Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #297

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Greg Brothers

When you hear the name Spider-Man, most readers have a certain version of the character in their mind. Many times, it is the geeky guy who, while having a heart of gold, has had his fill of bad luck. That changed quite a bit since Dan Slott’s run over on Amazing Spider-Man, which has seen Peter Parker become the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company. That view of Spider-Man as a continent hopping CEO did not work for many fans, who wanted a more down to earth and friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Enter Chip Zdarsky and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Peter Parker is a wanted man in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #297. A mysterious woman claiming to be his sister has entered his life, and it turns out that her blood has downloaded all the secrets of the world’s heroes and villains. While Peter was away meeting with J. Johan Jameson, police have surrounded the apartment. Peter, anxious to warn his sister, heads home, hoping to stash his web-shooters and Spider suit in order to keep from being caught.

It is that lack of his Spider-suit throughout most of the book that highlights the difference that Zdarsky brings. Peter is forced to use his brain and think about how he is going to avoid the police, as his spider-sense is on the fritz also. It is something that sometimes gets ignored during the action sequences that Peter is one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe so seeing him use that to problem solve is refreshing. Zdarsky has perfected Peter Parker’s voice in this run also, and it continues here. No matter how harrowing or stressful the situation is, there is a nice combination of zingers and self-depreciation.

Kubert’s Spider-Man is built as Peter should be built: muscular and athletic, but not too skinny as some like to draw him. His Jameson is subdued but with the classic look that anyone would recognize. While most of the book has a traditional 6-square panel layouts, they make some deviations. One that really stands out and looks amazing is when Peter must make his way to the basement of his apartment building. The stacked panels give the team a chance to play with movement from panel to panel.

Verdict: Buy it.

We are only 7 issues into Zdarsky and Kubert’s run on Spider-Man. You need to go grab issue six for the reveal in that book and then grab Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #297. Zdarsky is telling a story that highlights the best of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. He is stretching the character emotionally to show the importance that Peter Parker’s friends and family play in his life.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

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