This is it, the 50’s anniversary issue of Spider-Man. For $6, you get a full sized story written by the title’s main current writer, Dan Slott, and two backup stories. The main story introduces a new super-powered character, although whether he’ll become a hero or a villain remains to be seen. The first backup story takes place when Spider-Man decided to quit superhero work, and the other back up story is mostly just a day in the life of Spider-Man. I’ll be talking about them individually, but they’re all good.
The first story is the only one that will likely affect the rest of the series. It almost focuses more on the new character, Alpha, than it does Spider-Man. Peter Parker is demonstrating a discovery of his to high school students. An “accident” occurs, and one of the students is given energy based superpowers. Unlike Parker however, this kid is very irresponsible with his powers and acts like a jerk to everyone.
Spider-Man is given the responsibility to watch over Alpha and teach him to be a hero. It’s nice to see Spider-Man take responsibility this way and actually act like an adult, which he hasn’t done much of before Slott took over. Besides the story, the art is good – no complaints there. While he’s a little unlikable, I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to like Alpha at this point.
The second story is about a crook who “borrows” Spider-Man’s costume just after he quit. It’s just a short story about a desperate man who is trying to find money for his sick granddaughter. It’s nothing special but it works. This story is drawn like a classic comic, with simpler colouring and simpler details in the background. It still looks good and clean though. While it’s the least good of the three stories, it’s also the shortest.
The third story is really just a day in the life of Spider-Man. He starts off with several amusing failed attempts at protecting people. He then saves a kid from bullies, and the two spend the rest of the day together. Spider-Man helps the kid by giving him some very good advice, while the kid reminds Spider-Man of how cool his life can be. It’s a nice story. The art’s pretty good too.
The only problem with the third story is that there’s a spelling mistake. When the Thing takes Spidey’s picture, Facebook is spelled as FFacebook. How’d that get past the editors?
This anniversary special is an easy recommendation. It’s a perfect jumping on point, it really captures where Spider-Man is today and it introduces a new character. The parallels between Spider-Man’s creation and Alpha’s creation really work for an anniversary issue. If you have any interest in trying out a Spider-Man comic, this is a great place to start. Just think – it’ll be his 700’s issue soon too.