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The Amazing Spider-Man #700.1 - Frost Part One Review

4

Peter Parker is back! (Not from the dead, but we get an ASM story again!)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN may have ended its ongoing run, but fans of the Peter Parker variety of friendly neighborhood hero can enjoy a five-issue flashback miniseries, numbered in decimals tacked onto #700. The first and second installments are brought to us by David Morrell and Klaus Janson, with other teams and stories appearing in the remaining three.

The Good

It's an immediately familiar story; the Peter Parker we're used to is present right away, and the book is completely on-tone. Peter saves the day, again and again, but is angsty about never being able to do enough. He has a tough time balancing his daily life with his Spidey-life, and finds himself awkwardly defending his own alter ego to a Spider-skeptical J Jonah Jameson. There's nothing particularly revelatory going on, but I'm not sure that anyone's looking for that in a flashback miniseries (bonus: the relatively baseline story is also extremely accessible to new readers who might only have a movie or two for context).

The story isn't the only aspect of ASM #700.1 that feels classic. Klaus Janson's art is timeless, and Steve Buccellato's colors are just right. Everything is visually clean; there's enough texture and interesting lighting to avoid blandness, but nothing gets in the way of Janson's linework. It's welcoming, and easy to look at. If the point of these 700._ issues is to conjure up sweet nostalgia for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, it's definitely doing that on the visual and storytelling fronts.

I've always enjoyed stories that explore the nature of a superhero's powers, and while "Frost" doesn't dive too deep, Peter's musings on the weakness/exhaustion of spiders in winter are interesting. Seeing Spider-Man in (effective) hibernation is a cold reminder of what a city looks like without its heroes, and pulling Aunt May into the danger zone makes it pointedly about New York without Peter in the Spidey-suit.

The Bad

#700.1 is only the first issue of a two-part arc, so I'll chalk quite a bit of this up to impatience, but I was hoping to see a hint of a big bad. It's hard to tell if Peter will get to face off against a supervillain in "Frost," or if this is a smaller-scale flashback centered on Peter/Spidey and the city and people he loves. (Alas, the solicits aren't much help!) I'm hoping for some big action, just because a bland story doesn't entirely suit a "comeback."

The Verdict

Peter Parker's return to current Marvel comics (alas, not in ongoing format for now) feels very comfortable and classic, and "Frost" sets up a charmingly familiar-feeling story that's great for ASM fans and Spidey novices alike. There's nothing bombastic going on here; just Spider-Man doing his thing, looking out for Aunt May and the city of New York, and trying his best to be a hero during a winter slump. It's a nice winter read; cozy and familiar, and perfect for chilly weather and Peter Parker nostalgia.

38 Comments
Edited by Smart_Dork_Dude

After reading this issue I have just these words to Dan Slott. If you know what's good for you, END Superior Spider-Man as quickly as possible because all this comic is going to do is reignite the fires of every single Peter Parker fan. Clock is ticking Slott. End it............. Now. Because if you don't? Well ............ I think sums up what'll happen

Just replace money with Parker and you get the gist

Posted by sparty-dbq

Feels good to have my Peter back, if only for a moment.

Wait...

Posted by danhimself

I was under the impression that this was going to be set at some point throughout the Big Time era but it seems to be set possibly even before BND started...with Peter and Jonah still at the DB and Aunt May still out in Forest Hills

Posted by VeganDiet

Two Spider-man books with Peter this week? And it wasn't even Christmas. Looking forward to the next one.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Felt like the issue was nothing but a tease to be honest. It wasn't that deep in story. It was just like "Hey, here's some peter to tide you over without actually giving you what you want"

I was under the impression that this was going to be set at some point throughout the Big Time era but it seems to be set possibly even before BND started...with Peter and Jonah still at the DB and Aunt May still out in Forest Hills

Yeah...

Not saying it's gonna happen or its a good idea...but I have a feeling some kind of reboot/retcon is going to happen after SSM

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@fallschirmjager: Better not, I want to see Slott rightly handle the fallout from this and not use some comic book "God Solution" because he wrote himself into a corner like they did after Civil War. The events in Superior have great potential after Peter's return, and if Slott is truly talented he'll be able to ahdnle them and not make Peter look pitiful in the process.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@granitesoldier said:

@fallschirmjager: Better not, I want to see Slott rightly handle the fallout from this and not use some comic book "God Solution" because he wrote himself into a corner like they did after Civil War. The events in Superior have great potential after Peter's return, and if Slott is truly talented he'll be able to ahdnle them and not make Peter look pitiful in the process.

I agree. Though at this point, I just want Peter back.

And I pretty much hate how they've treated MJ post OMD and consider it a bigger crime than OMD itself, so on that level I'm indifferent. (though the few Felicia/Peter moments make up for it a little <3 black cat)

Posted by Al_capOWN

DC is better mate.

Edited by GraniteSoldier
Posted by DrellAssassin

@smart_dork_dude: Go away, those of us who want interesting stories and not the status quo are having a blast with Superior. Peter will return one day, no reason to rush.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@granitesoldier said:

@fallschirmjager: I think we'll see his return in time for ASM 2 in 2014.

Agreed.

@smart_dork_dude: Go away, those of us who want interesting stories and not the status quo are having a blast with Superior. Peter will return one day, no reason to rush.

Yes, because Peter Parker and interesting stories are mutually exclusive concepts and its not like there's alternate universes, or self-contained mini series options either.

Posted by DaltonMunnal

@smart_dork_dude: I'm going to chime in also and say that most people that actually read Spider-Man comics, rather than the people who never read Spider-Man comics but complain about Superior anyway (not making this accusation to you), are thoroughly enjoying it. A lot of people called it gimmicky, but the fact that it's still going without an easy out is exactly why its not a gimmick. It's honestly a genuinely interesting story. Anyway, my hope from the beginning was that he would never ever truly bring Peter back, and that rather than having a definitive issue with an exact moment where we see Peter come back, we would just see his thoughts and memories influences Ock's mind until he eventually just simply is Peter. Think like in Dragonball when Piccolo fuses with Nail, and then with Kame. Instead of multiple minds fighting for a single body, they simply become a single mind. I think that'd be the best way to go.

Edited by andy_117
Posted by Anim

I just feel like sending Thank You cards to Morell and Janson.....

Its just....so good to see Peter....

Posted by ScarletBatman

Really enjoyed this story. It was small scale, man vs. himself vs. the elements. I kind of wish we could get more of these vaguely in continuity stories set in Peter's past.

I used to hate SpOck but then I read the first 6 issues of it on Marvel Unlimited and fell in love. I think the haters should give SpOck a try and see that this is just a Spider-Man story - and a good one at that. It's fast paced, enjoyable ride.

Edited by Shallbecomeabattoo

@smart_dork_dude: speak for yourself, man. I haven't been enjoying a Spidey book in a loooooooong time, but Superior Spider-man changed that. I hated everything leading up to it and disliked Slott on the book, but now with Ock as Spidey its among my favorite books from Marvel. I really hope they keep it going a long time.

Posted by frogdog

I like as a one shot that reminds me why I read the real spider-man

Posted by IronAngelX

I would collect Spider-Man if Peter Parker would return. Give up this Superior Spider-Man and bring back the Amazing Spider-Man! And don't let Dan Slott touch anything concerning the character, writers like Bendis are much more in tune with a character like Peter Parker's Spider-Man.

Edited by deadshot1

I dont mind a change up to get something new going. But I just dont like this spiderman. He is more annoying than anything. Even though I miss Peter I wish they would have just killed his whole life off and started new.

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Fuuuuu!!!! I forgot to pick this up!

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

@shallbecomeabattoo: @daltonmunnal: @drellassassin: Is it so wrong that I want the "Dark and Edgy" Spider-Man gone? I mean honestly we already went through the "Dark and Edgy" phase back in the 90's!! People want a dark and edgy Spider-Man? He exists and his name is Kane.

I am not faulting anyone for liking it, but I am faulting everyone who likes it when they say

"Come on, this is MUCH better than classic Spider-Man!"

Let me say this right here, right now. I am a Peter Parker fan. Granted the last few years he hasn't been in the best light since OMD, but I'm still a fan. However I must say this as well. When I heard they were killing Peter off and were going to be using a new Spider-Man? I was fine!! Why? Peter has been struggling, fighting, and going since he got bit by that spider. I for one feel that if any superhero deserves a rest it's Peter.

I was even getting excited about how this new Spider-Man would be different. I was looking forward to seeing how he fit in the Marvel universe, who his supporting cast would be, if he'd have any ties to Peter. I was legitimately excited for Superior Spider-Man! And then they did the biggest disservice to a supehero they could possibly do. Die helpless in the body of one of his archenemies while they parade around in what is essentially that hero's corpse and not have to face justice for the lives they have ruined.

At it's heart Superior Spider-Man has this message.

"The villain won, faced no consequences, and the hero died for no reason"

Yeah, Ock can go on and on about how he's a "superior Spider-Man" but really he's not. If he was he would have turned himself in and take responsibility for the crimes he has committed over the years and the fact he just murdered an innocent man who has done nothing but try to help people with every fiber of his being. It made me feel SICK reading that issue. The only reason I'm reading Superior Spider-Man at all is because I have to believe they will reverse this soon. It's sending the wrong message, that villains can get off without ANY kind of punishment or consequences and heroes are helpless to do anything about it. That's not what superhero comics should be about.

As I said, they wanted to kill off Peter Parker? Then they should have had the balls to make it as sad and yet at the same time satisfying as Death of Ultimate Spider-Man.

And I know sometimes bad people win out in real life, but I'm not talking about some trial technicality and a criminal getting off. I'm talking about the fact that the premise of Superior Spider-Man is based on lies, deceit, manipulation of people, murder, and identity theft. Now I've seen movies where all that happens, read comics where all that happens, and played video games where all that happens. Difference here? IT'S IN SPIDER-MAN!!! A superhero who is about taking responsibility for his actions and being an example of one of THE best superhero creations right up there with Superman, Batman, and Captain America.

Ock should have at that moment killed himself. Yes. Killed himself. Only way to keep Peter's secret and atone for what he's done.

I was promised a "Superior Spider-Man" but all I've seen so far is a lying sack of filth wearing a dead man's skin.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

Buying it, But not reading it..My brain is on Superior right now and want to see how this ends. When Peter is back I will read it

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

@smart_dork_dude: AMEN! I was beyond angry when i read what they decided to do, but I was curious to see where the stroy would go. How he would be discovered, How he interacts with the rest of the Marvel Universe, eventually how he would realize he isn't Superior after all.

But even that was handled poorly and taking the fun out of it. There is zero suspense with wondering if anyone will find out his secret, because everyone he encounters just accepts what is going on without a second thought. From S.H.E.I.L.D to M.J, no one has really said..."Wait a sec...Something isn't right here."

So I don't knock anyone who enjoys the books, as I find some enjoyment in seeing what Superior changes next, or what new gimmick he deploys to help fight crime ( love his Hench Men lol). even, the fact he still talks like a super villain and is quick to drop a IMBECILE or CRETIN now and then is fun to read, but to me, if you think this stuff is better then Amazing Spider-Man, then you were never a real fan of Peter to begin with. And there is nothing wrong with that, but the experiment has run its course, you had your fun, made your money..bring him back already.

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

@mrfuzzynutz: I'm usually fine with change, for the most part anyway, as long as it's complies with the following requirements

1: It serves the narrative

2: It makes sense

3: It's actually required

Now on that last part it's usually hard to tell WHEN change is required, but most of the time when it is then it's pretty obvious.

Now let's see if Superior Spider-Man meets any of these

Does it serve the narrative? Well it serves its OWN narrative, but not the original Spider-Man's

Does it make sense? Not hardly. It literally came out of nowhere!!!! Oh sure they can back track and say this happened or that happened, but up until 698 we had absolutely no idea!!! In all honesty that's not a surprise twist. That's called false advertising because according to Slott I was actually reading Superior Spider-Man long before it actually started!!!!!!

Posted by Zeeguy91

This issue was like taking a walk down memory lane. It had this "good old Spider-Man" feel to it that even the final issues of ASM didn't. I also loved that there wasn't a supervillain in sight. As fun as hero/villain fights are, its always fun to see the hero go up against "regular" problems.

Posted by greenlucario

@smart_dork_dude: I'm with you well said on all accounts especially the break down of SSM. Great clip by the way :)

@mrfuzzynutz: Well said.

@scarletbatman: Problem is that people have tried to get into SpOck, myself included and it doesn't sit well. The stories are not fresh, they are predictable and always go for the shock factor of how far can we step outside of Peter's boundaries and do something freakin' crazy while sacrificing good story telling. I dropped it after about 12 issues of hoping this pattern would stop and have no intention of coming back. However I will be interested to see how Peter deals with things WHEN he comes back, that will be a good story.

People have a right to complain about something they don't like about their favorite character so everyone needs to chill out. If you're enjoying Superior, fine that's cool. But if it was your favorite character I'm sure you'd be complaining just like Peter fans are. So to everyone who sits there bashing fans of Peter let it go, move on, and get a life. I'm sure there's a different thread you can go troll in.

Posted by The Average Bear

Who did the cover art?

Edited by Smart_Dork_Dude

@greenlucario: Seriously this has really reawakened my Slott rage. I was still mad at him before, but it had become a kind of hatred that was like

"Yeah I don't like you"

Now it's back to the

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! I'M COMING FOR YOU SLOTT!!!!!!"

Really I'd like to send THIS guy to wake Dan Slott up every morning. That's how much this issue both made me feel good and ROYALLY ENRAGED ME BEYOND BELIEF!!!!!

Edited by akbogert

I loved this issue. It was precisely what I'd hoped for when I heard they were releasing these.

It's also the first "Spider-Man" book I have bought all year.

This is honestly the best summary of my thoughts I've seen to date, albeit I have a lot less knowledge of Peter's past, so it's good to see someone who knows what they're talking about saying precisely the same thing as me.

Posted by IDontLikeBirds

I'll probably pick this up, not because I'm a "Peter Parker" fan, but because I'm a Spider-man fan. I've read most versions of him, had the entire run of Spider-man 2099 when it first came out and used to read Web of, Spectacular, Amazing and the self titled series for a long time. Even read the older Ultimate Spider-man. I like the chance they're taking with Superior. It's something different and it's risky. I like the supporting cast, I like seeing his Otto's interactions with Anna and his minions. I enjoy seeing him realize it was not easy for Peter and that perhaps he bit off more than he can chew. I'm going to enjoy seeing how all this comes to a head and what happens when Carlie proves it's not Peter or when all the lies that Otto is making, all come crashing down. It's a fun ride.

Posted by tigerex78

I enjoyed this issue. It was a reminder of what Spider-man should be. I agree with so many others on my disappointment with Superior Spider-man. I feel it is past time to bring Peter back. I will be waiting for the next issue of this to come out.

Posted by Geonettazombie

The weather where i live has been pretty crappy so i haven't had a chance to go to my local shop and pick this up yet. but i want to so badly, ive given superior a fair shot, ive been keeping up with the issues (i read one of the issues on the stand when i go in, or i download digitally) and ill admit ive liked a few things here or there, but reading this review, talking about how it's good old fashion peter just makes me want to rush out and get it as soon as possible. It'll be nice to see peter again

Edited by DaltonMunnal

@mrfuzzynutz:

Does it make sense? Not hardly. It literally came out of nowhere!!!! Oh sure they can back track and say this happened or that happened, but up until 698 we had absolutely no idea!!! In all honesty that's not a surprise twist. That's called false advertising because according to Slott I was actually reading Superior Spider-Man long before it actually started!!!!!!

So what you're saying is... It's only a surprise twist if you already know about it before its revealed. Good job with that whole, ya know, making sense, thing.

Fight Club also lied to me when I found out the narrator was Tyler Durden. And The Sixth Sense lied to me when I found out he was dead the whole time. Those weren't surprise twists at all. Just lies!

Posted by jNerd

I definitely don't want Peter back anytime soon..... but I guess this wonderful, original story line can only go on for so long..... before some dumb fans ruin it.

Posted by wmwadeii

I'm still curious why they used the issue 700 as the point issue. Unlike past times they tried to fit it into the timeline Peter Parker: Spider-Man 156.1 for example.

Posted by GenesisX

@tigerex78: This Otto thing should've been just 3, maybe 5-part arc, not a freaking series. He'll never be as good as Peter. He's a freaking villain. I want the bad guys to win now. It's just villain vs. villain. And in the end Otto is going to ruin Spider-Man's image, and prove Jonah that Spider-Man is a menace. I mean he is blackmailing him. If this goes on for any longer, when Peter does eventually come back, there will be no way to get his life back together. He would have to the Mephisto deal all over again. How are we to expect the repercussions of Peter no longer being with his girl, nor with MJ, but with some college student graduate he never met? And how the hell is Otto going to be revealed? Okay, there's a bank account being used in his name, but that would just paint Spider-Man as a criminal or as Otto, until the mask is lifted and it shows Peter's face. Then he has his head blocked from psychic attacks or machines. Do we have to wait to issue 100 for Peter to come back?

Edited by MASTER_OF_SUPRISE

Going to get this issue. It's nice to have a Spider-Man that's heroic instead of the overrated unoriginal main book going on right now.

Amazing > Scarlet > 2099 > and, Venom > Superior