Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 was one of those books I told myself I wasn’t going to grab, but found myself walking out of the comic shop with. And while I don’t necessarily regret the purchase, I don’t feel like I would have been missing much if I’d skipped it.
The issue is titled “Learning to Crawl,” and it delves into the very early days of Spider-Man, when Peter is still reeling from Uncle Ben’s death and trying to figure out how to balance his new abilities, high school and aunt May’s towering debt. There’s a lot of page time given to Peter performing as Spider-Man for money in order to help with Aunt May’s bills. At this stage, he still hasn’t embraced the “With Great Power” side of things, and Spider-Man is just a way for him to make some quick cash. Peter’s school work starts slipping with all the time he’s dedicating to performing though, and Aunt May is concerned enough to enlist the aid of a school counselor to help peter process his feelings about what happened to Uncle Ben.
I like that Dan Slott is giving the early days of Spidey some room to breathe, and the subplot about a kid who is inspired by Spidey to become his own costumed vigilante is promising. But I don’t feel the issue did enough to justify a separate five-part miniseries. It feels like this could be a backup story in the proper ASM book.
There is some standout work in this issue, though. Artist Ramon Perez (whose work I fell in love with in Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and colorist Ian Herring do a fantastic job of capturing the feel of Steve Ditko-era Spidey. Their work makes this story feel as if it could slide in between Amazing Fantasy and Amazing Spider-Man.
And like I said, it’s not that this is a bad issue. I just feel like it should be part of ASM proper, instead of a full $3.99 comic.
3 out of 5 Backup Stories