Sunday, 24 March 2013

Review: Amazing Fantasy #15


Just the other day I got my hands on a new comic called Amazing Fantasy #15 from Marvel Comics, what I assume is a new line that I hadn't heard of until now. The reason I picked it up was out of curiosity for the fellow in pyjamas on the cover - the Spider-Man. Yes, I know what you're thinking - it's yet another new character Marvel's trying to push to get in a film and he'll probably be forgotten within a year. I actually disagree. I think this will go down in history as one of the worst comics of all time.

The cover's nice enough, but one thing really niggles me. Throughout the comic Peter Parker, who is really Spider-Man, talks about having a secret identity. He wears a full body sock to support this. However, right on the cover he gives away his secret identity to the goon he's picked up! "The world may mock Peter Parker, the timid teenager" and "it will soon marvel at the awesome might of Spider-Man!". What an utter moron, and this guy's supposed to be super smart - but more on that later.

The comic was written by Stan Lee, who you may know as the geezer who plays bit parts in movies. I don't know what Marvel is doing letting a pensioner in their writing staff, but it's a hell of a mistake. His writing is so old fashioned, it was like it was written in the 60s. Characters are stereotypes, like jock Flash Thompson and geriatric Aunt May. Can we please get over these cookie-cutter characters already?


So Peter Parker is the "science nerd" (original!) and while all his high school brethren are off chugging cola at dances he's hanging around museums like a creep. He lives with his aunt and uncle (why not his parents is never even broached) who dote on him constantly.

Being a nerd, Parker decides to go and see an exhibition about atomic science, where some middle-aged white guys are 'controlling radioactive waves' or something, when a spider descends into the path of these rays before biting Parker on the hand. This apparently gives him spider powers, which is an absolute crock because this includes super strength and the ability to crawl up walls. No web spins out of his ass, he doesn't grow a bajillion eyes and he doesn't start munching down on flies. How convenient. It's just another example of lazy writing from this bit-part actor.

I should also note the art, or what passes for art. I don't know what Marvel were thinking, but this Steve Ditko (never heard of him) needs to invest in a graphics tablet or something. His drawings looks so dated, angles are basic and the detail is utterly shoddy. Blech!

Now Parker's gained his convenient spider powers, his first thought is "let's profit off this", which is fine for a while but it's literally all he does. He becomes a wrestler, then appears on TV with his new wrist-mounted web squirters that he apparently invented because he's some kind of genius. Seriously, this guy does absolutely no heroics, instead he just prances around on stage like an idiot spraying liquid cement everywhere.

Eventually something does happen (spoiler alert!) his uncle Ben gets murdered by a dude Parker let run off when the police were trying to catch him. Serves him right, really then. He goes and catches the criminal and it ends with Parker walking off into the night.

What a piece of crap! The writing is a mess, the art is sub-par and the character is just god-awful. I can promise you that we'll never see another Spider-Man comic again after this travesty. Honestly, I doubt many people bought Amazing Fantasy #15, and those that did should just burn their copies because the ash will be worth more than this garbage in the years to come.

*****