I am an admirer of Stegman’s art, as you can see. Although I have grown a huge fondness to Humberto Ramos’ art over the years, it was nice to see someone like Stegman take the Spider-Man mantle. However, his return is underwhelming at best. Maybe I was a little too excited. I just didn’t dig it all that much. It is hard to put my finger on it exactly, but the pencils overall felt a bit lazy. It just didn’t feel like it was on par with what we have seen from Stegman in the past. Livesay’s inks this issue didn’t seem to do it any favors either. Faces weren’t detailed and were sometimes just blotches of ink. Even the colors didn’t seem quite as bright and popping.
Art aside, we have the story, which I’m afraid, is just about as good as the art this issue. Overall, things just seem a little off, a little lazy, and just not where I feel the series has been.
We start the story off in 2099 with Miguel O’Harra, the Spider-Man of the future and descendant of Peter Parker, fighting dinosaurs and WWI bi-planes. Yep, you read that right. It seems as though all Earth’s heroes’ meddling with the space-time continuum has caused a time rift. The post Age of Ultron stories are beginning to affect the Spider-Man series now. Which, if done right, can be really entertaining given the current Ock-Spidey status quo.
Speaking of Ock-Spidey, if you aren’t a fan of his, you are in for a treat as Miguel’s Spider-Man is a blast from Peter Parker’s past. Equipped with all the sense of humor of his great great grand daddy, Miguel fits right at home in that costume.
The unfortunate thing about the writing, however, by the time I was done with this issue, I felt like it all could have been handled in five pages with way less dialogue. This would have left more room for something a little more exciting to happen. Also, if you are not a fan of the old Parker’s sense of humor, you are going to really be annoyed here as Slott’s use of “flippin” and “shocking” in context of curse words gets old really quick.
Overall, the book was ok. Where the beginning of this story arc feels like it could have been so much more, it simply underwhelms. Maybe this is an off-issue and things will get better from here. I hope so.