Spidey Stand-Up and JJ Shut Down in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 4

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

A hallmark of any Chip Zdarsky comic book is the writer’s free-flowing brand of humor. This makes him an ideal choice for everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, whose motor mouth humor has been known to get more than the occasional wince and eye-roll. Thus, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 4 marks Spider-Man’s first foray into the world of stand-up comedy.

The way Spidey cracks himself up, it’s surprising that it’s taken 55 years to get the man behind a microphone. Spider-Man has “had this tight five in his back pocket forever,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if Zdarsky had been holding onto it just as long.

What’s not surprising is how quickly Spidey crashes and burns after he grabs ahold of the mic. By the fifth panel, Adam Kubert drawn a dejected Spidey whose sunken mask eyes admit defeat.

Kubert has two types of layouts in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 4, depending on the tone of the page. When the page is more dialogue-driven, there is a 3×3 panel layout. For the action pages however, Kubert makes less traditional panels that slant and zig-zag on top of one another.

I prefer the pages that focus on Zdarksy’s humor than the ones that focus on Kubert’s odd fight choreography.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man was billed as a “back to basics Spider-Man book.” This is most evident in the J. Jonah Jameson segments of the book. After running a TV network and becoming mayor of New York City, it’s nice to see ‘ol JJJ doing some nose-to-the-ground reporting.

JJ has always see-sawed back and forth from believable and cartoonish and Robbie points this out to him. Zdarsky writes a fictional world that has more scruples than our real one. Wouldn’t it be great if the similarly agenda-driven Fox News were held to such standards?

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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