It's a wonderful annual
Peter Parker and his co-worker Grady are working on a time displacement machine at Horizon Labs when Parker is accidentally erased from history! When he arrives in New York City in the new present day, he finds that the world is a much different place without Spider-Man or Peter Parker. The only problem is that it might be better off without him.
The great thing about annual issues of popular characters is that we get a break from the huge continuity and plot lines that are going on in the main titles. They’re not always bad, but it’s good to get a burst of fresh air with a one-shot or single contained story that’s just there for the sake of telling a story.
This is one of those annuals that can really make you appreciate those isolated stories.
Brian Reed writes a version of Parker and Spider-Man that’s a good split between the serious, hardworking hero and the witty quipster with web shooters. There were some great science fiction and It’s a Wonderful Life moments where Parker was reliving memories and seeing the fallout of never existing. It was an all around enjoyable take on the wall crawler.
The art by Lee Garbett had a very impressive shift to the original Spider-Man art back in the sixties. Even the coloring and inking looked just like an issue you’d of found when Stan Lee had introduced the character back in the early days of Marvel Comics. An added bonus is that the supporting characters look and feel authentic as well, which really helps an ensemble story.
The only down point I can really think of is that Uncle Ben didn’t feel quite right to me in this issue. You can argue that he’s a different version of the character, what with time travel and all, but he seemed to speak in a way that felt a little too modern for an old-fashioned character. Still, it’s always nice to see him assure Parker that he’s doing the right thing.
Marvel has really been turning out some great content lately. I haven’t been keeping up on the regular Amazing Spider-Man title, but this story is worth any casual Spider-Fan’s time.