Writer: David Morrell
Artist: Klaus Janson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
When it was announced that Marvel was releasing new issues of the Amazing Spider-Man many people wondered if they were bringing back Peter Parker for good. Many speculated that Pete was going to retake his body from Otto and the Amazing Spider-Man was going to return.
However this is not the case.
Issue 700.1 is a story from the early days of the title, so instead of a continuation of Peter’s story this is a glimpse at further adventures he had when he wore the costume. It takes us back to a young Parker working for the Daily Bugle under J. Jonah Jameson and heralds us back to a classic age of the character. Aunt May is still living in her home in Forrest Hills and Peter is single and living on his own. This is the premise of this new series; it is a side story in the narrative of Peter Parker not a rebooting of the franchise.
The story is titled Frost and takes place in the midst of the biggest blizzard New York has ever seen. As a montage of the heroic deeds Spidey is doing all over the city, Parker gives us the narrative that he is getting colder and loosing energy and strength. This will be a theme throughout the issue and is explained a little bit by Peter explaining his theory of why spiders die in the winter. Meanwhile it is back to the glory days of good old J.J. as he is editor of the Bugle and is still ranting and raving about how much of a menace Spider-Man is.
It was fun to see J.J. back in this style; while he always finds Spider-man to be a menace it was even more maniacal when he was working at the paper as opposed to being the Mayor. His conspiracy theories and his use of Munchausen Syndrome to explain why Spider-Man as a threat is simply fantastic and it’s nice to see some of it in a book today. We are always getting the mad cap accusations even to this day but there is just something about him doing it when he was in charge of a paper that reached hundreds if not thousands of people and allowed him an outlet for his opinions. To me this is the high point of the book and is the couple of pages I thoroughly enjoyed.
Morrell has not given us any type of villain in this issue or a nefarious plot that Spidey has to overcome. Will we get one in 700.2? That remains to be seen however for the starting of a tale to bring back some nostalgic feelings for Parker it was a pretty good story to start with. It showed the love between Parker and Aunt May and even the love they still have for Uncle Ben. The story showed that they miss him and that even now his thoughts, ways and words still affect both of them in very spectacular ways. These were some of the things that made a lot of us flock to Peter and what made us identify with him so much. He wasn’t just a superhero who could do anything and always save the day; he had demons and faults but also had love and affection from those around him. He felt the pain of loss and the need to prove himself. That was what made Peter Parker so Amazing!
Now while I have gone on record to say how much I love Otto as Spider-Man and I still do, I will not deny that it was great to see Peter again. This was the Peter I grew up with and loved, no wife, no bigger plans, just him working and looking after his Aunt. That was always my Parker and this issue brought back the memories of reading his early adventures and me saying this is a guy like me. So if you have missed Pete and want to read some really fantastic material this is the book for you.
So from Spin to all of you I give this issue a Spider-Sensing
4 out of 5 nerds