Spider-man has it rough a lot. Usually unemployed. Usually broke. Sometimes homeless. It’s often referred to as “Parker Luck”. And with Grim Hunt, and the Gauntlet, he’s been through the wringer.
Writer, Dan Slott, is seeking to give Peter a bit more stability in this book. Dan Slott has written quite a few books I’ve enjoyed. Including the very good She-hulk, and the not as good, but still enjoyable Mighty Avengers. Slott is known for being a continuity stickler, and this book it clearly shows. A few references from Amazing Fantasy #15, as many will know, as Spidey’s first appearance. It really does show.
But in Big Time, it’s mostly about the impact of Shadowland on New York, the rise of a new Hobgoblin, and Peter getting a new job and a new Spidey-suit. Does it really hold up as a good book? Well… yes and no.
Big Time, starts off, with Peter recapping the incidents that have made him currently unemployed, and makes sure you realize that Peter IS a big brain. Though, the start of it, uses a completely insipid plot device to illustrate this point, but more on that later.
After an incident with Doc Ock attacking Manhattan, mostly to distract the big heroes, and to show off how intelligent Pete can be on the spot. This seems to lead off to a further development later on, so I really can’t touch up on that more.
But after the conflict, Peter is showing us, that he’s again down on his luck. Behind on rent, he’s asking his bosses for his pay early, which of course doesn’t happen. But this also leads to Jonah, giving the Daily Bugle to Robbie Robertson (one of the best supporting characters in any comic hands down) in quite an amusing scene, that shows Jonah and Robbie at their best.
Peter finds out, he has to find a new place to live. He’s been off world doing Avengers stuff, so he’s not prepared for this. After looking for a place to crash, and failing, Peter gets set up with an interview at Horizon Industry, a big think tank, working on the next “big thing”. You’re set up to the new co-workers, and of course something goes wrong. Peter, using his powers and his brain, fixes it, and gets hired right on the spot. And his first check is apparently huge.
Meanwhile, Phil Urich former Green Goblin, is working at the Bugle, and had developed a crush on reporter Nora. She’s researching about the new Green Goblin gang, and Phil is trying to use his experience to impress her.
At the same time, the Kingpin is trying to fill the power void left in place after Shadowland. He hires the Hobgoblin, to steal one of Horizon’s projects. Hobgoblin eagerly agrees. He goes to gear up at one of Osborn’s old safe houses, where he stumbled upon Phil, trying to get some goblin gear to impress Nora. Hobgoblin is telling him, he’s at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he’s gotta go, but Phil turns the table on him. Fatally. Phil uses his sonic laugh/scream on Hobgoblin and takes him down, seeking to take the Hobgoblin name for his own.
He goes to the Kingpin, taking over the job the original Hobgoblin had. Breaking into Horizon’s on Peter’s first day. He attacks and of course Peter gets into his Spidey duds and fights. Not able to withstand the sonic attack, Hobgoblin gets the project and flies away.
Kingpin isn’t happy someone’s replacing his hired man, but the new Hobgoblin is showing himself capable. Kingpin hires him, and Hobgoblin is looking to get even further up the Kingpin’s ranks. Setting up Montana, for a fall.
Peter, not wanting to fall to a sonic attack again, uses his new jobs resources to make himself a new suit. His new job, not really worried, as long as what ever he is working on can help lead to a new product, asks no questions. So Peter teams up with the Black Cat, trying to get Horizon’s project. And with his new stealth suit, he can do so. They get the lab shut down, and Kingpin and Hobgoblin fly away to safety. But it starts a new beginning for Peter, and a chance of success for him.
The strengths of this book, is really that Dan Slott GETS Peter Parker. He writes a warm and funny Peter, and gets a lot of good moments with character development in this book. Peter’s smart, Aunt May is supportive, Jonah is after Spidey for any and everything. He knows the characters, and knows them well. Most characters are handled well, so that always makes a fan relaxed.
Humberto Ramos’ art is also fitting for Spider-man. His art style lends itself to a fluid character like Spidey. And his women all look pretty good, and everyone dresses uniquely. Suited for their personalities.
The problems though, really comes with how convenient everything is. Peter gets pretty much a dream job for him. He can work on ANYTHING he wants for his super-hero career and gets paid for it. Not only that, he even has a “black box” where he can keep anything he wants and only HE can get into it.
Also, Slott is so eager to prove how smart Peter is, that he does it in some of the dumbest ways possible. The opening sequence, Peter stops a two and a half minute timer by making it think it’s Day Light Savings time. So they’d have another hour. Now of course, why would ANY villain use that for a timer is beyond me. Another incident involves Peter using Wakandian Algerbra, but using it wrong to fix an exploding project. It’s good to see Peter using his brain, but when it’s used like this one can’t help but think “What? That is dumb”
Next issue I’ve seen is Phil Urich in general. He’s just not an interesting Hobgoblin. He really seems so two dimensional it just isn’t really funny. The motivation he has, is just silly and trite. If he becomes a mudering beast, Nora will like him! It’s motivation, but it’s really bad motivation.
Overall, the book is good, but there’s a few issues with it that keeps it from being great. It’s leading to a nice start, but Peter having a magic macguffin job is nice, but really seems kind of silly over all. I’d rate this book a solid 7 out of 10.