Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #300 Review: Weighed Down by Exposition, but Passable

Posted by February 28, 2018 Comment

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300
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Summary
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artists: Adam Kubert and Juan Frigeri, Color Artist: Jason Keith, Backup Story Artists: Goran Parlov and Giada Marchisio, Letters: VC's Travis Lanham Cover by: Marcos Martin, Variant Covers by: Alex Ross; Adam Kubert and Morry Hollowell; Frank Miller, Frank Springer, and Brian Reber; David Nakayama, Editor: Nick Lowe, Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman, Associate Editor: Devin Lewis, Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Today, Price: $4.99

All the superhero tech in the world has been shut down, and the weapons of supervillains holding the Tinkerer’s phones have been boosted. It’s up to Spider-Man to shut down the Tinkerer’s operation, but, even if he succeeds, what of the looming threat that the Tinkerer keeps talking about?

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300 cover by Marcos Martin
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300 cover by Marcos Martin

This issue is disappointing. Some parts are a lot of fun, but those parts, as well as the pacing, are badly weighed down by the mounds of exposition.

It feels suspiciously like two normal issues shoved together. The Tinkerer plot has a genuine wrap-up, but it’s followed up by that big threat he was going on about. To spoil a bit, it’s an alien species obsessed with freeing AIs from their masters, and the Tinkerer has heralded their arrival with the phones he gave to the supervillains.

The comic doesn’t do anything interesting with that idea of enslaved AIs. The backstory behind Phineas Mason encountering this alien species does help humanize the Tinkerer somewhat.

Plus, Spider-Man teaming up with the likes of the Human Torch, Ironheart, the Vision, the Falcon, and Black Panther to throw down with a bunch of his baddies is really cool. However, this is where the comic loses the fun and gets lost in its own uninteresting narrative. We don’t get to see enough of the other heroes fighting Spider-Rogues, and some of the droning exposition could have been cut to make this a real house party of a comic.

The really galling thing is that the story doesn’t end in this mega-sized special. That’s right; the book is left on a cliffhanger with the AI aliens still threatening the world.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300 art by Adam Kubert, Juan Frigeri, and Jason Keith
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300 art by Adam Kubert, Juan Frigeri, and Jason Keith

Adam Kubert and Jaun Frigeri handle the art in the main story, and it holds up throughout. Their styles coalesce so well that you don’t even notice the transition unless you look closely, mostly at the faces. There’s a lot of detail, high-flying action, and the characters generally look great. Jason Keith’s color art is bright and contrasting, and it looks good in its own right

The back-up story with Black Cat is a little cute, and its art, by Goran Parlov and Giada Marchisio, is good.

Spectacular Spider-Man #300 isn’t a bad read. It has enough fun parts to ward of the boredom that can come from the exposition. The fact that it doesn’t even conclude its story is insulting and could justifiably kill it for your average reader. However, given the current state of Amazing Spider-Man, not bad is in short supply for the Web-Slinger. This is far form a must-buy, especially at $4.99, but I can recommend it to anyone looking for a decent Spider-Man read.

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(Last Updated February 28, 2018 4:56 pm )

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.

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