Peter Parker’s life is not going so well in The Amazing Spider-Man #1. While for a few moments it seems like life is good, with a new position at The Daily Bugle as Science Editor, he is almost on top of the world. Success is fleeting, and it all comes crashing down.
The love of his life, MJ Watson, is a close friend and nothing more. His graduate degree is revealed to be a fraud, even though he has a complicated explanation. While Wilson Fisk, Mayor of New York has engaged in trying to destroy all heroes in New York, he is trying to honor Spider-Man.
Being honored by an enemy has split his friendship with the other heroes. When Spider-Man shows up to help against an alien invasion, he is looked at with derision. Every hero from Old Man Logan to Luke Cage, don’t want Spider-Man there.
Parker has been labeled a cheat, disliked by his friends, fired from his job, lost the support and faith of his beloved Aunt May, but at the lowest of his life, Peter Parker is able to shove all that aside and still save the day as Spider-Man.
Spider-Man by nature is a character that needs the support and love of his family. In The Amazing Spider-Man #1 we see Peter Parker lose that respect and love from his cherished, Aunt May. So much that cannot be explained easily has happened to help Peter along the way, and now when a question is raised about his success and abilities, Peter is at a loss to explain, and is shoved aside by his peers and friends.
I like how the reality of today is transferred to the comic. Peter doesn’t get a chance to explain why his grad thesis appears to be a forgery. He is fired immediately. Today accusations are made, and people are forced out of their job.
What makes me enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man #1 more than the recent reboots of some other famous Marvel characters like Iron Man and Thor, is that Peter Parker has always experienced more down to earth problems that everyone can connect too. It’s hard to see yourself in the light of an Asgardian god or a billionaire like Tony Stark. Peter Parker is the common person, the one who even though he has man in his title, is just a kid trying to make it in the world.
Peter Parker has experienced much in his young life with a common thread; that the people he loves always end up paying for his mistakes. His love for MJ Watson has forced Peter to end their relationship so that he doesn’t put her in danger, which has resulted in Peter being alone.
Writer Nick Spencer has created an interesting story where Peter Parker is in a rut, but so is one of his enemies, Mysterio. Whereas Parker is trying to do the right thing, Mysterio is in a rut as a villain and plots an attack on the world. While serious themes are being discussed throughout the comic, the humor is there too. After apprehending Mysterio, Parker listens as the bad guy details how he was in a rut and thought he would change things up and go for the brass ring by trying to kill all the heroes in the world at once.
There are a lot of interesting ideas presented in The Amazing Spider-Man #1. Peter acknowledges that he knew his graduate degree was done by Otto Octavius, and did nothing about it. Peter admits that it’s not like he didn’t know what Octavius wrote about, in fact Parker came up with a better theory, he just chose to take the diploma rather than dealing with the mess of explaining his story of Octavius impersonating him.
The subtitle to this comic is Back to Basics, and by the end of the comic, Parker has gone back to basics, he reconnects with MJ, and rather than diminishing Watson as just the girlfriend, writer Spencer has given us her voice, when she says she is in this with Parker together. Peter Parker may have lost his job and become a public disgrace, but he has the love of his life back. He is back to basics, and I am certainly excited to see how this storyline will play out.