Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #304 Review

by Harlan Ivester on May 09, 2018

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Adam Kubert
Color Artist: Jason Keith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            Messing up someone else’s timeline in order to fix your own sounds pretty irresponsible, Peter. Which means we have a pretty interesting set up for the next arc in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. We’re still dealing with time travel, but can this story work out the kinks the book had before? Signs point to maybe. Probably. Mild spoilers below.
            I’m in agreement with the admittedly pretty funny recap page: these time travel stories read a lot better if you don’t think about the rules too much. Either way, it won’t break the plot, and Zdarsky has used it to pave the way for a Spider-Man story that is fundamentally true to one of Spider-Man’s greatest flaws – his overreaching and trust issues – despite being about something that’s a bit bigger than his usual neighborhood. The results of Peter and co.’s meddling in the past invite complicated relationships that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Being such a bleak new present that they’ve arrived in, Zdarsky reels in the comedy to the point that I would say is right where it should be. Things are looking tough, but this still a Zdarsky book, so thankfully the story isn’t taking itself too seriously.
            I’m ashamed to say I missed the cool easter eggs that Joe Quinones left in the previous arc, namely the two Peters being dressed like their cartoon selves, or Peter wearing Tom Holland’s “Find X.” shirt. I love that Adam Kubert is carrying on the tradition by dressing up Gwen Stacy in a Spider-Gwen themed outfit (or I guess it’s more accurate to say Ghost-Spider). Captain America is bearing a pretty strong resemblance to a certain someone in a certain blockbuster movie in theaters now. Obviously, these aren’t make or break features, but they’re fun little details that will please readers of all types. The art itself is strong for the most part. Hands can look a little wonky, but they look good more than they look off, and it’s a nitpick at worst. Physiques have otherwise constant precision. In panels with more space, it’s impressive that faces show so much emotion while being less detailed than closer shots. A visit to Doctor Strange’s crib seems like a good way to get weird with the visuals, but it’s just flipped ninety degrees, and honestly, I just found it made those pages annoying to read. It’s a shame that they didn’t do more with it. This is a mostly pretty dark issue, so I hope that the plot later allows Jason Keith to branch out a bit more.
            So far, I like the set up for this arc more than I did the last one. It’s got just enough twists and turns that aren’t just there for shock value and they’re satisfying pay offs for loose threads left over from Amazing Fantasy. I look forward to seeing what happens with this so strangely lucky but tortured Peter. Having Adam Kubert on art is definitely a plus, but I hope the visuals start to match the tone of the dialogue better. Definitely follow up on the series if you enjoyed Amazing Fantasy, because this is surely it’s second part and builds off of it well.

Our Score:


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