Graphic Novel Review: Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide

Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide

Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide - Credit: Archant

The friendly neighbourhood has just got a lot bigger for the wallcrawler...

(Panini Books)

Peter Parker was the original down-at-luck superhero, scrimping together cash to pay the rent by snapping photos of his webslinging alter ego and failing to live up to his potential as a science genius.

But all that has changed, thanks in part to the actions of Doctor Octopus when his mind recently took control of Pete’s body (see the Superior Spider-Man series), as Parker finally uses his talents in ways other than furthering his costumed career.

His company, Parker Industries, has become a global force to be reckoned with thanks to Peter’s inventions, offering affordable and innovative consumer goods to the public, and technological gizmos to world peacekeeping organisation SHIELD.

Clad in a state-of-the-art outfit, armed with a non-lethal array of web gadgets, and with a wealth of special vehicles at his disposal, Spider-Man is now officially working as Parker’s bodyguard, which allows him to follow his “boss” around the globe while secretly operating as an agent of SHIELD.

But of course, even when he’s a jet-setting CEO, that old Parker luck still holds up, and Pete’s actions have attracted the attentions of a new incarnation of costumed supervillain cadre Zodiac, who are intent on using the technology of Parker Industries in their war against SHIELD, and a mysterious figure in red is offering Spider-Man’s arch enemies the opportunity to see their loved ones resurrected in exchange for their loyalty, which is never going to end well…

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If this appears to be a massive shift in the status quo of one of Marvel’s most celebrated heroes, it also seems like a natural progression of narrative threads begun by Spidey writer Dan Slott back in his initial Big Time story. Now, five years later, we are starting to see how Peter’s decision to use his brain as well as his brawn in both his identities has culminated in the former child prodigy becoming an international business leader.

But even looking further back into the history of Spider-Man, this was the same character who developed web fluid and spider-tracers in his teens, so for him to finally live up to his potential and attempt to make a difference with his inventions just seems logical somehow.

Slott’s work on Spider-Man has never disappointed since he took over writing the series back in 2010, and even such a dramatic gear shift as the one we see here doesn’t take away anything from the character we love. It’s the dawn of a new era, certainly, but at the same time just another chapter in the life of our webslinging hero.