Marvel Comics has a lot of great stories from a lot of great storytellers. But every once in a while a great storyteller from another medium decides to step into the comic book world and tell their own story. The latest one is famed director/writer/producer J.J. Abrams.
Abrams and his son Henry are writing the latest Spider-Man series for Marvel, and it tells a very different store from the ones we’re familiar with.
The Abrams(es?) kick off their new story with Spidey a little worse for wear in the aftermath of a brutal fight, with MJ trying to get him up and out of danger. We’re then introduced to a menacing new villain known as Cadaverous before something terrible happens.
There have been quite a few funerals in Spider-Man comics in the past, but this one really hits hard. I won’t spoil anything, but you can probably guess what happens.
We then learn that the new comic series is actually set 12 years in the future, with the focus being on a teenaged Ben Parker, the son of Peter and Mary Jane. Peter, who lost an arm in the fight with Cadaverous, isn’t around very often and Ben is left under the guidance of Aunt May.
The struggling teenager is causing problems in school and trying to cope without his father and with what he’ll eventually find out is a little more than just teenaged hormones.
This comic is a great introduction to a story we haven’t seen before. Peter Parker has had to overcome some tragedies in his life before but none quite like this. And now, on top of that, he also needs to stop blaming himself (something we know he’s always struggled to do) and be a father for Ben as well.
The dialogue feels very genuine and reads as if you’re watching a movie, like one perhaps directed by J.J. Abrams. One panel in particular, featuring an argument between Ben and Peter, really stood out to me as movie-like, with overlapping word bubbles signifying their inability to listen to each other before jumping to their next point.
Ben is a very likable character who readers will easily get behind as they dive into this new series. Plus, the older, Keanu Reeves-looking Peter Parker with a hook for a hand has potential to be a great supporting character. It’s a Spider-Man origin story, but one unlike any we’ve ever seen.
There’s also the mystery of the new villain. Cadaverous is still out there, and we get a brief glimpse of him in the future but really have no answers as to who he is or what his motivation is. It does seem clear though that we have not seen the last of him in this series.
And as for ben dealing with more than just those hormones, well it looks like Aunt May has her work cut out for her again.
“Spider-Man #1” from J.J. and Henry Abrams is available now.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”