It would be challenging to find two creators more synonymous with Marvel's Spider-Man than Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, and now they've teamed up and returned to the beloved character with stellar results. Slott and Bagley fit the world of Spider-Man like a glove, and while there are all kinds of various threads to the previous Spider-Verse books (especially Edge), the debut issue fills you in on enough of the details to hit the ground running while also piquing the curiosity of those who haven't jumped into that area of the Marvel universe previously. Slott and Bagley's Spider-Man hits those classic Spidey notes while also adding in a few new riffs of its own, and you can absolutely sign me up for what comes next.
Spider-Man picks up the new status quo from Amazing Spider-Man, though if you aren't keeping up with the series you need not worry, as Spider-Man #1 quickly gets you up to speed on the new dynamic between Peter Parker and Norman Osborn. A mere two pages later Bagley, colorist Edgar Delgado, and inker John Dell deliver a splash page that will remind you of why Bagley is one of the best at capturing that Spidey magic.
The talented trio continue to work their magic throughout the issue, with frenzied battles and one on one encounters that creatively take advantage of the wall crawler's unique abilities. Delgado's colors are also utilized to great effect thanks to Spidey's supporting cast, filling many of the battles with welcome pops of color and movement while still keeping Peter front and center and retaining the tension that starts to build about mid-way through.
Meanwhile, those fight sequences are filled to the brim with classic Spidey banter, and Slott is already finding ways to explore the new dynamic between Peter and Norman as it relates to being Spider-Man with this new suit. The first main sequence of the issue carries a welcome authenticity and charm that feels like quintessential Spider-Man, though as the stakes build later in the issue the world and the characters stay grounded in the moment and invest you into what's currently happening in the story, even with all the chaos of the greater Spider-Verse happening at the same time.
Speaking of that chaos, the issue also acts as a grand (re-)introduction to an upgraded player in the Spider-Man world: Shathra, and while time will tell if she may yet become one of the bigger villains in what is a classic rogues gallery, the sleek design absolutely pops. Spider-Man Noir is another who benefits from this talented art team. Another key character makes a return here, and while the issue does treat them as a big deal, there is a dated element to their portrayal that was a little underwhelming, and not just regarding their overall costume design, as that mostly remains unchanged.
Now, there is a rather big twist in this issue regarding the death of a character who I personally adore, so while I won't mention who it is, I will say it felt more like a death to deliver a shock, and that was disappointing. I will give it props though for acknowledging this to a degree in the dialogue, and hopefully, this is a temporary thing before they return in some way. Otherwise, it really isn't a death worthy of all this character has gone through and become.
That twist aside, I truly enjoyed heading back into the Spider-Verse with this talented team at the helm. Slott and Bagley both bring back what made their runs with the character so special but with new energy and an intriguing new status quo toybox to play in. We'll have to wait and see if the future is as stellar as the debut, but Spider-Man #1 is already off to a hot start and promises to be an entertaining ride.
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Mark Bagley and John Dell
Colors by Edgar Delgado
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Mark Bagley and Alejandro Sánchez