So far Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man has delivered exactly what it said it would. Writer Chip Zdarsky has highlighted how fun of a character Spider-Man is. Being in it’s own world, not tied to current continuity, has given Zdarsky the chance to write a Peter Parker that fans are familiar with. At the same time, Zdarsky does play with some recent Spider-Man continuity by bringing Teresa Parker, who may or may not be Peter’s long-lost sister, back into the fold. The character has already brought in some interesting developments for Peter’s life. Now things should get even more interesting with Spider-Man heading for a clash with Kingpin. Let’s see how things go with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In his apartment, J. Jonah Jameson works on a story for his independent website about the cost Spider-Man is causing the city.
In Peter Parker’s apartment, Karnak watches over Teresa Parker. As they talk about Karnak’s ability to instantly know people’s weaknesses Peter and Johnny Storm walk-in.
Teresa wonders where Peter was. Peter tries to play off he was being Spider-Man but Johnny says he was on a date.
Peter quickly changes the subject to the fact Kingpin is responsible for the untraceable Stark phones being on the market for criminal use. As they get ready to head out Karnak leaves, saying he does not want to be involved.
Peter asks Johnny to have a minute with Teresa.
After Johnny leaves Peter says he does not want Teresa to get involved given the danger involved in confronting the Kingpin. Teresa understand but says that right now the best thing to do is for her to stick with Peter. Peter relents and says Teresa will need some upgrades.
Spider-Man takes Johnny and Teresa to Mason’s place. Spider-Man asks Mason to provide Teresa with some equipment, something Mason begrudgingly agrees to.
While Teresa suits up, Spider-Man talks to Uatu about meeting Ironheart recently and how she informed him that Kingpin is involved in the Stark phone case.
Teresa finally finishes getting her gear, which consists of Falcon-like wings and a pair of non-lethal guns.
Spider-Man, Human Torch and Teresa sneak there way on the roof of Kingpin’s tower and quickly take out one of the guards. As they talk about what the mission is someone from another rooftop takes pictures of the trio.
Spider-Man, Human Torch and Teresa find Kingpin’s office and break in. Before they can get any information Kingpin enters the office. Kingpin tells the trio that the police will be on their way to arrest them.
Human Torch tries to intimidate Kingpin but is unsuccessful. Human Torch’s powers cause the fire sprinkles to come on, weakening his powers just as Kingpin’s guards enter the office.
While Human Torch and Teresa deal with the guards Spider-Man goes to fight Kingpin. Kingpin is quick to activate a device that creates numerous holograms of himself. This allows Kingpin to pummel Spider-Man as the hero does not know who to punch. Eventually Spider-Man is able to use his spider-sense to destroy Kingpin’s hologram device and knock Kingpin down.
Seeing that his guards have been taken care of by Teresa and Human Torch, Kingpin admits he has been funding the development of high-security phones all in accordance to government regulations. Spider-Man does not believe that Kingpin is on the up-and-up.
Kingpin then brings up the shady person, Teresa, Spider-Man is with who he is starting to remember what happened the last time he saw her. Kingpin asks Spider-Man how Peter Parker is doing these days, making Spider-Man wonder if he knows his real identity.
Human Torch notices that someone is coming up the elevator. Kingpin opens the door to reveal the Tinkerer, in a mech like device, ready to fight Spider-Man, Human Torch and Teresa.
Back at JJJ’s apartment, Jameson gets a call from someone that provides him with pictures of what Spider-Man is doing at the moment. Jameson happily aggress to show the world that Spider-Man is a traitor to the United States. End of issue.
The Good: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3 is a good reminder of how much fun a Spider-Man comic can be. Though this issue does highlight the big continuity problem Teresa Parker presents for this first arc, Chip Zdarsky does not let that get in the way of the entertainment of another clash between Spider-Man and Kingpin.
The strength of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3 is the dialogue. Zdarsky does a great job keeping scenes moving as characters go back and forth with one another. This is especially the case with all of Spider-Man and Human Torch’s dialogue. The banter between the two and how they speak to the Kingpin highlights how these characters just don’t stop talking.
Making the dialogue work even better is how Zdarsky is able to make even dialogue heavy panels feel fast paced. This is were Zdarsky shines the most as he gets how much dialogue he needs to give Spider-Man before it becomes to annoying. Spider-Man’s long monologue to Uatu during two panels of a big spread page was a good example of how Zdarsky used his layouts. It established how Zdarsky uses double page spreads to help further his story through dialogue rather than just poster worthy images.
Bringing Kingpin into the major plot involving Teresa Parker helped further the history the the character has in the Spider-Man Universe. It is not completely clear what Kingpin knows, it does show that the villain is enjoys using available information to get one over on Spider-Man. Kingpin asking how Peter Parker is doing was a good use of mind games as he knew that it would throw Spider-Man off, even if he doesn’t know that they are one and the same.
Kingpin’s involvement also furthered the mystery of what Teresa is really after. We know that she is still technically in hiding at this point. But with Kingpin’s dialogue to the trio there is some questions as to why Teresa decided to show up know. The way she pushed her way into Spider-Man and Human Torch’s adventure does seem to indicate there is more than she is letting Peter know about her return.
The sub-plot involving J. Jonah Jameson continues to gain momentum. Zdarsky is doing a good job giving JJJ enough attention to get were he is at now. Seeing the former head of the most powerful newspaper in the Marvel Universe forced to rebuild his empire is an intriguing story to tell. Continuing to build JJJ’s story over time will make Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man even stronger as we have a bigger story to look forward to.
Adam Kubert once again turns in fun looking artwork for Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3. His more cartoon-esque approach is fitting for this series that leans towards the snappy banter Spider-Man is known for. Kubert’s layouts for the three different double-page spreads helped keep the issue moving at a steady pace. The action in particular was well executed as he got over how Spider-Man struggled against Kingpin before overcoming the odds.
The Bad: Teresa Parker was always going to be a problematic character to use for the opening arc of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. That became clear with this third issue as we had a lot of Teresa’s backstory brought into play. This backstory is something that could easily confuse fan who did not read the Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business mini-series.
As one of those fans, it did become tough to fully understand where Teresa was coming from when speaking with Peter at the beginning of this issue and during Kingpin’s speech at the end. Some clarification on Teresa’s history will go a long way in getting her over as more than just and one-and-done character for this story arc.
Overall: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3 delivers the fun that fans expect from a Spider-Man comic. Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert team-up to create a story moves forward and never slows down, even in the dialogue heavy pages. Though there are some problems with how Teresa Parker’s backstory, it did not get in the way of how entertaining it was to see Spider-Man, Human Torch and Teresa go up gainst Kingpin.