Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1
Written by Chip Zdarsky and Mike Drucker
Art by Michael Allred and Chris Bachalo
Colors by Laura Allred
Inks by Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba, Wayne Faucher, Livesay and Tim Townsend
Letters by Travis Lanham
Jonah Jameson is doing everything he can to make sure Peter Parker is the best Spider-Man he can be and his obsession with this new mission is the focus of the first part of this annual issue. As Jameson tries to contact Peter about Shocker robbing a bank, Spidey is on what he thinks is another date with Rebecca until she reveals that she has a boyfriend. Another consequence to his being a superhero. It’s a pretty fun scene considering how awkward it is for everyone, especially when Rebecca’s boyfriend shows up at the same time Human Torch arrives.
Things don’t go that smoothly for Jameson either when he is reminded that there are other heroes in New York and the Shocker situation was handled. When the two of them finally meet up, Peter resents the fact that Jonah thinks he needs to mentor the hero and Peter reminds him of the consequences of Jameson’s big mouth. I like the call back to the tail end of Slott’s run on Amazing and how it ties into this new dynamic between Peter and Jonah. It’s even nice to see Jameson be nostalgic for the Bugle as Peter reminds him of his civilian responsibilities.
In what is an unexpected (and frankly amusing) twist, the bad guy in this issue isn’t connected to Spider-Man. This one has a long standing grudge against Jameson and it is actually pretty interesting. This grudge is actually founded in some pretty crappy dealing by Jameson that affected a lot of people and the person who comes after him wants to make him pay for it. The end of the story is actually a little bittersweet and adds another dimension to the relationship between Peter and Jonah. One that actually justifies his desire to help.
The next short story in the annual is Peter’s attempt to contemplate the choices he’s made and how they’ve negatively affected everyone he’s known. Unfortunately, those moments of contemplation are intercut with Spidey trying to be a hero and helpful to people who would rather he be someone else. It’s a fun side story that showcases the characters history as well as the consequences of responsibility.