BOOK REVIEW 2
Looking for a new spin on a tried and true concept? Then you should check out the latest iteration of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman in Spider Man: Amazing Origins. You have seen the films reboot this Marvel franchise multiple times and this one reboots the comic itself with another take on Spidey’s origin, updated for a new audience while still staying true to the characters core.
This new turn on the character coming from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Neil Edwards is both dynamite and dynamic. The story starts in familiar territory with Peter Parker as a normal high school student dealing with everyday problems, even though he has above average smarts. In fact, he is first in his science class, which gains him a trip to a local science demonstration where he gets bitten by that old pesky radioactive spider. Thus, Parker gains superhuman powers to go with his extraordinary smarts.
Trying to find a way to turn his new predicament into a win, Peter dawns a spider outfit to protect his identity and becomes a regular on a local talk show where he preforms stunts and feats of strength. But life changes forever for our plucky young hero when he lets a criminal escape from the police following an appearance on a show, because he sees it as not his problem or responsibility. However, Peter soon regrets his actions when the same criminal ends up murdering his uncle. So, Peter learns that with great power comes great responsibility.
This updating and rewrite of Spidey’s origin story hits most the right notes visually and in pros. But it is also just the beginning of the Parker’s story, because Peter finds the only way to honor his uncle’s legacy is by becoming a hero of New York City. But his goal rides roughshod against the aims of J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle, who wants to demonize the fledgling new superhero as little more than a masked criminal or vigilante in the eyes of the public. But Peter uses Mr. Jameson’s goal against him by selling him exclusive pictures of Spiderman and the elusive criminal the Vulture, who Spiderman confronts in an epic showdown that neither will soon forget.
But the Vulture is just the first in a long line of antagonists that this young iteration of Spidey must face. Indeed, from thieves that cosplay as Bugs Bunny to a mad scientist with robot arms, Peter Parker has his plate full. All of this while navigating the social land mines that every growing teenager must face, such as dealing with bullies like “Flash”, love interests like Gwen Stacy, and trying to maintain good relations with his good friends like Harry Osborn.
This recent version of Spiderman proves once again that being super does not mean you will not have normal problems. In fact, quite the opposite, you will have both normal and “super” trouble. Thus, Cullen Bunn’s excellent writing and Neil Edwards’ savvy visuals keeps true to Stan Lee’s vision of a regular teen with both ordinary and extraordinary problems.