Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1
Words by Matt Kindt
Art by Marco Rudy
Colors by Val Staples
So back in 1998, Marvel Comics released a revolutionary new line speared by new It Guys Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada…you might have heard of them. The line, Marvel Knights, was meant to revive formerly popular characters who had fallen by the wayside. It worked very well for reviving characters Daredevil, Black Panther and The Inhumans, but The Punisher as a supernatural entity was not so well received.
There were a long slew of Marvel Knights titles, including Madrox, which lead tot he highly successful X-Factor relaunch, a 5th week event focused on a reimagined 2099 universe, and even an original Marvel Knights Spider-Man that I (and likely only I) really enjoyed before the books of that time dropped the Marvel Knights moniker in 2005, when Joe Quesada decided the line would only showcase high profile limited series and featured such greats as Spider-Man: Reign (which I am, again, one of the few people who really enjoyed) and Silver Surfer: Requiem.
Now, however, Marvel Knights is changing again; this time focusing on classic characters at their most popular. The first from the series, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, is the first Spider-Man book to feature Peter Parker as the character in nearly a year and pits him against 99 villains at the behest of the crazed Arcade.
It feels good to have the original back in the costume. You don’t realize until you read the reactions of the drugged up and panicked Peter how much you’ve missed this character, and Matt Kindt writes him up perfectly. And by placing him in an extremely bizarre situation, gassed up and surrounded by his worst foes, we get to bounce back and forth between Peter’s trademark sarcasm and the increasingly terrified internal narrative. Rudy and Staples bring the story to life with stunning visuals and do a fantastic job telling such a weird, out there story.
While it is a fantastic book, it did take several reads to get a hold of what was going on, even with the two page long Arcade monologue explaining things at the end. But if the first issue is any indication, the remaining issues of Marvel Knights: Spider-Man should be a real treat for old fans who have already grown tired of Otto Octavius.