Review: Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #4
Secret Wars has been one of the biggest crossovers in comic history but also one of the most confusing. In the past of comic book crossovers leading into reboots, there have only essentially been two, and both of them at DC Comics. The first was Crisis on Infinite Earths, a somewhat necessary crossover which was needed in order to propel DC Comics into the future by cleaning up its past of having purchased numerous other small companies and throwing them together in the same continuity. It was also necessary in order to take a lot of the characters out of the silver age and into the modern superhero medium. The following game changing crossover was Flashpoint, this time again heading for a reboot of DC, only this time focusing on a marketing campaign as its outcome. Although it was a risk, it paid off and despite the successes of Marvel NOW! and other replies from Marvel, the other company seemed to be playing catch-up in order to reboot its own properties, at least until Secret Wars. This mashup of different influences and different universes promises to put everything back together, and to fix what were the few discrepancies between its not-shared universes.
The problem with this crossover has been the scope of the story telling, in that it has been somewhat all over the place, focusing on versions of classic story arcs, but not necessarily explaining the underlying concepts behind the bigger world. In this case, all of the different miniseries have spun off of the same idea, but it is increasingly difficult to put them together, especially as numerous versions of some characters exist in all of the different series. Spider-Man is one such example, existing in several series at the moment, including Civil War, Spider-Verse and Spider-Island. These have had their moments, but definitely the best of the series has been Renew Your Vows, focusing on Peter versus the world, the same kind of story which made him so popular to begin with. The story continues here, with a bit of the always teased at idea of a Spider-Girl, which is sometimes realized and sometimes more of a suggestion.
The approach here works both as a series and as part of the overall crossover. Although there are some attempts to tie this into Doom, one can also read this without too much understanding of the bigger series, and instead it focuses on the characters that have made Peter Parker and Spider-Man such an approachable characters since he first graced the pages of comics. This has been and remains one of the best of the miniseries tying into Secret Wars, and it can stand with some of the other noteworthy story arcs focused on the character over the years, even if it is an alternate universe kind of story. There is an honesty to the characters, even living in superhero world they seem real enough, and the imposing threat in this series is also a lot more personal than elsewhere in Secret Wars. Many of this series will go away after Secret Wars and the original heroes will return, at least in part, but this is one series that seems like it has enough of a heart to deserve more of a look
Story: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy