Issue 559 Issue 560 Issue 561
First off, I want to say a few things. There is nothing I want to say about the controversy behind One More Day and Brand New Day that hasn’t been said before. If someone seriously wants to know, e-mail me or look it up in just about every other comics site there is. I also wanted to try something different with these usual two or three issue arcs releasing in a matter of weeks. So feedback on this idea would be nice. (To the two or three people who regularly read these reviews anyway)
Marvel Comics – July/August, 2008 – 32pg.(Each) – $2.99(Each) – Color
Writer: Dan Slott – Artist: Marcos Martin – Issue 559 Cover: Ed McGuinness – Issue 560 & 561 Covers: Marcos Martin
“Peter Parker: Paparazzi”
Anyway, Dan Slott along with the entire BND crew’s goal with this series is to create a series that hearkens back to the Spider-Man from the late 70’s and early 80’s. These issues should so be graded based on how they try to replicate this classic feel. So, if you disagree, it’s not the end of the world as we know it; I just like to keep these reviews and everything else un-biased.
The arc starts in issue 559 where Spidey is in full pursuit of an Internet themed villain named Speedball, whose apparent real goal is to get hits on videos of her committing crimes posted on the web. I don’t know if it’s for money or popularity. Our hero can’t quite catch up with her though, so he “marks” Screwball with one of his spider-tracers. Mistaking it as a death mark, Screwball immediatly turns herself in thinking she’s Spider-Mans’s next murder victim(It’s been a reaccuring theme in the series for a while)
Things don’t turn out to well for Peter Parker either, as Dexter Bennett, the new Editor in Chief of the DB, scorns him for taking pictures of something posted all over the world wide web. Instead of getting more Spidey photos, Bennett sends Parker to get pictures of a famous movie actor coming to NY. That’s right, he’s now a paparazzi. The rest of the issue can be summed up in Parker taking discriminating photos of the actor smacking a waitress, Peter losing his friends and family because of his new job, and the introduction of a very creepy paper themed villain with an obsession over David Carr (Our movie actor)
The second issue starts with our “scarred” waitress from before on a TV special, revealing that’s she’s suing Carr for his outburst. She’s soon snuffed out by our creepy paper villain(Unofficially named Paper Doll) literally flattening her. Then Carr is once again enraged by a paparazzi, and shoves the camera right into the photographer’s face. Unlucky for him, Peter is right across the street to catch the entire scene on film, and the paparazzi threatens to sue.
Back in Harry Osborn’s coffee shop, Harry calms down an enraged JJJ trying to drown his sorrows with caffeine. Harry eventually kicks Peter out of the shop, still angry about his choice in careers. We then find Betty Brant conducting her own investigation on Paper Doll’s victim from earlier, who was literally flat-lined. Back at the DB, Bennett rewards Peter for more impressive photos and Peter finds Robertson and Brant looking in on the murder, thinking themselves partly responsible for her death. It doesn’t take long for Peter to realize that the paparazzi from earlier is probably next.
After a quick stake-out, Spidey finds Paper Doll about to take her next victim. An entertaining and quirky battle ensues between Spider-Man and Paper Doll. Spider-Man realizes that he can’t protect the photographer for much longer and forces the guy to promise not to sue Carr. Paper Doll then disappears before the two realize what just happened. Trying to learn more, Peter asks one of her new BND friends, Carlie Cooper, about the flattened girl from before. The only logical cause of death we’re told is suffocation because of the sudden change in surface area and mass. Paper Doll then kills Carr’s agent for leaking information on Carr’s new “mystery girlfriend. In the last page, we’re introduced to this mystery girl: Mary Jane Watson former Parker.
The third issue starts with a rather cheap method of explaining Paper Doll’s origins and her obsession over David Carr. Apparently, her father got her messed up in some sort of dimensional decompressor that apparently turns things to paper. We then find Spidey trying to catch photos of Carr and MJ together for another big scoop(He’s really there to protect Carr and the mystery girl from Paper Doll) Paper Doll soon crashes the party between MJ and Carr, and MJ heads for the panic room just before our hero comes to save the day(C’mon) Another fight breaks out where MJ and Spider-Man have some comedic and slightly teasing conversation through the speakers in the house. Trying to suffocate Paper Doll, Spidey shoves her into the pool outside while getting his arm crushed in the process. Then, in a fun play on one of Carr’s other movies, Carr knocks Paper Doll’s lights out.
Soon, all is right in the world. Bennett fires Parker for destroying footage of Carr’s mystery girl without even looking at it, Peter moves into his new apartment, his friends and family have forgiven him, and MJ leaves for who knows how long. *coughcough* August *coughcough*
Again, this is being graded based on what this book is trying to accomplish — A classic take on a character that’s had a rough time adjusting in comics. Based on that, this arc works surprisingly well despite a slightly corny story. The twist on Spider-Man never actually meeting MJ is just one gigantic tease no one can ignore. However, Dan Slott makes each panel fresh and fun to read while Martin’s pencils also create a great classic feel. I especially enjoy when he creates one small splash page on a single page, and places a few panels inside the page to let the story flow from the panels to the splash page itself. I recommend buying this book if you’re looking for a fun and innocent Spider-Man story, but One More Day/Brand New Day naysayers will find nothing new in this.
Story: 7.5 – Writing: 8.5, Art: 8.5 – Issue 559 Cover: 8.5 – Issue 560 Cover: 7 – Issue 561 Cover: 9