Friday, May 9, 2014

Comic Fans Get a Double Dose of Young Spider-Man

by Brian Truitt)

(Photo11: J. Scott Campbell/Marvel Comics)

It's a good week for those who dig a young Spider-Man.

While Andrew Garfield's kid hero is on the big screen with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the really good Spidey material is in some new Marvel Comics titles.

Writer Dan Slott goes back to Peter Parker's earliest days in the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl. In fact, issue 1.1 acts as almost a sequel of sorts for the character's first appearance in 1962 in Amazing Fantasy No. 15.

Artist Ramon Perez nails the retro Steve Ditko-esque look back at Peter at 15 years old, still new at being a superhero and fresh off the life-changing death of his Uncle Ben. With the man of the house gone, Peter has to make ends meet for him and Aunt May, which puts his school life in disarray and makes his costumed persona noticed by everyone from classic villains to J. Jonah Jameson.

Aside from a fleshing-out of the Spidey legacy, the issue also continues to explore Clayton Cole, a teenage genius and Spider-Man Super-Fan No. 1, as he puts on the togs of Clash and looks to cause some extra drama in Peter Parker's life in upcoming issues.

Over in Marvel's parallel-world Ultimate Universe, the most recent teenage take on the Spidey legend gets a relaunch with writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez's Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man.

Miles has his own lack of parental support these days — his mom is dead and his father, when told of his son's secret identity, bailed on him — but does have help from a best pal, girlfriend and Mary Jane Watson, a love interest of the deceased Ultimate Peter Parker. Plus, Miles also has a superhero team on his side with his involvement in the new Ultimates crew.

The first issue of the rebooted series has a whopper of a last page, but before then various forces seem to be moving in place to be major threats to Miles, from some spider-themed criminals to the reappearance of arguably the most infamous Spidey foe in history, Norman Osborn.