Comic Review – Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #2 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“I’m the relatable super hero with relatable problems! Just ask my long-lost sister from my super-spy parents with Nazi g–.” Peter Parker

Up for another comic book review this week, and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man caught my eye. This isn’t a surprise really as I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming last week and really enjoyed it. As is the usual marketing strategy of course a new Peter Parker as Spider-Man series was  launched in time with Spidey’s long overdue solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Pencils – Adam Kurbert
  • Colourist – Jordie Bellaire
  • Letterer – VC’s Travis Lahman

Although this isn’t the first issue in the series its pretty easy to pick up what’s going from the first couple of pages – Spidey has come into conflict with Ironheart over a misunderstanding, while he’s trying to get to the bottom of whoever hacked a bunch of old Stark brand phones and made them untraceable for the criminal underworld to use. Although that’s being set up as the long running plot driver, it isn’t really what the issue is about. There’s a lot of catching up going on in this issue, one of the criticisms of the Marvel comic universe is the massive amount of backstory (seeing as the main universe has never been rebooted) that you won’t have when you pick up an issue so you won’t have the full picture on everything. To get around that issues like this exist and we get a crash course in who this version of Peter is, his Nazi fighting spy parents and not-sister etc. We also get to see Zdarsky’s interpretation of Spidey, who is a little bit of a screw-up in this series.

Art by Kubert & Bellaire

As a tone this is very much a tongue in cheek series, there’s a high degree of self-awareness and jokes at the expense of other events going on in the Marvel Universe.

The art is focused on character interactions throughout this relatively dialogue heavy issue. Action scenes are very much limited, so Kurbert’s line skills for facial expressions and body language are put to the test. He packs a lot of expression into each character and the colouring from Bellaire helps bring these scenes to life and helps bring out the personality in each of the characters. Finally, in conversation-based issues like this lettering is key, and Lahman has done a great job in using the limited space available to properly guide the reader’s eye throughout the issue.

But, the hands. How do they look? I am constantly surprised how much of a difference taking close note of the artist’s hand drawing skills makes. Especially in dialogue heavy issues like this hands portray so much of a character’s personality and add a lot both the conversation and perception of who they are. 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

This is an interesting start, don’t let my references to the amount of dialogue put you off. There is an interesting plot brewing here and the light hearted tone of the comic is refreshing when read at the same time as something like Secret Empire.

Score: 8 Really Expensive Coffees out of 10

Comic Book Review – Star Lord #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It’s not MY fault, I’m stranded on Earth with your STUPID drinking rules!.” Star-Lord

With the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 both out and a huge success I thought I’d pick up with Peter Quill in the main comics this week. Marvel are starting a new solo run with this Guardian of the Galaxy, bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Artist – Kris Anka
  • Colourist – Matthew Wilson
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
star-lord-cover

Cover by Anka

We pick things up after the events of Civil War 2. It’s not something you need to know the background on fortunately, we do find out early on though that the Guardian’s ship has been wrecked and Peter is stranded on Earth. Which he’s spending his time doing exactly what I plan to on Christmas Day – drinking far too much before lunch. He tries to make the best of things while he’s stuck on Earth by reconnecting with friends and getting out for a bit.

The scope of the comic is small, Star-Lord isn’t adventuring around the universe saving everyone but trying to cope with being bought down to Earth, literally. It doesn’t help that he is not the most popular vigilante amongst Marvel heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Zdarsky or Anka’s work before this comic, however their take on our hero trying to deal with day to day life is a great way to introduce new readers. We’re also treated to a couple of cameos which lighten the overall sombre mood of the comic.

star-lord-interior

Art by Anka, Wilson & Petit

The art at first appears simple but effective, but manages to match the fluctuating mood throughout the comic – light and fun to sombre and tense. The colouring feels very clean as well, Wilson and Anka teaming up to deliver a sense of texture and detail to the panels. Petit keeps the lettering minimalist to allow for broad and colourful scenes throughout the issue. Star-Lord also spends a fair bit of time shirtless if that’s your thing. However, although Anka and Wilson are great with chests, how are they with hands?

Can Anka draw hands? Being critical there are a couple of instances where the hands aren’t quite up to the rest of the art. That isn’t to say they’re bad as such, but simply aren’t quite as good as the rest of the art throughout the issue – one passer by caught in a cross fire and in a guest appearance by Wolverine his claws appearing to come out of his fingers Lady Deathstrike style, 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I really dug this as a start to a new series. Focusing on the small stuff and giving us a character in a more relatable environment helps make them more human and gives a surprising weight to the situation when things do go to hell. The writing and art team have also got off to a promising start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the work they can deliver.

Score: 8.75 Sarcastic Voice Messages out of 10