Amazing Spider-Man. Issue 679.1. Comic Book Review!

(Slott. Yost. Palmer. Schwager.)

This issue marks a collaboration between Chris Yost and Dan Slott as co-writers of the title, allowing Dan Slott to begin work on the ‘next big event’ for Spider-Man. Normally events can drag, but the prospect of an issue every two weeks or so should make the pace rather interesting.

It also serves as a .1 issue, which, I guess, means that it’s designed to bring new readers up to speed quickly. Does it work?

Well, I’d be a good judge of that. I read the last issue of ASM and liked it, even if I didn’t really have that much of an idea of what was going on. So this issue is a nice change of pace, setting up a mini-story and serving as a nice introduction to the themes that Yost and Slott want to work with.

It revolves around the return of one character (Morbius, the living vampire) and the introduction of a second (Uatu Jackson), showing the different ways both approaches can work. Morbius is given increased depth by going down the Dr. Connors route, showing someone fighting against the nature of his condition to find a cure and heal others thusly. On the flipside, Uatu is a self-proclaimed monster hunting teenager who just wants to do awesome stuff. It’s a nice way of contrasting different attitudes to the supernatural, and puts Spider-Man in the middle. He didn’t choose to hunt monsters like Uatu for kicks, but does… and at the same time he didn’t choose to help humanity for noble reasons, but rather to alleviate guilt over what happened to Uncle Ben.

Essentially, the story arc suggests that Peter isn’t either extreme, and yet he could be doing a lot more than he’s doing.

The artwork is crisp and precise, borrowing from the terrific artwork on the new Daredevil that likes finding new ways to showcase Daredevil’s radar sense. Here we get a ‘blood sense’ of sorts from Morbius, as he becomes consumed by ‘the hunger.’ Amidst this is a genuinely funny Twilight joke, as well as Spider-Man’s exasperation that he’s seen as the bad guy when Morbius was eerily close to eating his best friend. It’s a logical beat, if you have to have Spider-Man as the put upon character at least show that it makes a degree of sense. Max, the best friend in question, rightly assumes the presence of Spider-Man doesn’t exactly help Morbius.

An enjoyable issue, then. It’s nice to see the comic is maintaining a sense of fun, rather than having Spider-Man mope all the time. He’s still moping, just around rather cracking adventures.

Grade: B+

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