Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man #302 Review

by Harlan Ivester on March 28, 2018

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciler: Joe Quinones
Inker: Joe Rivera
Colorist: Jordan Gibson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            It’s a nice change of pace to pick up a Spider-Man book that isn’t taking itself too seriously. Spectacular’s current arc is about time travel, and Zdarsky knows what to do and what not to do with such an absurd idea. While his run may have started off shaky, it’s hard to deny that his time writing the book has been a breath of fresh air for readers alike. This is one book that I now consistently look forward to reading. No spoilers.
            Amazing Fantasy part two still makes good use of the time travel mechanic to allow our older protagonists to reflect on the past. While last issue had them looking more towards their former selves, this one has them paying attention to the situations instead. Yes, it is weird to think that Peter and Flash are really good friends now, or that Jessica Jones got super powers and married Luke Cage. This is the substance that gives value to any sort of crazy story, especially one with super heroes from the future. I could be a little annoyed that a certain someone so easily defeats one of our heroes, but it’s a small complaint and it’s a step that raises the stakes while going in a direction that doesn’t get too serious for its own good. This issue also gives an answer to Teresa’s relationship with the Parkers, but she finds those answers in the past of an alternate timeline…. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but I’m not sure if that’s an answer that holds any value.
            Joe Quinones and Joe Rivera give Spectacular Spider-Man a very unique but friendly look. Thick outlines and faces that just pop out make each panel feel animated and really lively. Older Peter is a bit lacking in the neck department here or there, but otherwise body arrangement makes sense and looks natural for the given character (while young Peter has more awkward poses than his grown-up counterpart. Nice touch). Colorist Jordan Gibson makes smart use of shades of purple and red to create an ominous or dangerous atmosphere, or blue to create a sense of dread. If somebody ever doubts the importance of a color artist to a title, I’m going to show them the before and after of the pages in this issue. It truly is a world of difference in emotion and tone that make this emulate young Peter’s world so successfully.
            I’m glad that I gave this book another chance. Chip Zdarsky knows what he’s doing with this story and has shown great diversity in his strength. Between this and Marvel Two-in-One, he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite current writers at Marvel. It helps that he has such a talented team of artists to realize the script. If you haven’t already checked out this series, go back and pick up the last issue and get caught up with this one, too. It feels good to enjoy a Spider-Man book like this again.

Our Score:


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