The Greatest Responsibility
This is an amazing turning point in the years of storytelling Dan Slott's been doing with Spider-Man. I'm still not ready to stop repeating myself, I only jumped in around Big Time and already I can see, that what Dan Slott is doing is making Spider-Man GROW. So naturally and so brilliantly. Not just Spider-Man himself, but the entire cast and city around him. But Dan Slott has finally reached the big bang, he's brought Spider-Man's entire 50 year run as a character full circle. Invisible teenage boy. Lab accident. Great power. But this time Peter Parker's the one in the lab coat, and the kid in the accident doesn't have an Uncle Ben to guide him, to teach him about Great Responsibility. So it's Spider-Man who must carry this burden of guidance, taking the Great Responsibility for the Great Power he created, and passing on the Great Responsibility to the one wielding the new Great Power.
It's in this stage of creation that a few problems spring up. Peter's catching a lot of flak for the accident, but the jealous Dr. Stone caused it by simply pressing a single button that disengaged the safeties. Its not exactly a secret that the safeties were disengaged because IT WAS FLASHING ON ALL THE MONITORS. Wouldn't it be a simple matter to realize that the safeties were manually disengaged, and that he was the one close to the button that could do that? Is there nobody in that lab nor the Avengers with even a semblance of detective skills or some goddamn common sense?
The other problem is the idea of him being the first 'Alpha Level Threat,' and also that not being explained. Nobody seems to be in a hurry to be extremely careful how he's raised, everyone just offhandedly passes him off to someone else (though that MIGHT be a point to Spider-Man taking responsibility). But everyone seems to lax about this 'Alpha Level Threat.' Not only that, it's never completely clear what that means. They never SAY it's more dangerous than Omega Level, it certainly isn't treated as such, but it's DISCUSSED as such; but only in passing. And assuming that Alpha Level Threat really IS bigger than Omega Level, it seems a little cheesy.
Another minor problem is Alpha's parents. Is the woman with the pink hair his mom? They're never super clear on whether or not his parents are divorced. Context clues implies that, but not for a while, and still too subtly. I kept looking back over to figure out what the deal was.
But these complaints are either minor, or just not major enough to truly hamper such an amazing and monumental story. I'm baffled as to why the staff review counts the possibility of Peter getting back with Mary Jane and Peter growing and maturing as negatives because they render Brand New Day moot. Isn't Brand New Day one of the single most universally hated storylines in comics? Doesn't everyone hate Joe Quesada for pulling such a stupid and ham handed move? Why are you complaining about the reversal of something so despised? Spider-Man SHOULD be growing, and this whole time his growth under Dan Slott has been praised. Don't let Quesada's terrible decision win, let him be undercut by this amazing character growth to make Spider-Man mature in this brilliant fashion.
In Conclusion: 5/5
Oh, and the side stories are nice. There's a short one that tugs at your heartstrings, and a longer one that has a few hiccups, but is mostly REALLY funny, and heartwarming again in the end. But mostly this is such a perfect monumental issue for Spider-Man's 50th Anniversary, and it's still running all the way to 700. I absolutely can't WAIT to see where this is going after such a phenomenal beginning. The level of iconic achievement in this issue far outweighs the negatives, though those negatives shouldn't be completely ignored.