Review: Amazing Spider-Man #648

Published on November 15th, 2010

The past few years have been rough on Spider-Man.  Love it or hate it, “Brand New Day” has dumped Peter Parker’s life in the gutter.  But, that’s allabout to change, because “Brand New Day” is over and “Big Time” has begun!

Amazing Spider-Man #648 is the first issue of the “Big Time” story arc.  It’s written by Dan Slott with incredible art by Humberto Ramos.  “Big Time” is the official end of the “Brand New Day” period in Spider-Man history (story arc really isn’t a fitting description because it has been going on for a couple years now).

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Before “BND” Peter made a deal with the devil to save Aunt May’s life that resulted in history being rewritten so that the marriage to his longtime love, Mary Jane, never took place.  What followed took Peter back to the life he was leading in late 70’s/early 80’s comics.  He’s been a single guy, strapped for cash trying to make it as a photographer.  He has also, being single, been playing the field a bit.  “BND” has been pretty polarizing among the fans, some loved it, others hated it (like me).  It felt like a rehash of stuff that Marvel had already done with Spider-Man at the expense of over 20 years of history that it erased.  It was the same “Parker Luck” stories over and over again with little in it that was new or fresh.

But, “Big Time” finally starts moving Peter forward.  The story starts with the Avengers, lead by Spider-Man, battling Dr. Octopus’ latest threat to NY: giant octopus robots!  For me, that never gets old.  Eventually, Doc Ock activates the robots’ self destruct which only has a two and a half minute countdown.  While Reed Richards and Iron Man are trying to disarm the detonator, Spider-Man realizes that it’s almost 2am with daylight savings time about to kick in.  He quickly syncs the timer to the octo-bot’s operating system which resets the timer to give them another hour to figure out how to disarm the self destruct.

The rest of the book is mainly Peter trying to find a new place to live since Michele, his roommate, is moving out to help her recently paroled brother get back on his feet.  Peter tries Randy Robertson, Flash Thompson, his boring new girlfriend Carly (who is apparently now a roller derby girl, making her just a little less boring for me) and finally Mary Jane.  Everyone shoots him down so Peter has to psych himself up to beg Aunt May if he can move back in.

When he gets there he is confronted by Marla Jameson, Jonah Jameson’s wife.  Earlier, Aunt May asked Marla (her step-sister-in law since May married Jonah’s father) to help Peter find a job so she takes Peter to Horizon Labs to meet a man named Max Modell.  At Horizon, Modell offers Peter a job in Horizon Lab’s young think tank after Peter stops a piece of artificial vibranium from destroying the building.

I really loved this book.  The art is fantastic, the story is shaping up to be really great, but what’s best about this book…it’s fun again.  My biggest complaint about “Brand New Day” was that it was just bland, boring and a drag.  This was really fun, and interesting and it moves Peter Parker forward as a character instead of just rehashing what has already been done in previous comics.  Take my advice, jump on this book!  It’s going to go places fast!  Oh, and there’s some cool stuff they’re doing with some Spidey villains in this book, too.  It looks pretty cool so I won’t spoil it, but trust me, READ THIS BOOK!

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com