Giant-Size Spider-Man (2014) (Story 1)

Background

Joe Caramanga retells and reworks Spider-Man's early days in these all-ages, modern versions of the first Amazing Spider-Man stories.

Story 'Behind the Mask'

Part One: Peter Parker is walking to school when his Uncle Ben catches up with him to give him the permission slip to go on the School's Empire State University Trip. Uncle Ben leaves Peter but, when Peter is picked on by Flash Thompson outside the University steps, he comes back and picks Peter up from the sidewalk. Peter yells at him. If he'd have stayed down, they'd have walked away. Now they'll never leave him alone! Ben tells him that he has to stand up but Peter isn't listening. He runs away!

Inside ESU, Peter watches a demonstration of radiation. A spider interrupts the beam of radiation, causing a malfunction and explosion!" The spider lands on Peter's hand and bites him! He immediately feels queasy and heads outside. Flash and his buddies follow him to teach him a lesson, but Peter runs away! He finds that he can leap over huge fences and that he can stick to walls!

He returns home and locks himself in his room, trying to come to terms with his new abilities and powers. He realises that he doesn't have to be a nobody anymore and the next time we see him...

...he is in a wrestling ring as The Amazing Spider-Man!

Part Two: As Spider-Man makes a name for himself on the wrestling circuit, Uncle Ben becomes more frustrated that all Peter does is lock his door every night.

The wrestling promoter eventually gets annoyed that he hasn't got Spider-Man's real name on a contract. Spider-Man demands that he gives him his money - he will not be bullied again. Outside the office, Spider-Man runs into Flash and his buddies, wanting autographs. Spider-Man throws Flash against a wall, announcing that he is a loser! Suddenly a man, who has robbed the promoter, runs past Spider-Man and escapes.

Peter returns home, determined to apologise to Ben and maybe even tell him his secret. There are police cards outside his apartment block! A police officer tells Peter that his Uncle has been killed by a robber. Ben stood up to the robber, thinking Peter was at home and needing protection. Peter learns that the robber is cornered in a warehouse on the waterfront and runs away!

Spider-Man hunts down, webs up and beats up the robber and discovers that the robber is the man he could have stopped at the wrestling arena.

At Uncle Ben's funeral, Peter understands that with great power must come great responsibility and that he will not let his Uncle Ben down ever again. He's going to stand up...

General Comments

I can't say I'm into retellings much, unless their going to tweak things cleverly to add something different.

Joe Caramagna's only real tweak is the focus on Flash and his altercations with Peter and Spider-Man. This works well and gives another level to this well-known story. The "standing up" concept is good, as is the way certain things are delivered (the wrestling Spider-Man against Uncle Ben's speech to Peter's locked door.

The two parts allows two artists to have their stamp on this story. I much prefer Scott Koblish's efforts as Giancarlo Caracuzzo's work is very dark and is not as detailed or as clean-lined. Two artists telling one story only works if they're close to each other in style or used to draw different settings, characters or times. Here the story suffers for having two artists as there's no consistency.

Overall Rating

A mixed-artistic outing in an average retelling.