This issue and series is a little bittersweet. These Secret Wars side books are great in allowing certain time periods and story arcs to be further explored and fleshed out. With RENEW YOUR VOWS, we get to see a world where Peter and Mary Jane are still married, but we're also reminded that their marriage was wiped out before.
Dan Slott gives us an interesting look at what life is like for Peter, trying to juggle being a father as well as a crime fighter. He now has the added responsibility of keeping the city safe and is now at the point where he has to be careful what is said or done around their daughter. Those that are concerned can relax in knowing this isn't just 20+ pages of diaper talk. It's a great look at how things could have gone.
Because this is a Spider-Man comic, you know it's not going to be a perfect life. Slott gives us a new threat with the debut of Regent along with some other foes from Spidey's past to deal with. The action and the stakes are increased. There's something about 'family-man' Spider-Man where it feels like the threats are a bigger deal. This won't be a story where Spider-Man and family will hold hands and walk through the park without a care in the world. This isn't just a story to appease fans clamoring for the marriage to return.
With Adam Kubert on art, you know what to expect. His art always amazes. We get a great mix between talking scenes and ones with heavy action. John Dell's inks and Justin Ponsor's colors gives it all a nice clean feel.
From the very beginning, you can feel that this is basically a WHAT IF...? story. That doesn't take away from the enjoyment.
You can feel some of the constraints in the number of issues allotted for the story. Things progress rather suddenly, giving the overall vibe a complete shift. It's clear the second issue will take the series will now have a different tone. There's also that WHAT IF...? feeling of that worst that could happen may just be around the corner.
What's interesting is this doesn't necessarily feel like it's in a Battleworld territory and if the residents are aware of the big picture.
The moment many have wanted and waited for is here. Peter Parker and Mary Jane are once again married. Sure, it's in a Secret Wars Battleworld region but we get to see what married life is like for the two along with how they're raising their daughter. Slott takes the theme of responsibility to a new level now that Peter is a family man. The story does have a slight sudden pace but that is likely necessary due to the constraints of the size of the series. Adam Kubert's pencils and Justin Ponsor's colors make this look as great as we could hope. Spider-Man's world is often plagued by bad luck but let's hope this turns out to be a great experience for the characters and readers.