For more than five decades, Spider-Man has remained one of the most popular and enduring comic book heroes. Created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Peter Parker was the ultimate power fantasy to millions of readers young and old: an ordinary, shy kid who was suddenly blessed with spectacular powers. But since swinging into our lives in 1962, Spider-Man’s stories have evolved, as Peter met fellow heroes, lost friends and family, fought a bunch of his clones, struggled with his own mortality, and even lived through the heat death of the Marvel Universe. Once an incredibly down-to-earth look at superheroes, Spider-Man began to outgrow his everyman roots, with each larger-than-life threat increasing the fantastical elements of Peter’s life. To many, this trend reached its peak during Dan Slott’s 10-year run on the title, with Spider-Man founding his own billion-dollar company, gaining an arsenal of high-tech equipment, leaping into a multiversal epic alongside other spider-people, and, yes, fighting even more clones somehow (Don’t know why people keep coming back to that.) While Slott’s run still had plenty of great moments, it became clear to readers that the creators involved with Spider-Man weren’t as interested in the man behind the mask. That is, until Tom Taylor, along with artist Juann Cabal began their own run in 2019, fittingly titled Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Trading the high-tech, high-concept elements of Slott’s run for a more intimate adventure, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is a celebration of the human heart of the character, and how even the smallest of actions can make a world of change.
*SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS RECENT LIMITED SERIES*
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