Review: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #300


This oversized issue rips ahead with a surprising focus on action, but not completely without that Zdarsky charm.

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Adam Kubert & Juan Frigeri; Goran Parlov
Colorist: Jason Keith; Giada Marchisio
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Marcos Martin

For its whole 10-issue run thus far (11 if you count last year’s Free Comic Book Day story), Chip Zdarsky’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man has acted as a perfect counterpoint to Dan Slott’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Zdarsky’s comedic flair and grounded setting serve as a comfortable home for those less enthralled by Slott’s high concept arcs. While that friendly neighborhood wit steps aside here for more action and exposition, the basic core still holds true.

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With over 50% more pages than usual to utilize, the main story nonetheless contains little down time. Johnny Storm and J. Jonah Jameson share a fun moment around Spidey’s secret identity, but otherwise, it’s full speed ahead. Still, can’t complain when Adam Kubert and Juan Frigeri (with Jason Keith’s colors) make the action look so dynamic. Spidey, Human Torch, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Ironheart and a surprise Doom appearance all elevate this landmark 300th issue into the kind of Marvel spectacle one’s inner child should yearn for. One shot of ol’ Webhead bringing a car down from high above feels particularly majestic.

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Photo credit: Marvel/Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300

I know I haven’t gone into much detail on the plot, but honestly, doing so would largely be a waste of time. That’s not a slight against this story, which takes some fun turns with the Tinkerer and a cosmic race seeking out artificial intelligence. However, for this particular issue, the emphasis is on classic Marvel adventure. Not high concept, not big themes, and not deep emotional weight; just traditional superhero fun. The final pages set up Pete and Jameson’s upcoming journey to the past (which will feature Joe Quinones art), which will likely feature more character moments.

A-. . Chip Zdarksy, Adam Kubert, Juan Frigeri, Jason Keith, Goran Parlov, Giada Marchisio. . Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #300

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In addition to the oversized main story, Zdarsky treats us with a delightful short story centered on Black Cat. Artist Goran Parlov (Punisher: The Platoon) draws the heck out of these pages. Doesn’t hurt to have such gorgeous coloring from Giada Marchisio, who I hope to see more of before too long. Fans of Tom King’s Batman should get a kick out of one page in particular.