Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencilers: Juann Cabal and Marcelo Ferreira
Inkers: Juann Cabal and Roberto Poggi
Colorists: Nolan Woodard and Jim Campbell
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Andrew Robinson
Variant Cover Artists: Juann Cabal & Nolan Woodard; Joe Jusko
In this brand-new ongoing title, we follow Peter Parker as New York’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, helping out the city no matter how small the problem is. After saving a father and daughter from a bridge collapse, Peter heads back home after a long day, helping out some of his own neighbors along the way. However, when informed about a frightened tenant in his apartment who needs the help of a superhero, Peter makes an attempt to look into the matter, which only presents him more confusing question. Just what is going on with Peter’s neighbor exactly? And what secrets are Peter’s loved ones keeping from him?
Initially when I heard about this new title, I was cautiously optimistic, and remained that way the whole time waiting for the first issue’s release. While I absolutely love everything about Peter Parker and Spider-Man as a whole, too much of a good thing is, well, not good, and as a fan I don’t want to get overstuffed. While Spectacular Spider-Man taking a break for who knows how long allows for more room on the table, I still felt somewhat cautious going into this. However, I’m incredibly thrilled to say that this issue is not only one of the best Spider-Man issues in recent memory, but one of the best Peter Parker ones, too.
Right off the bat, the art style is absolutely gorgeous, with a splash page near the beginning that’s set to be a new classic. Juann Cabal has knocked it out of the park in his first issue as the artist, and I genuinely hope he stays on for as long as possible. The cover done by Andrew Robinson is breath-taking as well, and reminds me so much of the art style used by John Romita, Jr. and Mark Bagley for the character in the early 2000’s, which hits me in the good ole’ nostalgia feels.
The heart and soul of this issue is, however, Peter Parker. The way he’s written is just absolutely so humble and caring about his community through and through, both as Peter and Spider-Man. Tom Taylor writes him in a way that feels like an old friend we haven’t seen in a long time, while still being in-character according to Nick Spencer’s writing for The Amazing Spider-Man. Now that I have a firm grasp on what this title’s angle is, I’m incredibly excited to see where it goes moving forward.
There is an extra story near the end of the issue, and although I won’t spoil it for anyone waiting to pick it up, I will say that it’s a huge gut-punch that didn’t entirely shock me, but was something that the Spider-Man comics need at the moment. I’ll further elaborate on it in a later review, but from a story-telling aspect, I think it’s an incredibly smart decision.
Overall, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 was nearly perfect start to this new title, and I can’t wait to see what Taylor and co. do in conjunction with Spencer and his crew. There’s a whole lot of potential here for something truly amazing, and I can only hope things go up from here. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the forthcoming issues, and I absolutely recommend everyone to pick this up if they want to take that step to jump into the comics!