Friday, April 15, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #658 - Review

The Fantastic Spider-Man Swings Into Action!

Peter Parker is just about to take his relationship with Ms. Charlie Cooper are about to "seal the deal" in their relationship when both are called away, Charlie by her job as a C.S.I. and Parker by the Future Foundation. When he shows up late at the Baxter Building, the former Fantastic Four harass him for wearing a costume stylized after their original color scheme. Since the death of The Human Torch, they've dropped the name Fantastic Four and have become The Future Foundation or FF instead, with Spider-Man as their fourth member. A series of rips through space and time are threatening reality, and it's up to the FF to try and stop it. The real problem that rises out of this evening isn't the shattering of reality, but the realization by Charlie that her boyfriend has been lying to her about where he goes at night.

Written by Dan Slott and drawn by Javier Pulido, this issue has a very nostalgic atmosphere and art style that reminds me of a Darwyn Cooke comic. The artwork is a mixture of modern and 1960's style use of line and color, and the villains feel like they were plucked right out of an old Jack Kirby book. The characters are well fleshed out and very believable, and the story is pretty fun as well. It kind of works as a bridge for people who didn't read FF #1, treating it like the web slinger's first adventure with the new team.

There was a lovely moment where Parker started complaining about his new suit, which does as he points out look like Anti-Venom, but all in all it's a pretty spiffy getup. The concept of Spider-Man trying to find his place on a team he's been friends with his entire superhero career seems like it would be easy, but Slott uses the opportunity to show that Parker was always more of a guest star, and that taking on a full time position isn't as easy as they all thought it would be. It's a great way to show how loss can affect a family/team so deeply, even when their friends are there to support them.

At the end of the book is a great short comic featuring Ghost Rider, where he and Spider-Man stop to have a drink in a bar. It leaves off with a cliffhanger, which I actually found to be pretty entertaining.

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