Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review of the Week: 100th Anniversary Special: Spider-man

These 100th Anniversary one shots take a look at what Marvel might be like when it's 100 years old. And apparently Marvel is openly admitting they're out of ideas with Spider-man, or more accurately refuse to allow the character the slightest bit of growth. The issue starts out with recaps of what has lead up to this point. Spider-man was wearing a techno-symbiote, which is apparently a symbiote combined with nanites and it can control technology. Anyways, Spider-man was being corrupted by it, so he wanted to destroy it, but it's former wearer Eddie Brock tried to stop him. But then the Kingpin kidnapped them both and shot Eddie and took the techno-symbiote.  And this issue has Spidey fight and destroy the Techno-Venom-Kingpin.

I actually liked this one shot. The art is decent, the writing is solid, it was just an enjoyable read. The problem with it is more what it represents. This is Marvel all but admitting that the future holds nothing for Spider-man but rehashing old stories over and over again. This is just the black costume story remixed. But worse than the fact that it's similar things happening to him, is that this issue demonstrates that Marvel will not only never let the character grow old, which is understandable as nobody wants to read about Spider-man in a nursing home, they won't even let the character grow as a person. They won't let him learn. For all it's faults Spider-man in the 90's and 00's, for the most part, featured a man who had at least in part learned from his mistakes, a character who had gone from a nerdy teenager to a well adjusted married adult, but still kept the core of who he was as a person. He had grown. The character wasn't old, but he had a past, a past that mattered because it informed his present. Marvel doesn't seem to want that for the character anymore. So every time something happens in Spider-man now I have to ask why it even matters.

Is this issue a decent read? Sure. But it also represents all that's wrong in how Marvel handles its flagship character.


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