It seems like milestone issues are dropping every which way in comics right now. Thor hit #700, Action Comics will soon hit #1000 and today Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man reaches issue #300. With such a historic event, it appears Chip Zdarsky is not holding back in this double-sized issue.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview here.
Why does this matter?
The Tinkerer is the villain of choice here and given he was Spider-Man’s second villain ever it’s a shame he’s not more memorable. Zdarsky is clearly trying to fix that with a complex story that defies time and space. Oh, and Dr. Doom shows up!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I thought Shocker was a good guy now?
The overall package feels well worth the price. The main story runs 34 pages by Zdarsky with art by Adam Kubert and Juan Frigeri and it’s all about Tinkerer’s big plans. The backup is created by Zdarsky, Goran Parlov and Giada Marchisio and has a touching–and funny–story with Black Cat. In between is a nice collage of all 299 covers prior to this issue which helps make the overall package feel important as the series reaches this milestone.
The main story delivers on many lingering plot elements and integrates the many heroes well. Black Panther, Ironheart, and Hawkeye all get moments to shine in this issue. Zdarsky shines a light on Riri in particular and she has a touching moment with Spider-Man that reminds us what makes a hero isn’t their powers, but what is in their heart. The story ramps up well with a big twist in the middle that changes the entire narrative. That includes a major Marvel villain coming out of the woodwork and a threat that’s quite unique. The Marvel universe has had its fair share of alien attacks, but you’ve never seen anything like this. The story also ends in a way that’ll put you on the edge of your seat.
Artists Kubert and Frigeri draw a solid comic with very expressive Spider-Man faces through the mask. The backup has a cheery and fun feel that suits Black Cat reminiscing about a time with Spider-Man. There’s also some interesting use of Spider-Man’s eyes and the reflections off them. All the tech in this issue looks sharp as heck, especially the energy blasting. The backup has an indie look and feel that suits the flashback conceit of the story.
Black Panther can kick ass WITHOUT the suit.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The biggest drawback of this issue is how new readers are going to be very lost. Not only are there seemingly random heroes in this to new readers, but Tinkerer’s story has been going for so many issues now the nuance and beauty of the story is going to be completely lost on you too. The Black Cat backup makes up for this, but I suspect many will be expecting an easily accessible story.
Is It Good?
This is an enjoyable 300th issue that offers an exciting story you’ve never seen Spider-Man take on. It has a commemorative feel and is well worth the price, especially if you’ve been reading this series.