Let me start of by saying this does will not cover "One More Day." We all hated it, I know. No need to expound upon that.
I'm looking at the first six issues of Amazing Spider-Man since it went weekly, which comprises the Brand New Day storyline. Two three part stories, one by Dan Slott and the Civil War art team of Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, and Morry Hollowell; the other by Mark Guggenheim and Salvador Larroca. You can look forward to light spoilers in the following, but not enough to ruin the stories for you.
So here we are, all Peter Parker and no Mary Jane. Oh, she's mentioned, but nothing substantial. The first three issues lay out what this new status quo means. Everyone forgot who was under that Spider-Man mask when he unmasked during Civil War(bummer) and he's back at the Daily Bugle. Also, a new villian is thrown in for good measure. Dan Slott is a writer that I've been routing for since his She-Hulk days and he's a great fit for writing Spider-Man. The happy-go-lucky attitude is back in full force, along with thought ballons. Good fun writing for all involved. The art is also pretty kick ass. It's hard to get better than Steve McNiven launching things off.
On to the actual story, this dude, Mr. Negative is messing with things and wants to kill fools. Spider-Man is there to stop him. Also, the chick from that Free Comic Book day issue last year, Jackpot, makes an appearance, but features more prominently in the next arc. It comes to a nice conclusion with plenty of room for the future. In all it was a solid starting arc, but not quite as great as it really needed to be to hook people. (Note: I don't count as people because I'm a chump who'll buy it anyway.)
The second arc deals more heavily with who Jackpot is and introduces another villians, this one's named Menace(as you can see, real creative names here). He's another goblin glider rider(rhyming not intentional).
The story and art fit great as this is a slightly darker story. On top of the new villian, Spidey's tracers have been found in dead bodies around the city. Also, Jackpot and another registered hero (The Blue Shield) bring some trouble the arachnid's way. Oh right, Spider-Man is also unregistered now, since no one remembers who he was. It comes down to a pretty climactic moment and has a very satisfying ending. I have to give the "Better of the Two" award to this second arc. Much more character focused in terms of the supporting cast and a more interesting plot running though.
In all, this has been an exciting relaunch. I'm interested to see if these new threads are picked up by the different writers along the way, or if each one kind of sticks to their own guns. While I wouldn't call these the greatest Spider-Man stories, they're definately fun and worth at read. Also keep in mind, this is merely the first chapter. I have some faith that as things move along, they'll keep getting better. And if not, well, I could deal with saving some change by not picking up a thrice monthly book, but it's not looking like that'll happen anytime soon.
4 out of 5 Webs!
Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day