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Friday December 19, 2008 11:26 am

Review- Amazing Spider-Man 581

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It’s almost been a year since Mephisto took his magic pencil and erased the Spider-Marriage from the minds of the Marvel Universe.  The benefit of the magical reboot was a “Brand New Day” for Peter Parker, where no one remembers he’s Spider-Man, allowing creators to retell stories from the seventies in a modern setting. A crucial element of this reboot was the resurrection of Harry Osborn.

For months we have wondered how Marvel was going to explain Harry’s sudden reappearance and in number 581 we got an explanation that made us wonder why Marvel needed Mephisto in the first place.

When Norman Osborn was resurrected as the mastermind of the “The Clone Saga,” I knew Harry couldn’t be far behind; the question was when, and the explanation for Harry’s resurrection was the same as Norman’s. And why shouldn’t it be the same.  What was interesting was the use of Mysterio to answer the lingering questions and makes sense in the context of the story.
Issue 581 is one of the stronger issues to come out of “Brand New Day” thanks to the script of Dan Slott.  Slott crafts a good character-driven story around a much needed piece of exposition. My favorite part is Little Normie’s fear of his newly resurrected father. Just imagine how you’d feel if all of a sudden a dead family member came back into your life hearty and healthy? Now imagine you’re a nine-year-old kid (or however old Little Normie’s supposed to be?), you’d be scared too and Slott’s take on this makes it easy to see that he’s the go-to guy for significant storylines in BND.

Still there are lingering questions, the most obvious being how the Spider-Marriage prevented this story from being told? It’s been lingering since BND began and nobody has been able to give me an answer. How did Spider-Man being married prevent him from battling the Balrog of Morgath? Keep Harry Osborn dead? Prevent Peter from having a social life? How? All the aspects of Peter’s personal life in BND can be told with the marriage. The Love Triangle with Carlie and Lily can easily be told, along with Peter’s new roommate. If anything, Peter being married would add more tension to the story. But I’m going off on a tangent.
Overall, Spider-Man’s “Brand New Day” has been a year of ups, like Freak (who has the potential to be one of the most powerful adversaries in the Marvel Universe) and “New Ways to Die”, and downs, like Jackpot and the Balrog. It really depends on whomever turn it is to write the book. Hopefully next year things will be more consistent.

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