Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 (Marvel Comics)
While I’ve enjoyed Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert’s Spectacular Spider-Man series, there hasn’t been a lot done with it to make it stand out from its bigger brother, Amazing Spider-Man. However, all that’s set to change now that Marvel Legacy has set in, and the rebranded Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 raises the stakes and the action in this series considerably.
Faced with trying to protect his “sister” Theresa Durand, Peter Parker has now been put in the crosshairs of The Grey Blade and The Tinkerer, who’ve sent a team of mercenaries to track down Peter Parker and Spider-Man to get to her. A majority of Peter Parker #297 is a huge action set piece, as Peter Parker must make his way through his apartment building and escape without revealing he’s Spider-Man, which is easier said than done.
Despite the fact that this issue barely covers the fact that Spidey revealed his identity to J Jonah Jameson last issue (aside from a quick reference when Jonah arrives to save him), I have to say, this is the strongest script Chip Zdarsky has done on the series. A good mix of jokes and action, this issue is a great showcase for Zdarsky being more than just the “quirky comic guy” that he built a name for himself on with Howard the Duck. The only gripe I have is that this issue and the series in general, don’t really fit in with where the other Spider-Man titles are currently in the Marvel universe. An editor’s note giving us some kind of idea of the chronology of this story would clear this up pretty easily.
On the art side of things, I have to admit, Adam Kubert has been a little lackluster with this series. However, like Zdarsky’s script, this issue has some of his strongest work on the title, which is a pretty big relief. I was worried that Kubert was going to fall into the “established artist who’s phoning it in” that we’ve seen a lot of lately, but that’s not the case here, as there are some really awesome and dynamic action pages in this issue, especially when Spidey makes his way though the mercenaries in his way.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #297 is a pretty easy issue to jump into, but you might want to go back and grab the issues from the start of this run before it was renumbered to get the full story. Zdarsky and Kubert really brought their A game for this issue, so here’s hoping they can keep it going for the rest of the story arc.