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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on January 09, 2019

Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencilers: Marcel Ferreira, Juann Cabal
Inkers: Roberto Poggi, Juann Cabal
Colorists: Nolan Woodard, Jim Campbell
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            I’ve got to be honest with you all. This one was not on my radar. Not until I saw Tom Taylor tweet that this issue had a pretty important revelation. Props to Marvel’s marketing team on that one. Still, I enjoyed Taylor’s All-New Wolverine series and what I’ve read of X-Men: Red, so he’s certainly given us plenty of reason to anticipate this new title.

            The main story in this issue isn’t exactly of the friendly neighborhood level like you might expect, but my favorite parts were the classic Spidey moments that serve to ground this story in comparison. Just check out that first page. So Spider-Man. Those are sprinkled throughout the pages and they mesh well with the actual plot, so I think a major strength of this book is what it has to offer fans new and old. That’s a must for a #1. Taylor writes Peter and his supporting cast well. The only moment that didn’t really work for me was a part where Peter saves someone and kicks himself for not thinking of something better to say when he does it. It’s not bad in and of itself, but it’s a cliché that you find in so many super hero books at this point. Aside from that, dialogue flows well and Taylor gives us some pretty funny moments. This little girl trying to squish the spider on Spider-Man’s chest will get crack a smile on any reader’s face.
           
            Now for the heavy spoilers. Seriously, big one below.

            I don’t really have much to say about the back-up story about May aside from some speculation. I wonder if Mephisto has anything to do with her having cancer. It would make sense for this book to connect to Spencer’s when it fully addresses One More Day.

            Spoilers over.

            On the front side, Juan Caball gives a really solid presentation. What little movement there is is hard to follow (and one panel in particular just stands out as unnecessary), but that’s a drop in the ocean. He’s still a big part of why I buy the pacing of conversations. Shout out to the return of Pete’s Romita Sr. hair! I really appreciate the open layout of the pages. Nothing kills visuals for me quite like not being able to breathe, but Caball’s New York is thankfully bustling and optimistic. Much of that, of course, can also be accredited to Nolan Woodard’s colors. The lighting is upbeat, enhancing this book’s generally uplifting vibe. As for the back-up, Roberto Poggi’s pencils are a little too sketchy for my liking, but at the same time, it kind of fits the shifty, looking-over-your-shoulder nature of the story. I’m not familiar with Jim Campbell’s coloring, but he seems to be making an effort to keep it consistent with Woodard’s. I especially enjoyed the gradual sunrise that he detailed in the beginning.

            There’s a lot of gears turning that make this a pretty great #1. As I said, plenty of aspects for all kinds of fans make this easy to recommend. Based on the plot alone, the issue probably wouldn’t be enough if not for the back-up, but the excellent voices are where the book really shines anyway. Except for some spots in the second half, the art solidifies the fun, adventurous attitude of the story. If you’re like me and the wait between Spencer’s issues is just a little too much, this will surely hold you over. Pick it up.
 

Our Score:

9/10

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