Last issue, Peter Parker accidentally created a new super powered being, Alpha. Alpha turned out to be a teenager with absolutely no responsibility or respect for others. Spider-Man tried to take Alpha under his wing and train him to be a hero, but this teenager is an unlikable monster who wants fame above all else. This continues the story of Alpha, and Spider-Man’s attempts to teach him how to be a hero.
There are several things about this issue that feel like Dan Slott is poking fun at DC’s new 52. First, the cover; it feels like a satire of this month’s “0” issues. Second, there’s a girl from Alpha’s high school who is running Alpha’s fan page and she calls herself Lois Lane. She soon catches her crush with a cheerleader (Superman just started a relationship with Wonder Woman). Despite that, both of these apparent jokes fit well with the story in this issue, but is it any good?
For the most part, this issue is very good. Again, Spider-Man is forced to take on the kind of responsibility he never has before (as far as I know). He’s acknowledging that Alpha’s creation is his fault, and he even offers to leave his dream job at Horizon Labs because of the problems his “connection to Spider-Man” has brought them. He’s realizing that he’s very selfish at times. This storyline is very interesting so far and it could go in so many different directions.
The art is fairly good too. Character expressions, while exaggerated, are expressive enough for what everyone is feeling. There’s a moment towards the end where Alpha mentions a poster of a girl he’s making out with, and looking back there’s actually a poster of that girl in his room. While I won’t call the art great, it’s certainly good enough to help carry this story.
As good as this issue is, I’m a little concerned about where this story will go. While Alpha is fairly unlikable, I’m pretty sure that’s intentional. Will he smarten up, will he be depowered, or will this end in disaster? I’m sure Slott can make it work either way, but I’m still a little concerned.
Even with my concerns, this is a great issue. It takes Spider-Man in a different direction that we usually see. There’s plenty of humour to keep this issue entertaining. The recap page will be enough for new readers to understand what’s going on, although I recommend you also pick up the previous issue as well since it’s the anniversary issue, and it’s very good. This issue is an easy recommendation for Spider-Man fans or those who want to check him out.