Amazing Reviews: “Brand New Day Volume 3” (Amazing Spider-Man 559-563)

Updated on November 2, 2017
Nathan Kiehn profile image

Nathan Kiehn is the author of over 100 blog posts on his family website Keenlinks and "The Gray Guard" ebook fantasy trilogy on Amazon.

Source

Peter Parker, the Paparazzo

The third part of Brand New Day: Complete Collection: Volume 1 contains the third Brand New Day volume, written by Dan Slott and Bob Gale and illustrated by Marcos Martin and Mike McKone. Once again, these talented creators are tasked with continually introducing new facets within Spidey’s world as well as weaving back in old ones. As shall be seen, perhaps the biggest facet brought back up is a certain red-headed Mary Jane Watson, the not-so-anymore-Mrs.Parker supermodel.

Dan Slott takes the writing reins for the first arc here, a three-issue story that primarily introduces Mary Jane and also adds a few new villains for Spider-Man to tackle. One of these is Screwball, a parkour supervillain who live streams her crimes over the internet. Agile like Spidey, she gives him a nice chase to kick off the story arc. While never featured really prominently in any stories, she'll appear to bother Spidey on more than one occasion.

Slott seemingly has a lot on his plate here, and he handles it all fairly well—introducing new villains like Screwball, exploring the future of Harry Osborn after his sudden return from Europe (part of the explanation for his “death” after his stint as the Green Goblin), pulling in actor Bobby Carr (and his “mysterious girlfriend”), and turning Peter Parker into a paparazzo at the behest of his boss and new owner of the DB!, Dexter Bennett. Seriously, this guy makes you grate your teeth. Jonah Jameson’s a jerk, but he’s a lovable jerk, but Slott and other writers make this guy a full-fledged scumbag with a side of ugh. Now, of course, turning Peter into a paparazzo makes him persistently tail actor Bobby Carr, which leads him to “interacting” with Mary Jane as Spidey, so it all fits into Slott’s story. Still, having Peter glimpsing into other people’s private lives is an awkward action for the clean cut Boy Scout and, while it serves story purposes, seems not to jell with his inherent character. Then again, everyone can act contradictory to how they normally are, so I guess Peter can do this.

This, however, is a good example of how comics oftentimes handle “character change.” I place that in quotes for a slightly sarcastic emphasis. As much as I tend to complain about Dan Slott, by no means is he the only writer I would accuse of doing this. I get that it’s hard to pack a main story, side plots, and characterization in 22 pages once per month (though, in Amazing’s case at this time, it’s three times a month), but it definitely leads to stories that feel too fast paced and have huge developments in character with little foreshadowing and pretty abrupt alterations. Also, goofy changes to the characters themselves can happen, such as swapping their mind for that of their arch-nemesis, but that’s for later. Whatever the case, in this instance, it feels like an abrupt and easy way for the story to get told, so I think the plot here is a bit goofy. What am I saying? It’s comics; they’re all goofy.

Screwball: the live-streaming, parkour glory hound. Just the supervillain millennials need for the 21st century.
Screwball: the live-streaming, parkour glory hound. Just the supervillain millennials need for the 21st century. | Source

The saving grace, however, is Marcos Martin, the illustrator. If I were to make a list of ten favorite comic book artists in general, and Spidey artists in particular—and I might just do that one day—Martin would be on the list, along with John Romita Jr., Tim Sale, and probably Steve McNiven. Martin exudes fun with every stroke of his pen, and the colorists that usually aid him add to that aspect tremendously. Like Chris Bachalo and Zeb Wells, Martin is an artist Slott turns to time and again, as will be seen throughout some of Slott’s other Amazing arcs during the Brand New Day era as well as Slott’s own run on the book. Martin’s work leans a bit closer to the cartoonish side of comic book art, especially when the colors utilized are bright. However, I think his stuff is enjoyable because it really pops. The action scenes are better defined, the characters feel alive…perhaps a sense of reality is pushed to the side, but it’s replaced with energy that crackles across each panel.

Swinging back to Mary Jane (spider-pun, ftw), her involvement is tangential, but it fits with the story. It makes perfect sense that the writers would want to avoid a full-blown interaction between her and Spidey. In the tale, Spidey saves Bobby Carr from Paper Doll, a rabid fan turn full-blown murderer who can make her body two-dimensional. Spidey's assisted by a "mysterious voice" that turns out to be MJ, so while the two don't meet face-to-face, this is their first interaction following the events of One More Day. Slott does hint that Mary Jane still actually knows Peter’s identity as Spider-Man, an exception to the Mephisto deal that Spidey doesn’t know

Admittedly, there are times where this vibe can seem a little off-putting. Brand New Day comes as so new, so fresh, so 60’s-era Spidey, that it’s difficult to picture it coming right after Straczynski’s grounded, more mature, yet deep and hilarious take on the character. So seeing strands that he left loose being pulled together here feels strange. Yet, the writers do it the best way possible. They’re subtle, which is rare in an artistic medium with two-page spreads, splashy colors, and goofball characters.

You could say Paper Doll's character is a little...flat.
You could say Paper Doll's character is a little...flat. | Source

To his credit, Peter eventually comes to his senses and realizes how creepy it is for him to stalk famous people like Bobby Carr--especially by using his spider-skills of crawling and climbing--and says so to Dexter Bennett's face. It's one of those great moments where a character sticks to his guns in the face of something morally reprehensible, which is a core characteristic of who Peter is. "With great power..." and all that. He gets fired as a result, unfortunately, but he does the right thing. That's what important.

Peter Parker Takes a Stand

"Here's the deal, Mister Bennett. On this memory card, I'm pretty sure I've got shots of Spider-Man taking down the Paper Doll killer. And there's more on here, maybe even snaps of Carr's "mystery girl.' But I'm not even gonna look. That's part of Carr's private life, and I'm going to respect that."

Bookies and Bashers

After this story, writer Bob Gale and artist Mike McKone take the reins to tell a two-part story focused on a character named the Bookie. Though a minor character, the Bookie pops up multiple times throughout the Brand New Day era. He runs an illegal bar for super criminals, cause even the bad guys need a place where everybody knows their name…or bad guy nom de guerre? He also lets his clientele place bets on hero-villain fights, because we all know that gambling with supervillain dough is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Because it isn’t. It’s really not. Because, for example, let’s say that the supervillains find out that you fix a bet by hiring someone to dress up as Spider-Man and trounce a Tier 4 villain. Just a hypothetical argum...oh, no, wait. This actually happens.

Using this guy!
Using this guy! | Source

This is the Basher. I don’t know his real name, I don’t know his origin, I don’t know the extent of his powers. Assumedly, it’s to “bash” superheroes. Guy’s clearly a savant. Besides having the laziest supervillain name in all creation, he agrees to get trounced by “Spider-Man,” a stunt that gets foiled by the real Spider-Man. Sounds pretty dumb on the Bookie’s part.

Because it is. It really is. Dude gets himself kidnapped by the Enforcers—Ox, Fancy Dan and Montana—guys who have no superpowers yet find themselves pitted against Spidey time and again. Spidey then has to team with his greatest sidekick ever: the Bookie’s dad! Together, the two discover the Enforcers in their secret, abandoned amusement park hideout, where they’re subjecting the Bookie to funhouse-themed punishments for his underhanded dealings.

It’s as bizarre as it sounds. Comics, man.

Long story short, Spidey saves the Bookie. The day is saved. Hopefully, this means that the Bookie will learn his lesson about taking unnecessary, stupid risks when dealing with bad guys.

(that’s called foreshadowing, people)

Other than being amusing and offering a tiny hint of foreshadowing, this story does little to add anything to the Brand New Day world that’s being crafted. And with that last issue, the first volume of my Complete Collection is, well, complete. Overall, it’s a heck of a volume, kicking Spidey from the Straczynski era into a brand new one. There are bunch of great stories, new characters, fun plotlines, cool scripts, and fantastic art. And did I mention I got this volume in England? Yeah, so that adds a bit of special into the mix. Cheerio.

What's In a Name?

Is the "Basher" the absolute worst name for a supervillain ever?

See results

Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Volume 3

3 stars for Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Volume 3

Buy "Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Volume 3" on Amazon.com!

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Nathan Kiehn

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hobbylark.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)