This book does demonstrate the wisdom of Marvel continuing with the 'classic' Spider-Man in light of the Ultimate Spider-Man revamp. While Brian Michael Bendis is doing a great job with the teenage Peter Parker learning to be a hero, it's nice to see writers like J. Michael Straczynski work with the older, more experienced Peter, a hero who knows what he's doing and has a higher degree of self-confidence as a result.Straczynski seems to be trying to shake up the status quo a bit here, with questions about the nature of Spider-Man's powers. Unfortunately a lot of the supposedly dramatic revelations feel like things that we've seen before in superhero comics. It's all solidly crafted, but it's not revolutionary, so the plot doesn't have a lot of edge-of-your-seat suspense. (The epilogue, on the other hand, is a bit of a cliffhanger separate from this book's plot.)The book is a worthwhile read nonetheless, because Straczynski does a solid job with the characterization and, for the most part, the dialogue. Peter's inner monologue and interactions with villains, allies and bystanders are all entertaining. There's a good balance between light moments and action-adventure. Straczynski seems to be enjoying himself here, and that carries through to the reader.The art by John Romita, Jr. and Scott Hanna with colors by Dan Kemp and Avalon Studios is solid on both the character moments and the action sequences. Romita is a fine storyteller whose pencils have a distinct style well-suited for an urban hero and his exploits, and the rest of the team complements him perfectly.
Here is the deal: J. Michael Straczynski took over as the writer of Volume 2 of "The Amazing Spider-Man" with issue #30 and has been effectively "re-inventing" the character (but in a decidedly different way than what you find being done by Brian Michael Bendis in "The Ultimate Spider-Man," which is more a "re-imaginging"). "Coming Home" reprints issues #30-35 of the title, in which Straczynski come up with a striking new interpretation of the Spider-Man mythos. Clearly, then, the point of this trade paperback volume is to help new readers get on board and if not totally up to speed, at least within shouting distance. Taken together with the follow-up volume, "Revelations," these two books can do the trick. "Coming Home" suggests that there is great significance to the fact that Spider-Man has been fighting villains like Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, the Lizard, the Scorpion, the Rhino, ad infinitum, all these years. Peter Parker meets Ezekiel, one of those mysterious stranger types who brings havoc to a superheroes life, who suggest that Spider-Man's powers might not be quite as unique as he thought. In other words, the idea that a bite from a radioactive spider would give someone the powers of a spider is a bit far fetched and there is another explanation. To drive the point home Spider-Man has to tackle Morlun, a being who feeds on the power of humans with totemistic powers and apparently the only way to survive the encounter is to hide his powers from his new opponent. Unlike what Alan Moore did with Swamp Thing, the twist on Spider-Man's origin that Straczynski has come up with does not threaten to unravel the entire Spider-Man mythos.Read more ›
This trade paperback book was actually released as "Spider-man: Coming Home". J. Michael Straczynski, the mastermind behind Babylon 5 and Rising Stars, has penned a brilliant story of Peter Parker, aka Spider-man. This trade paperback is a self-contained book that covers Peter's battle with a creature that wants to steal his life essence!Peter first meets Ezekiel, an old man with powers much like his own. Ezekiel warns him of a creature that has been hunting super beings for hundred of years, and it has come to New York to hunt and feed on Peter. Ezekiel gives Peter a question which may forever change his conception of his powers: "Was it the radiated spider that gave you those powers, or was the spider trying to give you those powers before the radiation killed it?"The question is almost as perplexing as the answer may be. However, there is not time to delve into it, as the villain has decided to destroy parts of the city to lure out Spider-man. The first battle does not last long, as Peter realizes that his opponent is near invulnerable. He runs away, only to find that his enemy can find him anywhere he goes. Peter's body is utterly broken, and he decides on a last ditch scheme that will allow him to defeat his opponent, but will probably kill him in the process!This is a fantastic book for any fan of comic book. Straczynski is clearly a masterful storyteller, keeping the reader glued on every page. You can hear every thought Peter has as he tries to understand his life. You can feel every pain Peter has as his immortal opponent beats him to a pulp. Straczynski is doing what he does best - tell a story. The artwork is also strangely very good.Read more ›