I heard good things about Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run, so why not take a look at it? Sure, I could just maybe ask Jimmy, but I figure I can check for myself.
As such, I read the first trade for that run, subtitled Back to Basics.
Yes, Peter Parker is back to basics. Advanced computers determined Doctor Octopus wrote his dissertation (technically true), and as such, he loses his degree and his newspaper job. That disappoints Aunt May big time. He also lost the big company Otto built in his name and body, and somehow the Kingpin is Mayor of New York. Fisk has his own plan involving making the rest of the superhero community hate Spider-Man.
I am surprised that works. You’d think at least Daredevil would know a Wilson Fisk scheme when he sees one. Or whatever is the right verb for Daredevil.
There are some things going Peter’s way. Mary-Jane is back in his life. Curt Connors is looking to help him professionally. And he even has a nice new apartment. True, one of his roommates is hapless C-list villain Boomerrang, but Peter knows that much even if Boomerrang doesn’t know Spider-Man is in the next bedroom.
And then something splits Peter and Spider-Man into two people. What part of this character is all Peter and what is Spider-Man? And how different would the individual halves be without the other? Those are good questions, and it’s obviously in Peter’s best interests to get his superpowered alter-ego back.
Spencer’s story is actually a lot of fun. It set up a new status-quo for Peter. We get some familiar faces back like Mysterio, and also a nameless new villain who scares the crap out of other bad guys,. There’s the promise of more classic Spidey foes on the horizon, and the final story, while a bit light, was fun. Spider-Man always works best when he’s fun. 8.5 out of 10 hapless cyborgs.