Peter Parker is back, he’s got his own company, a PhD, and a major PR problem. It turns out that Doc Ock’s heavy handed tactics didn’t exactly endear him to the people of New York and now he has to clean up the mess. It’s an interesting dynamic because on one hand even Peter admits that he owes Doc Ock for fixing Aunt May’s legs and he has improved Peter’s life in several ways. On the other hand, Spider-Man is no longer cheered by the public, but is treated as a menace and threat.

Despite the PR problems facing Spidey the tone of this issue was much more light-hearted and fun than a lot of what we saw during Superior Spider-Man. I enjoyed Superior quite a bit, but it felt good to smile while reading a Spider-Man comic and I didn’t realize just how much I missed that until I found myself nearly laughing out during this issue.  Peter’s sheer happiness at just being alive and being Spider-Man again is infectious. I read this whole issue with a smile on my face.

There wasn’t much action during this issue aside from a quick confrontation with a group of animal-themed villains. The majority of this issue focused on Peter dealing with the fallout of Doc Ock’s body switch. I am looking forward to seeing just how well Peter deals with owning his own company especially considering he doesn’t really seem to know what his company does.  However his biggest problem, aside from redeeming Spider-Man’s image, will be Anna Maria Marconi who fell in love with Doc Ock when he was pretending to be Peter Parker.

I will go ahead and warn you that if you have not been following Superior Spider-Man then you will probably be a bit confused as this is a direct continuation of that storyline so don’t be tricked by #1 into thinking this is a reboot or anything of that nature.

I won’t spend much time talking about the artwork because it is pretty much an echo of what I said when I reviewed Amazing Spider-Man #700. I’m still not a fan of Humberto Ramos’s artwork and I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never really enjoy it.

This is a big issue and it features several back-up stories in addition to the main story. The two most important ones in terms of continuity were Recapturing That Old Spark and Crossed Paths. Both were written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage. Old Spark features Electro is important because his attack on Conway Penitentiary is referenced in the main story so this helps to add some context to that event without taking the focus off Peter.

However, it is Crossing Paths that really had me interested.  This ties into cleaning up the mess Doc Ock made as Spider-Man and one of those big messes was turning in Black Cat who naturally feels betrayed and vows vengeance on Spidey upon her escape during Electro’s attack.

The other stories weren’t all that that interesting from a story-line standpoint. One was a cute little story that pokes fun at Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Man in general. It was fun quick read. The other two, Spider-Man 2099 and Kane were enjoyable enough, but they felt more like ads for other comics than full-blown stories in their own right.

Overall should you buy this comic? Well first of all you probably already have. Every reviewer on the internet could call this the worst thing to happen to Spider-Man since Spider-Man 3 and most people would still buy it just to see Peter Parker back. Thankfully, it’s actually an enjoyable read and it lays the foundation for bigger things to come. I do think the $5.99 price is a bit much, but it does come with a lot of back-up material as well as Inhumans #1.

SCORE: 8/10

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