As a property, Spider-Man has hit a new golden age, with critical hits left and right with video games, involvement in the Avengers films, a live action movie slated for a July 2019 release and the acclaimed reception of Into The Spider-Verse. With all that attention, it is sometimes hard to remember that the draw for the web-slinger is rarely just the bombastic superheroics, but the character lying behind the thwips and quips.
Tom Taylor brings Spider-Man back to his friendly neighborhood roots in a surprisingly calm first issue that establishes who Peter Parker is even more than Spider-Man. Peter takes the spotlight away from his alter-ego to show that the mask doesn't define who he is as a person. The only real time Parker is in costume is at the beginning for a brief bit of superheroics which ultimately boil down to giving a look at Peter's altruistic characteristics, rather than going for an action right from the off.
There's a clear dedication to establish where Peter is in his life, and the book never loses the inspirational nature of the character. However, the plot does mean that Peter Parker gets involved in the troubles of one of his neighbours, leading to a kidnapping and then being saddled with a pretty big twist at the end of the issue.
The art by Juann Cabal, with colors by Nolan Woodard, play up the strengths of Tom Taylor's writing brilliantly. The crisp clean linework and the softer colour palette is designed to ground the characters involved, allowing for expressive faces without over-complicating character models without losing any detail.
For being the fantastic start to a brand new series, a wonderful look at the altruistic and fundamental nature of Peter Parker outsode of the melodrama, and looking spectacular throughout, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 is a must-read. Five stars.
Learning to read from his parents' old comic book collection, ink has flowed through his blood since he was born! And now, the self-proclaimed Comic Archivist (at least on Youtube) brings his talents for comic book history and obscurity to WhatCulture! Be warned: he's a Cyclops fanboy and a Nightwing groupie!