REVIEW: Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man #1 Zings and Swings

Preview Detail for Giant-Size Spider Man #1 - King's Ransom C May 2021 Marvel Comics

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1 is a fun and zingy ride that’s all about friendship, loyalty, and personal values that makes a decent conclusion to the King’s Ransom arc.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man: King’s Ransom #1

Roge Antonio with Carlos Gomez and Ze Carlos (Art): David Baldeon and Israel Silva (Cover); Marc Bagley, John Dell and Brian Reber (Cover); VC’s Joe Caramanga (Letters); Alex Sinclair (Colors); Nick Spencer (Writer)
Marvel Comics
May 12, 2021

Peter Parker in his spider-suit - which is red and blue with a black web design - webslings across New York City on a sunlit day

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man fulfills its promise, giving fans of ole Web-Head a giant-size adventure. The result is sometimes funny and sometimes touching, and it is all contained in a long arc that wraps up the King’s Ransom storyline.

As the story opens, Peter has called together a wide circle of his superhero friends. He needs help to find Boomerang, who has disappeared while trying to help Peter recover the final missing fragment of the Tablet of Death and Entropy, which can only be wielded by a heroic individual true of heart. Peter has made friends with the former supervillain since he became his roommate, and Peter believes he’s turned over a new leaf, but none of his other friends are willing to give Fred — or Peter — the benefit of the doubt. The search for Boomerang will lead to some pretty unusual and exciting places, and Peter learns for once and for all if he can trust Fred – and if his heroism makes him worthy of even holding the Tablet of Death and Entropy.

The best thing about GSASM is that it is achingly funny. The writing is whipcrack sharp, with the occasional moment of poignancy. Peter talks about heroism and the importance of doing what he’s doing while being unselfish and goodhearted about it, but much of the book allows for self-mockery (like Peter’s hero friends calling him out for repeatedly making unwise decisions when it comes to his superheroing choices) and good-humored joshing. Peter, in the moment before an ancient wizard judges his worthiness: “Before you evaluate me, I should probably come clean about that time I forgot to return those videotapes–!”

Peter's friends declaim Boomerang in a preview image for Giant-Size Spider-Man #1 - King's Ransom

But those moments are also given weight and a sense of purpose; his friends are tired of being ghosted and left out of Peter’s choices and their arguments cause him to apologize and promise to be a better friend. Kudos to Spencer for pulling the balance between light and dark, which leads to a richer narrative.

There’s not a lot of Boomerang/Fred’s point of view in the story, but just enough exists to make him a balanced and nuanced character. We get to see that his feelings about being a supervillain aren’t quite as uncomplicated as one might think. Wolverine and Luke Cage shine in cameo appearances, and there’s some excellent material for Kingpin and J. Jonah Jameson in the issue.

The art is attractive, splashy, and stylish, with creative panel work. It balances the smaller moments with large action tableaus, and able coloring work by Alex Sinclair pulls cool blue hues and shiny chromes to the fore.

Giant-Size Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a wonderful romp and is likely to delight Spidey fans everywhere.

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