I’ve kinda knocked some of the “Secret Wars” spin-offs as just being cash-grabbing rehashes of old storylines, or being like a nostalgia-inducing, quasi-compilation of greatest hits, but “Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” seems to bring something new and exciting to the party that’s not based on an old storyline or idea: What if Peter Parker devoted himself more to his family than his superhero career? This is an intriguing notion, one that couldn’t really be played out in the main title without eventually being retconned. In “Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows”, writer Dan Slott gets to play with this notion with (based on the first issue) sincerity, tenderness, and honesty. This is a serious take on a “What If” scenario that actually feels legitimate, as it’s coming from the main Spidey writer himself.

I’m glad that Slott gets to explore this new angle on Peter Parker/Spider-Man, as he’s already explored so many other angles of Spidey in his great long run on the character. Slott is by far my favorite modern Spidey writer (for context, this includes the time from when I first started reading Spidey back in the weaning days of the clone saga). Slott has taken Spidey on one long roller coaster ride ever since joining the Spidey-writing team with “Brand New Day” and becoming the main Spidey writer with “Big Time”, and “Renew Your Vows” seems like it’ll be another great notch on Slott’s ever expanding Spidey-writing belt.

Another key ingredient that makes “Renew Your Vows” work is Adam Kubert’s art. I LOVE Kubert’s art — with his vertical-leaning panels, great layouts, solid character work, and attention to detail, Kubert is a comic master (although, to be honest, some of the artwork in this issue didn’t feel as sharp or clean as it should have been).

Overall, “Renew Your Vows” #1 seems like the start to a great story that was looking for something to tie in to to be told, rather than just a cheap tie-in cash grab.

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