JJ Abrams Spider-Man is Unlike Anything Else in Comics
Photo Credit: Marvel Comics
When I first heard that J.J. Abrams and his son were writing a Spider-Man comic, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think. Mild confusion gave way to a bit of jealously, what kid growing up in the nerd world wouldn’t want a chance to write a comic with their dad? Then I started to get excited as I’ve enjoyed nearly all the J.J. Abrams content I’ve consumed. I’ll be discussing some of the major events that have happened so far in Spider-Man #1 through #3 so be warned there are spoilers ahead.
Spoiler warning! Proceed at your discretion!
The story of Spider-Man as written by J.J. Abrams and his son Henry and drawn by Sara Pichelli take place several years in the future. Peter Parker and Mary Jane had a son who they named Ben. A new villain who calls himself Cadaverous attacks New York with an army of weird cybernetic zombie soldiers. Cadaverous is defeated by Spider-Man but not before killing many innocents including Mary Jane. We jump ahead and see Ben Parker is being raised by Aunt May and Peter who lost one of his arms in the battle has hung up the costume. He’s now an international photographer and has a very strenuous relationship with his son who thinks he doesn’t care about people. Ben starts to exhibit Spider-like powers and Aunt May knowing what is coming shows him an old box in the attic with Peter’s Spider-Man costume. This causes Ben to resent Peter even more because know he feels as though his father could’ve saved his mother.
In Issue #2 Ben has an outing with a girl from school, Faye Ito, who wants to be a hero. We learn in this issue that the age of heroes is essentially over and that most of the Avenger’s died, though we aren’t told why. All we know for sure is that only Tony Stark survived whatever these events were. Dressed up in dad’s Spider-Man costume Ben and Faye get up to some trouble and Ben saves a man on camera which makes the news.
This brings us to Issue #3 where things get REALLY WILD. Cadaverous see’s the news about Spider-Man’s return and his obsession with Peter as ‘the key’ is reignited. As Peter and Ben are having an argument about ‘being Spider-Man’ Cadaverous attacks the house, blowing it apart and in the next frame we see Peter Parker impaled through the torso on three of Cadaverous’ large scythe-like claws. At this point, on what was page 5 of the comic I was freaking OUT. Did they just KILL PETER PARKER IN FRONT OF HIS SON?! Cadaverous leaves with Peter’s body as Faye shows up and she takes Peter to track down the last living Avenger, Iron Man.
At Stark Tower the kids are immediately thrown out where they run into the CEO of Stark Enterprise, Riri Williams aka Ironheart. She takes them to meet Tony Stark who seems to be a bit off his rocker and looks like Willie Nelson. Tony gives a bit more exposition and background on who or what Cadaverous is and what his goals may be as the group comes under attack. As they try to escape they are confronted by four dead Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and the Hulk — but they’ve been brought back or modified in some way by Cadaverous and have the same cybernetic zombie look. That’s where Spider-Man #3 ends and we have to wait til February for Spider-Man #4 because it’s been delayed for some reason.
J.J. Abrams and his son are doing some amazing, new, compelling and challenging things with the Spider-Man mythos and it’s driving me insane in ways I’ve never experienced with comics before. I’m gnawing at my fingers in anticipation of a the next book.