Posted - June 3, 2013 | Updated : June 15, 2013 | August 26, 2015
Spider-Man : Brand New Day
Brand New Day is a great jumping on point for new readers because Marvel is basically partially re-starting Spider-Man with this run. The major change is that Peter was never married to MJ and nobody knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. We also get a little primer from Marvel to make sure that everybody is on the same page. We are informed that (1) Peter and MJ dated and have since broken up (2) the Gwen Stacy stories still apply (3) Harry Osborn is young, rich, used to be the Green Goblin, and hates Spider-Man (4) May Parker is alive (5) Spider-Man uses web shooters and (6) Peter lives with Aunt May and is broke. So there.
Brand New Day is set in post Civil War Marvel. Tony Stark's Initiative program is in full swing in New York, one of whose licensed heroes is Jackpot. Everybody suspects she's MJ. I hope so too.
She's referred to as New York's 'official licensed hero'.
For me, the panel that really brings home the abrupt change in Spider-Man is this one.
Aunt May waking up Peter, who is single and living in her house. No more MJ; no more separate apartment. This is just like old times, as in Silver Age old times. Peter even references 'wheatcakes' which is the kind of breakfast he had when his Uncle Ben was still alive. One of the most effective ways that Dan Slott and Steve McNiven communicates the state of Peter's finances is with this panel.
Peter is hunting for a job using a newspaper. Why? Because he has no computer. As Betty Brant would later comment : "Who in the 21st century doesn't have a computer?" - or something to that effect.
Speaking of Betty, she's out apartment hunting for Peter and finally finds something in Peter's price range. Look at this dump.
The corner sink is definitely a fixer upper.
We have a very well presented series of panels about Peter applying for work.
McNiven also gives us an excellent 'rogues gallery' pinup of Peter.
Out of costume, here are the people surrounding Peter Parker
Girl in the white shirt is Carlie Cooper, then there's Lily Hollister, and same old Harry Osborn.
And here's a new villain.
The ruthless Mr. Negative.
Don't you love having friends? Here's Harry Osborn giving broke Peter Parker a loan.
These panels doesn't quite capture it in my opinion. From personal experience asking a handout from family or friends is very personally humiliating - one of the more painful experiences in life.
I'm putting in this panel here for the simple reason that I think its done really well.
So what we have here is a mugger in a Spider-Man mask and he manages to get both Peter's wallet and a web-shooter.
You just know that a very nice subplot will be developed from this one.
Peter manages to attach a Spider Tracer to the mugger's jacket. Just look at the tracer.
It looks like a fine piece of tech. Obviously this is a new version - not the simple red tracer of the past that looked like a red paper cutout.
Okay, Peter is in dire need of money so he can pay for that atrocious fixer upper Betty found and move out of Aunt May's house. He might also want to buy a desktop computer or a budget laptop. It turns out that the Daily Bugle still owes Parker for some pics. So he charges over there to ask J. Jonah Jameson for money. We all know Johah, so we all know - and so does Peter - that Jameson isn't going to hand over any money quietly. True enough the curses start flying. Peter breaks and starts mouthing off.
Than J. Jonah Jameson has a heart attack!
Going back to Peter's tirade, all I can say is that it's very 'employee'. You know? You work nine-to-five for someone, or better, some company, and somehow you develop the utterly inane idea that you are somehow irreplaceable. Given that, you say something like what Peter is saying - and it sounds utterly stupid. "I'm the reason the Daily Bugle is successful". C'mon.
Anyway, Steve McNiven turns out this incredible Spider-Man page.
Notice the detail of New York harbor in the background? Magnificent. I know Marvel agrees because this pose is going to start appearing in Amazing Spider-Man issues as part of the trade dress.
So Norman Osborn, apparently on a whim, bought a Coffee Bean or is it a Starbuck's - a franchise, not a cup of coffee, and, also on a whim, he comes into his place and asks everybody to leave so he can have some privacy.
I know he promises everybody free coffee the next three times they return but can you even pull this stunt on a commercial establishment even if you are the owner and don't care about profit? Some customer is going to complain to your face; that's what I think.
While Jameson is in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. Marla, his wife, convinced that running the 'Bugle' is slowly killing her husband does this :
I think selling anybody's business without his or her permission - power of attorny notwithstanding - is crossing a line. This is grounds for divorce.
Before long we have Spider-Man tangling with Mr. Negative's thugs - the Inner Demons. I love that name.
After Back in Black and One More Day, it is so refreshing to see Spider-Man joking around in a fight once again.
I really like it when a comic gives out excellent portrayals outside of panels with people in costume. These two panels are a great example
Remember that mugger who nabbed one of Peter's web shooters? He thinks that just because he has a web shooter he's now Mr. Somebody. Not.
I'm looking at these panels and what's missing is spider-strength - you can't mug that one out of somebody.
So because of Marla Maples (I hope soon to be divorced), Dexter Bennett now owns the Daily Bugle. He comes in to see his new property. There's a bunch of panels but these really set me off?
Grrrrrrr!I hate asshole bosses!! I hate 'em! I want J. Jonah Jameson to beat this guy up. Please Dan Slott give us the satisfaction.
Meanwhile, there's another Inner Demon/Spider-Man fight, just look at these gorgeous panels
Another wonderful McNiven panel is when Spider-Man saves a kid from drowning.
Not over. Look how Spidey's colors pop out in this panel.
Dave Stewart does the colors.
And one more fantastic panel of Spider-Man with a moonlit backdrop.
We have a change of writer and artist as Marc Guggenheim and Salvador Larroca take over from Dan Slott and Steve McNiven. Marc and Salvador have some awfully big shoes to fill. Check out Larroca's Spider-Man
I love this sequence
'Back seat super-heroing'. As a guy who's perpetually plagued with backseat driving, I can really relate to Spider-Man here.
I'm starting to love Jackpot because this 'rogues gallery' line is exactly what I'm going to say if I ever become a superhero.
Spider-Man must love her too because he gets to do witty comebacks like this.
Anyway, Spider-Man gets right to the question on everybody's mind
For the record, Jackpot does not really answer this question. This is a wonderful shot of the pair.
Jackpot's costume looks fantastic doesn't it?
Another registered hero, the Blue Shield, makes an appearance.
Turns out he's from Dazzler No. 5. I love it when Marvel references its rich history. First, because all those years reading comics isn't wasted - you know, aside from the sheer fun of reading - and, secondly, building on the work of previous creative teams gives the story a richness that it would not otherwise be able to have.
Blue Shield takes on Spidey.
Mr. Negative is the first Brand New Day costumed villain, and, here, Menace is the second.
Reminds you of someone ?
If you liked Jackpot's 'rogues gallery' comment you're going to love these two panels.
Is this J. Jonah Jameson or Walter Matthau?
Is this an orderly Jonah is wailing against or is it Dom DeLuis?
Just to remind us that we are still in Tony Stark's Initiative Program, here's Spider-Man being hounded by the government.
These aren't Capekillers though. Where are the Capekillers?
It's been bright and lighthearted so far in this Brand New Day, but now we take a turn for the darker side as new hero Jackpot makes a mistake and gets a civilan killed.
Bennett does have a nice something over Jonah : He pays good money.
Brand New Day welcomes in some fresh air into the Spidey mythos and I like it.