At first I’d planned to kick this off with a joke, and then I realized I am just not that funny. So, whatever, its Spider-Man!
So, Spidey’s made something of a milestone for himself in the comic world with his book, The Amazing Spider-Man, reaching its 600th issue. Six hundred issues. That’s an impressive number of books, to say the least. I can’t even fathom what such a collection would look like.
But that isn’t the only thing Marvel had in store for us, simply not content to let a momentous occasion like this to slip by, the book boasts over one hundred pages and a variety of short stories.
There’s seriously a lot of book here. Now to find out if it lives up to its special treatment….
As the book begins, we find that Otto Octavious has returned, in the most unlikely of places: a doctors office. Recounting a few of his past battles, the doctor gives him a piece of troubling news, in the form of a life expectancy of a year and a half. Angry at the hand he was dealt, he vows that when he’s gone, no one will forget his name. Meanwhile, we find Spider-Man and Daredevil have teamed up and are making a mess of a super villain bar, which ends up making Peter late for a very important engagement– the rehearsal for his aunt May’s wedding.
Later on, as if things weren’t hectic enough, the Parkers soon find that their arrangements have all begun to crumble around them, meeting with some form of disaster or another; to make matters worse, the groom himself has gone missing. When Peter heads out to get to the bottom of matters, he soon realizes that this bad day from hell just got worse, the city itself is out to get him.
Now, I consider myself a fan of Spider-Man in as much to say that there are some books that I’ve followed, but I did not previously follow Amazing Spider-Man. Even so, however, there’s a definite plus to the work that at a lack for being familiar with recent developments, it was easy enough to pick up along the way.
That being said, the book was fairly interesting, but there were a few things that I found difficult to shake going through the book. The first issue in particular seemed to be the pacing, with the book going all over, both plot elements, the wedding, and Doc Ock, seemingly fighting for screen time. And then there’s my second issue, which piggyback’s on the pacing issue to some degree, and that is the whole ‘Doc Ock thing”. Granted, I like the character very much, and I can see where the character was going, but the whole thing just ends up blown by the end, that it just seemed like it was a redundant effort. Not to mention fairly out of character.
Beyond that, the writing was fairly engaging, it seemed like the writer had a good handle on the characters he was working with, and was able to establish their tone and personality fairly well, and the plot in general, as previously mentioned, was easy enough to follow on its own.
And then the art, yes, the art. The overall look of the book has this really nice sort of dark, grainy, watercolor-like aesthetic to it that seems to work fairly well in giving the art a nice personality to it, although there are a few areas where it feels like the line-art is holding the image back from using its potential, with the type of coloring.
This is forgivable, if only for the number of really stand out panels, that just look, well, really cool.
What it all comes down to is kind of hard to say. Discounting potential flaws or otherwise, the book doesn’t really seem to take itself all that seriously, which can be a plus. It has this sort of ‘romantic comedy meets superheroes’ vibe to it that’s a bit of a throw off, at least as far as my experience goes.
Really, I had some fun with it, aside from the odd interactions with Doc Ock, the book was a pretty enjoyable, with some very amusing dialogue; especially at the end. That played out really nicely for me.
Cover: C+ (Nice looking, quite nostalgic, but also a little… uneventful. A tad boring, if you will.)
Writing: C- (Good, funny, enjoyable, but there was some pacing issues among other things.)
Art: B- (Pleasant, easy on the eyes, really cool in some places, but also kinda not good in others.)
Overall: C+ (A fairly solid, enjoyable book. Not great, but not bad either.)
Spider-Man, and all related characters – © 2009 Marvel Comics. All Rights Reserved.