Review by: BC1

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Price: 3.99


Dear Mr. Quesada et al.

As you well know, when it was announced that Mary Jane and Peter Parker would no longer be together romantically, much less as husband and wife, a great hue and cry rose up from the collective Spidey fandom.  There were many issues, but the one that stood out for many people, myself included, was this: what kind of story could you tell about Peter Parker that required him not to be married?  During the period of time known as Brand New Day and the stories that followed, while the stories were typically of excellent quality, this question went unanswered; not a single story had been told that wouldn’t have worked if Peter were still married to Mary Jane.  A plot point here and there maybe, but not a whole story.

Thanks to Mr. Waid, that question has been answered.

First, before I get to the quality of the story, let me first complement Mr. Kitson on the art duties.  This was a beautifully drawn book, filled with many big and little images (Marvel artists have been making great use of splash pages recently).  While I loved the scene of Spider-Man and Menace fighting in the air, what did it for me was how he drew Betty Brant.  She was not a massively buxom woman as so many artists like to draw in comics these days, though Kitson showed during the speed dating scenese that he could draw in such a way.  No, he made Betty a real woman, and that made her all the more beautiful.  The collective work makes me want to ask that Barry Kitson become a full-time Spider-Man penciler, but that would prevent other luminaries of the lead from participating in this renaissance.

Now for the story.  This story could have gone in so many cliched directions, and yet every time you think it will…it doesn’t.  Also, every interaction seems real.  Peter and Betty at speed dating (a little stereotypical, but many steretypes have a kernel of truth).  Peter and Betty together.  Betty watching Spider-Man.  Betty and her friend.  All of it was very natural.  Using Betty as the narrator rather than Peter was a great idea too, as it allowed for a unique story.  Thirdly, it’s always nice to see Peter’s supporting cast and the behind the scenes interactions.  Lastly, the reveal on the party and why it went down the way it did was awesome- one of those places where the cliched road was the road not taken.  The final scene got me, it really did.

There are two things that I do fault, though not much.  Well, one not much.  One, using Menace as a cameo- this character has meaning in the Spiderverse and it doesn’t suit to use him as a throwaway reference point in the book.  But that’s a nit pick.

The other…please, no more back-ups involving real people and Spider-Man.  If the Obama story were in the back of Marvel Adventures Spider Man, I wouldn’t have cared.  But it was so simplistic, the Chameleon was so uncharacteristic, and the art was so gangly (I thought Spider Man looked like a marrionette)… well, the less said about that, the better. 

Overall, if this is the kind of story that we can see from here on out from Spider-Man, then maybe you were justified in cracking the internet in half.  This once.

Sincerely, BC1

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Ditto from me. 

  2. I agree.  I loved this issue.  When I heard about it, I thought it was going to be a snore, but I think this is the best single issue arc in BND.

  3. So far, in my opinion, Mark Waid’s been the writer worth reading in the whole BND collection.  His story with the Shocker was the first one I actually liked since the reboot and this one was the second.

    And Spidey totally looked like the Red Skull in  that fist pump panel.

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