Review: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #16


Peter and Annie share the spotlight in this delightful new story arc, a classic case of “awkward father embarrasses teen daughter.”

Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Nathan Stockman
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Ryan Stegman & Brian Reber

This issue kicks off “Fast Times at Midtown High,” the latest storyline for this alternate reality’s Parker family. After a few issues establishing where Peter, Mary Jane and Annie are, writer Jody Houser leans into the dynamic between these characters. Here, that means looking at the father-daughter relationship between Peter and Annie.

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At the outset of the issue, Peter struggles to sell his pictures of the Spider family to the Daily Bugle. Gloria suggests that he take his talents to the world of the paparazzi, but her story gives him a different idea: photography teacher. Specifically, Peter decides to take on a teaching position at his daughter’s high school, much to her chagrin.

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Much of this set-up feels like standard sitcom fair, but it also feels very in line with Peter Parker’s history. His teaching position should feel familiar to long-time readers of the character, as should his inadequacy in the position. Even his lame dad vibes feel like a natural extension of the corniness that has defined his web-slinging career. Furthermore, Annie’s frustration with his affections echo the frustrations Peter himself would sometimes feel with his Aunt May.

Photo credit: Marvel

The story is brought to life by Nathan Stockman, who previously illustrated issues in the series written by Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman. His Peter looks like the character we’ve always known, while also looking the part for his sitcom dad role. His Annie likewise captures the charm and energy of a teenage girl. (Also, I appreciated his willingness to draw fashionista MJ as a mom who just woke up, complete with believable bed head.)

A-. . Jody Houser, Nathan Stockman, Ruth Redmond. . Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #16

Must Read: Review: Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider (2017) #14

The end of the issue sets up some fun superhero story for the next issue, which is always a welcome element for a Spider-Man series. Still, I quite enjoyed how inconsequential these characters’ alter egos were to the plot. We see multiple pages of Spidey costume, but the issue would’ve worked without that side. It’s nice to see Houser thriving within this family story.