Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1 Review

Written by: Dan Slott

Art by: Adam Kubert

Publisher: Marvel

Ever since One More Day, many fans have been upset with the direction the spider franchise has taken. Splitting up Peter and Mary Jane was a major point of contention for people, with some seeing it as a waste of character development and an attempt to keep Peter as close to his high school roots as possible. Those fans now have the chance to get a glimpse at what might have been with Renew Your Vows, the Spider-Man portion of the Secret Wars currently raging elsewhere. While the series stays completely separate from Secret Wars, Spider-Man fans looking for the story of a happily married Peter are in for a treat.

The story takes place in a world that feels as if Avengers: Disassembled never happened, and then the world carried on up until modern days. There’s a great feeling of classic continuity and even some nods to previous events, but in a style that fits in perfectly with modern day Marvel comics. Having written Spider-Man for so long, Slott knows these characters inside and out, so seeing them in this form seems completely natural. Slott treats this as if it’s just another issue of Spider-Man which gives an odd disorientating feeling at first, but for classic Spidey fans it’ll feel more like returning home after a long absence. The family dynamic is just such a fun addition to Spider-Man lore that it actually makes me wish this was the reality we got. Peter seems a lot more grown up and responsible in this while still maintaining the charming nature we know and love. Seeing him tackle new problems such as what might happen if his baby daughter shouts out that he’s Spider-Man is very fun and a clever angle, it shows the character and his world has grown and evolved. It’s everything that fans have demanded for years.

Outside of the family dynamic, the issue works really well as a Spider-Man story but with a few twists. Since Slott is not chained to the current continuity he can do whatever he wishes with the characters, leading to a very tense issue as not every character is guaranteed survival. It’s a perfect blend of classic Spider-Man action but with a new set of rules in place. The only thing with the story I wasn’t too fond of was how much of a role the Avengers played. It was fun to see things like the avengers mansion and some older costumes once again, but I was really here to read about Spider-Man. While the two stories dove tail nicely into each other in an outstanding ending that sets up a really interesting angle for the series, it still took away a little bit from what I was enjoying. Given how fast the story moves I would’ve liked to have seen some more focus on Spidey’s family life instead.

The art from Adam Kubert is the strongest I’ve seen from him in years. Much like the writing, there’s a very cool blend of classic designs but with a modern, cinematic edge to it. Without spoiling it, the villain of the issue looks more threatening than ever with Kubert’s pencils, helping perfectly render the action and tension of Slott’s script. Peter and MJ also look realistically older which is a nice detail, even if Peter does look like he’s channeling some Reed Richards mojo by the end. Little Annie also looks freaking adorable in any panel she’s in, both the idyllic family life and high stakes superheroing are done complete justice by Kubert.

Overall, this issue is everything Spider-Man fans have been demanding for years. Slott perfectly handles the responsibilities of an older, married Peter Parker and these changes give his adventures a great new spin. While the issue is pretty fast paced and doesn’t spend as much time with the family as I’d have liked, it’s an awesome introduction and leaves with a great set-up for the rest of the series. Anyone looking for an extension of the Secret Wars event need not follow this, but this should be required reading for Spider-Man fans.