Panini UK's fortnightly comic The Astonishing Spider-Man gets another relaunch with a new No.1 this Thursday, 15th January.
The comic's previous run ends with issue 33 (on sale now) which concludes the 'Superior Spider-Man' story arc of Doctor Octopus inhabiting the mind of Peter Parker. A controversial story, but one which I really liked. Personally I've never been a huge fan of Spider-Man comics. I liked Steve Ditko's run in the sixties, and the issues that John Romita inked himself in 1972, but otherwise I've been fairly indifferent to the strips. (Although I've still followed it on and off over the decades.) However, since Dan Slott took over the writing duties several years ago he's really turned the Spider-Man strip around, providing good solid escapist fun and various twists and turns. Having Doc Ock as an arrogant Spider-Man provided a lot of laughs.
With the new Astonishing Spider-Man No.1, Peter Parker has regained control of his own mind and body and the status quo is restored. And in Parker's life that means various ups and downs, including dealing with people who Doc Ock had cheesed off (as most people didn't know Parker had been 'taken over').
Along with other material, The Astonishing Spider-Man No.1 reprints the American Marvel comic The Amazing Spider-Man No.1 from June 2014, which was the top selling comic of the year (see news item on Down The Tubes). Story by Dan Slott, artwork by Humberto Ramos.
This is the fifth renumbering of The Astonishing Spider-Man, a comic which dates back to 1995. Prior to that, Marvel UK had been publishing Spider-Man under various titles since Spider-Man Comics Weekly in 1973. And before that, reprints of Spider-Man's early adventures had appeared in Pow! (1967/68), Smash! and Pow! (1968) and TV21 (1970/71). Selected Spider-Man reprints also appeared randomly in various Alan Class comics in the 1960s.
The Astonishing Spider-Man No.1, on sale 15th January from WH Smiths and other shops. 100 pages for £3.50.