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April 18, 2014 / Jett

Spider-Man: Family Business Review

With all eyes on upcoming Amazing Spider-Man launch, this recently-released Spider-Man graphic novel may go under the radar. In it, the Kingpin returns, despite everyone thinking that he’s been long dead. More importantly, Peter Parker discovers that he has a sister. Having lived his entire life with the knowledge that he was an only child, this revelation has the potential to turn his world upside down.

As it turns out, Teresa Parker was adopted by another family at a young age. She grew up to be a C.I.A. agent, where she discovered her ties to the Parker clan. In her latest mission, she must protect Peter from a criminal organization. Together, they try and unravel the mysteries of their past while on the run from their pursuers. This adventure takes them both around the world with no shortage of action.

Having been turned off by the samples I’ve read of Superior Spider-Man where Otto Octavius is actually the webslinger, Family Business serves as a great reminder of how fun Peter Parker is as a character. He takes down the bad guys with no shortage of swagger while wisecracking along the way. I also love how everything is depicted through painted artwork. Everything looks great while still conveying Spider-Man’s acrobatics.

There are a few things that stop this from reaching its full potential. Due to the way that Teresa Parker is handled, this story could conveniently fit at almost any point in the Spider-Man timeline while having little impact on the overall cannon. This is a shame, because Teresa is actually a great character that has potential for more in the future. It’s conveniently written in a way where she could come back, but also in a way where Marvel could simply tuck her away as if nothing ever happened. I also have concerns with its cover price. At $24.99 US and $27.99 for us Canadians, this is an expensive book, especially when you factor in how short it actually is. I got it on sale for $18, and even that feels like a stretch.

As a standalone read, Spider-Man: Family Business is a fun return for Peter Parker that I greatly enjoyed reading. However, the book is rather expensive for what it offers and its one major revelation is cheapened in the way its executed. Still, if you can get this on sale, or when the inevitable soft cover release hits, this is a nice book to have in your collection.

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