Spider-Man just came back to the future, but ya’ll know if you do time travel you’re coming back to a nightmare. That’s what the synopsis seems to suggest anyway. Plus, we know that Zdarsky likes to have a lot of fun with alternate realities as we’ve seen with Marvel Two-In-One lately. Let the furiously hungry Symbiote Aunt May commence eating!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
AMAZING FANTASY Continues! PETER PARKER and allies TERESA PARKER and J. JONAH JAMESON may have saved the past from the Tinkerer’s nefarious scheme — but they’ve returned to a future they never knew! Have their heroic escapades destroyed the timeline or created the nightmare of an alternate future? A future where an even deadlier threat than the Tinkerer has taken over.
Why does this matter?
This issue has some seriously good art from Adam Kubert. Check it out if you like his style as he’s on this one solo. This issue also makes a strong statement about how important Spider-Man is to the Marvel universe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is a lot like Back to the Future II sending Jameson, Spidey, and Teresa into a horrible future that may be their making. As they realize the police state has taken hold they run into some familiar, but slightly older friends like the Peter Parker they left in the past last issue. Zdarsky mixes it up quite a bit with this alternate future which includes new heroes in different positions, a ruler of the nation you won’t believe, and the last hope being one of the greatest villains of all time. If you dig elseworlds tales you’ll enjoy unpacking what is going on and who characters are in a future where there is no Spider-Man.
And that is the second best element of this issue. We get to see a world that didn’t have Spider-Man. This has a huge affect on Jameson who comes to the realization he’s been fighting the wallcrawler his whole life and it’s a battle that was wrong all along. We also get to probe the brain of young Peter Parker now grown up but not Spider-Man. He’s seriously going through some stuff since he made the decision of avoiding conflict was the only way to go. Not very heroic dude.
Kubert draws one heck of a superhero comic. Avengers you know and love do what they do best, Spidey spins webs like a champ, and there are some fun layout choices. At one point readers are forced to turn the whole book with a double page layout that reads downwards. It’s a cool element, as if to convey things have turned on their head due to Doctor Strange’s sanctum.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m not going to lie, the plot of this comic has gone way off the rails. Seeing as it’s a time travel caper I assume we’ll be reversing everything that goes on, but where’s the fun in that?
The only other element that caught me was the use of Gwen Stacy. I won’t say more to avoid spoilers, but we’re expected to see her in this heroic light that you’ll have to just accept. The funny thing about time travel done in this way is we’re forced to just assume characters are who they are because things have changed.
Is it good?
Time travel fanatics will love this tale as it flips the script on characters and the Marvel universe as a whole. It’s Back to the Future meets Spider-Man the freshest way possible.
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