Marvel I want to say thank you. I want to thank you for leaving poor Peter Parker alone for a time. For nearly a decade you had found every way possible to alter, retcon, and generally destroy Spider-Man, but I can honestly say with what Dan Slott is doing in ASM, along with the wonderful collection of writers on Avenging, Spider-Man has made a full return to awesome.
Now this is not the Peter Parker of our past, Peter has been grown up for a long time, and that has always been part of the problem. Marvel really has never known what to do with a grown up Peter Parker. What happens when all that awkward teen angst goes away? What happens when he is not the kid dealing with bullies and in school and blown curfews? While we have grown up with Peter, Marvel was like the overprotective parent always seeing their child as a baby. I can say now that is no longer the case. For a while now we have seen Slott start to progress characters in a clever way. Recently it was Doc Oct in a brilliant world altering way. And this current arc has been the Lizard. No Turning Back has not always been the best arc I have read, and yes I went in with apprehension about a book that was clearly designed to coincide with the film. However, all of that being said, it has been very good as a whole. It gave some classic Spidey battles, while highlighting everything Peter is dealing with. It made us interested in Curt Connors again and progressed the character in a terrific way. And it set up the next series of stories well. Really this is what a good arc should do, and while I miss the more lighthearted Peter, it has long been overdue for him to grow up.
In the final arc of the story Slott manages to provide redemption for Connors in a story that seemed to finally be taking him to the brink of no return. It had me on the edge of my seat, and though the arc is over I cannot wait to see where the cliff hanger takes us. Furthermore, I am so ridiculously excited to see where the teaser for the next arc goes. I do not want to give it away, but suffice it to say Hobgoblin fans are going to want to be reading the next arc. Slott has a great handle on how to make Peter current without losing who he is a heart and that translates well to an adult Parker.
The art on the book has been very good, if not show stopping. Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli does a great job of drawing a book that looks like a Spider-Man book. I was a little jaded having read Captain Marvel first and experiencing the risks and beauty being presented by Dexter Soy, but Camuncoli does clean work that fits well. He falls into a similar problem that just goes along with Spidey for me, great big spreads and action shots, but often cluttered and busy small panels. Like I said though, it is very good and does Slott’s story justice. I will give him two extra points though, his face of Connors through the book was genuinely menacing and really made his internal struggle come alive, and his version of Lizard at the end of the arc looks awesome.
I love this book right now and it is only getting better. You should all be giving America’s hero a chance, and this next arc looks like a great jumping in point. Are you reading the book now? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.