee’s fairly perfect science-fantasy origin for Spidey. It was: Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider, gaining its powers. It is: Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider, gaining its powers. But the spider may have chosen Peter, because on a higher, spiritual level, the Gods (or the Spider Gods) deem him to be the next in a long lineage of Spider men. But is he a man or is a he spider? Blah, blah, blah. Where’s the freakin' Green Goblin already?!?
Thankfully, that arc is over, but now we’re left with the aftermath. In the wake of Peter’s dying and returning to life, Tony Stark has built him a new Spider-Man costume. Because Tony is really Iron Man, it’s red and yellow and has lots of gadgets: mesh webbing which allows Peter to glide, bullet-resistant fabric, infra-red vision, a microwave communication system, and more. Spider-Man is now, essentially, Iron-Spider-Man. It’s not a hideous-looking suit, but it’s nowhere near as cool as the black costume Spider-Man wore back in the ’80s (which eventually “grew up” to become Venom). Still, it’s unnecessary to a ridiculous degree and really seems to exist as a plot point to further the upcoming Civil War crossover.
If that’s the case, I can live with it. Civil War will be over in a year, and by the time Spider-Man 3 hits theaters, I’m sure Peter will be back in his classic red-and-blues (and hopefully he’ll stop growing spikes out of his butt, or whatever he’s doing on the cover).
But y’all probably want to know if the issue was any good. Yes, it was. Peter tries out the suit and captures some crooks. He does the usual fight-n-quip thing that you either love or hate (I love). He’s romantic with MJ. He’s funny with and appropriately respectful of Tony Stark. And Ron Garney’s art is a blessing. His dynamic style is a far better fit than Mike Deodato's was in recent months.
Still, I’d like to see less of the Avengers in this title, and more of an effort made to rebuild Spider-Man's (and Peter’s) supporting case and private life. And some villains would be sweet. I miss ‘em.