After an incredible year of The Superior Spider-Man, I think most of us were pretty anxious to see how Dan Slott would drop Peter Parker back into his life following Otto Octavius's year(ish) long stint as Peter.
Well, the answer to that is...quickly.
So much has happened while Peter was locked in Otto's mind, and while we as readers know all of it, Peter is just beginning to find out exactly what Octavius was up to.
This issue is huge, like, $5.99 cover price huge, but Marvel chose to break it up into more digestible pieces. At first I felt a little bit ripped off by this move, but as it turns out, this was a really logical way to introduce so many moving parts of an immense story back into Peter's life.
The main story focuses on Peter's return, and some of the major developments that have taken place while he was gone. He's a doctor now, he owns a company now, everyone hates him now and, oh yeah, Anna Maria. It looks like just the elements introduced in the main story will provide enough to last Dan Slott and company several months, if not years, however...
The second story here introduces us to Electro's current whereabouts and goings on, and ties it nicely in to a bit of revenge that he'll soon be seeking on our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man for a little something that Otto did to him while Peter was "gone". This also conveniently ties into the new Spider-Man movie that comes out this week, which is something that has become common place in comics these days.
Story three revolves around the Black Cat and what she has been doing since she was assaulted and subsequently arrested by the Superior Spider-Man, aka, Otto Octavius. Felicia doesn't know it was Otto, of course, and is now hell bent on a little revenge of her own on her beloved 'Spider'. Otto sure made a lot of enemies in his short time as the Web Head.
Story four is just a brief introduction to some of Spider-Man's gadgets and powers, a brief three page recap for old fans, and a little background for any new readers that are just joining this character for the first time.
The fifth tale is a lead in to the upcoming Spider-Man 2099 series that begins in July. This is just a few pages to wet your whistle for Miguel O'hara's upcoming adventures in the current Marvel 616 timeline, brought to you by a knockout team of Peter David and Will Sliney. I've never been a Spidey 2099 fan, but that creative team will be enough to get me to check it out for at least a few issues.
Story six is about Kaine, or as most of us know him, The Scarlet Spider! This is a character that is probably close to many of our hearts here in Houston, following his recently ended Scarlet Spider series that was set here in our hometown. In this chapter, Peter visits Houston to find out what Kaine had been up to while he was gone, and discovers that Kaine was quite the hero in his time here in the Bayou City. The inclusion of this story was really just a fancy plug for New Warriors though, and I'm not sure it will tie-in directly to what is going on in Amazing Spider-Man. Well, not yet at least.
The seventh (told you this was a huge book!0 and final story is a tale of Peter's first night in the costume, but told from the perspective of an admiring young man who first put Spider-Man on YouTube. There are liberties taken with the timeline of Peter's origin here, obviously, but the story serves as an introduction to an upcoming character that will apparently be appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #1.1. I'm not sure where this is going, but it looks like we'll find out soon enough.
Overall, this is a lot of material to cover, but by breaking up the story into segments, highlighting different aspects of Peter's life and the lives of those who were affected by Otto's time as the Superior Spider-Man, this ended up being a very efficient and logical way to cover the material. There are dozens of plot lines to tie up from Superior Spider-Man, and Dan Slott and the other writers did a great job of laying the groundwork for the next year+ of this volume of The Amazing Spider-Man.
A very good, but not great, first issue back for the real Peter Parker.
Also included in this issue is the entire first issue of Charles Soule and Joe Madureira's 'Inhuman', just in case you didn't already read it.
This issue is a whopper of a comic for $5.99, and a great pick up in a relatively small week new release wise for comic book readers.