Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Thread

Author
Punk Funk & Junk




As I've said before, my current mission is to read every issue of ASM in order from the beginning. I just finished #400 through #500. Now unlike many of you, this is my first time reading these later issues because I'm mainly a silver and bronze collector. So if this board can stand one more review post, here's my 2 cents on these issues:

#400:
A beautiful, touching issue that gives Aunt May all the respect she deserves. It's a such a strong point in Peter's evolution as a character. He who was once a teen now steps out from the shadow of his aunt to emerge as a man with a family of his own. My wife, who is no comic book fan and merely tolerates my constant Spidey ramblings, actually cried when I told her about May on her deathbed confessing that she knew Peter was Spider-man and how proud she was of all the good things he's done.

#401-#441:
These issues remind me of a spastic child running around in 100 different directions and accomplishing nothing.

This run continues and ends the clone saga and I couldn't care less since it was impossible to follow anyway in only the core title. I have no problem with spilling the story over into other titles, but I'm a firm believer that the core title should contain the bulk of the story and be easy to follow.

Aunt May returns with the most idiotic and moronic explanation possible. This was a HUGE slap in the face to any half way intelligent reader.

#442-#500:
442 kicks off a reboot that doesn't feel like a reboot since there nothing new or different going on.

I enjoyed seeing John Byrne's work since I have a fondness for his style since I started collecting back in the 1980s. However, Howard Mackie's writing is as exciting as watching my lawn grow.

Mary Jane is kidnapped and I still don't know what the whole point of this was. She's presumed dead for 6 months and everyone seems barely affected as if she wasn't even a major character. Peter is so sure that she's still alive, but are we given any clues or build up to show that he's right? No, nothing. Absolutely nothing until issue 470, Mackie's last issue and good riddance.

By issue 471, something wonderful happens as J. Michael Straczynski and JR Jr take over. Peter and the cast now feel fresh and real. For the first time in a long time, Pete and MJ's marriage is integral to the series and not just an afterthought. Peter as a teacher feels like a natural progression of his character.

A stellar standout is issue #480. Not a single word of dialogue or narraration, yet both MJ and May come across as such thoughtful and complex people.

JMS made the series fun again. Before his run, it felt like work slogging through the issues. JMS's run so far is enjoyable and hard to pull myself away from. He's now jumped way up my list of favorite comic writers.

Now onto the 500s.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Pengi





    Quote:
    This run continues and ends the clone saga and I couldn't care less since it was impossible to follow anyway in only the core title. I have no problem with spilling the story over into other titles, but I'm a firm believer that the core title should contain the bulk of the story and be easy to follow.


Every title should be easy to follow. I flat out hate the idea of having to buy one comic series to understand what is happening in another comic series. It's pure simple greed and nothing else.


    Quote:
    Aunt May returns with the most idiotic and moronic explanation possible. This was a HUGE slap in the face to any half way intelligent reader.


I know everybody was fed up of them by that point, but they should have just given in and used "the C word" instead of the genetically altered actress nonsense. It would have been the simplest and most logical way to bring the character back.


    Quote:
    By issue 471, something wonderful happens as J. Michael Straczynski and JR Jr take over. Peter and the cast now feel fresh and real.


What cast?


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Punk Funk & Junk





    Quote:
    By issue 471, something wonderful happens as J. Michael Straczynski and JR Jr take over. Peter and the cast now feel fresh and real.



    Quote:
    What cast?


MJ and May for the most part. JMS made them interesting characters on their own.




Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Pengi





    Quote:
    MJ and May for the most part. JMS made them interesting characters on their own.


Right. The supporting cast of the flagship title was reduced to two characters, both of whom knew Spider-Man's secret identity.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Andrew





    Quote:

      Quote:
      MJ and May for the most part. JMS made them interesting characters on their own.



    Quote:
    Right. The supporting cast of the flagship title was reduced to two characters, both of whom knew Spider-Man's secret identity.


And the problem is?

We don't all want the character stuck in the Silver Age forever. But hey, current Marvel's got your back.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Common-Sense, Tingling!




AMZ400 is quite possibly my favorite Spidey story ever.

I think there are points in the “spastic child” run (401-441) that don’t get enough credit. Even putting aside the better points of the Clone Saga (like JJJ secretly covering Peter’s court costs, the interactions of the three main “Parker Brothers”, ect)*, we still got some pretty good relatively-standalone Tom DeFalco stories (with Mark Bagley) with Ben as Spidey amidst the crossovers (I remember Blood Brothers being particularly disappointing).

Then you have some really good stories from 419-439 (plus the really fun flashback issue). Sure Steve Skroce’s art isn’t really my favorite but his run with DeFalco gave us Black Tarantula (one of the last interesting Spider-Foes) and a great Electro arc. Plus Spider-Hunt and Identity Crisis are two of my favorite Spidey crossovers ever (and IC was less a crossover and more an “event” anyway). The funny thing is that I think that Amazing was the weakest of the Post-CS/Pre-Byrne comics even though its one of my favorite recent runs on the book. It’s a little weird that Marvel keeps putting their A-Team on Spectacular instead of Amazing.

*Which honestly were so caught up in crossovers that I don’t recall which parts happened in Amazing and which happened in the other books.

I don’t have much to say about the Byrne Mackie reboot. At least I don’t have very much nice to say.

I do feel the need to defend them on Peter’s reaction to MJ’s “death”. I think it made perfect sense. No one ever dies in comics. Especially if they’re a major character. Especially if I happens in an explosion and there’s no body. The writer didn’t think MJ would stay dead. The readers didn’t think MJ would stay dead. Why would Peter think MJ would stay dead?

The story where MJ is brought back is indefensible though. MJ just went through a traumatic experience and all Peter can think about is getting some? What the heck? I’ve defended Mackie a lot around he but I won’t defend that story. That last annual he did may be the worst Spider-Man story ever (or at least it was until Peter sold his marriage to the devil).

JMS is really overrated. Paul Jenkins had been quietly fixing Spider-Man in PP for about a year before JMS showed up in Amazing. Ezekiel, the return of MJ, the teaching job, and May finding out Peter’s identity are his only worthwhile contributions to the Spider-mythos and every single one of those things were gone by the end of his run. Plus, lets fact it, a lot of those things he set up were better handled by other writers in the “ancillary” books anyway.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Pengi





    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        MJ and May for the most part. JMS made them interesting characters on their own.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Right. The supporting cast of the flagship title was reduced to two characters, both of whom knew Spider-Man's secret identity.



    Quote:
    And the problem is?



    Quote:
    We don't all want the character stuck in the Silver Age forever. But hey, current Marvel's got your back.


So if Amazing Spider-Man has a supporting cast then it's "stuck in the Silver Age"?

Amazing Spider-Man had a prominent supporting cast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s... until JMS's run where it dwindled down to MJ and Aunt May, both of whom were privy to Peter's super-hero life. The focus shifted almost exclusively to Spider-Man the super-hero whilst Peter Parker, the ordinary guy with ordinary life problems was pushed to the sidelines. Then when JMS's run ended Amazing Spider-Man quickly built up a supporting cast again.


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Pengi





    Quote:
    AMZ400 is quite possibly my favorite Spidey story ever.



    Quote:
    I think there are points in the “spastic child” run (401-441) that don’t get enough credit. Even putting aside the better points of the Clone Saga (like JJJ secretly covering Peter’s court costs, the interactions of the three main “Parker Brothers”, ect)*, we still got some pretty good relatively-standalone Tom DeFalco stories (with Mark Bagley) with Ben as Spidey amidst the crossovers (I remember Blood Brothers being particularly disappointing).



    Quote:
    Then you have some really good stories from 419-439 (plus the really fun flashback issue). Sure Steve Skroce’s art isn’t really my favorite but his run with DeFalco gave us Black Tarantula (one of the last interesting Spider-Foes) and a great Electro arc. Plus Spider-Hunt and Identity Crisis are two of my favorite Spidey crossovers ever (and IC was less a crossover and more an “event” anyway). The funny thing is that I think that Amazing was the weakest of the Post-CS/Pre-Byrne comics even though its one of my favorite recent runs on the book. It’s a little weird that Marvel keeps putting their A-Team on Spectacular instead of Amazing.



    Quote:
    *Which honestly were so caught up in crossovers that I don’t recall which parts happened in Amazing and which happened in the other books.



    Quote:
    I don’t have much to say about the Byrne Mackie reboot. At least I don’t have very much nice to say.



    Quote:
    I do feel the need to defend them on Peter’s reaction to MJ’s “death”. I think it made perfect sense. No one ever dies in comics. Especially if they’re a major character. Especially if I happens in an explosion and there’s no body. The writer didn’t think MJ would stay dead. The readers didn’t think MJ would stay dead. Why would Peter think MJ would stay dead?



    Quote:
    The story where MJ is brought back is indefensible though. MJ just went through a traumatic experience and all Peter can think about is getting some? What the heck? I’ve defended Mackie a lot around he but I won’t defend that story. That last annual he did may be the worst Spider-Man story ever (or at least it was until Peter sold his marriage to the devil).



    Quote:
    JMS is really overrated. Paul Jenkins had been quietly fixing Spider-Man in PP for about a year before JMS showed up in Amazing.


Paul Jenkins' run was much stronger than JMS's I felt, but went south when editorial told him to do lots of long multi-part stories and what-not. Also, whilst I do really enjoy Humberto Ramos's art I don't think he was particularly well-suited to Spider-Man, whereas Mark Buckingham was.

You know, if they'd dealt with Peter and MJ separating for good as a subplot during the Jenkins era, and quickly coming to a clean and simple divorce with no hard feelings then they could have gotten to "Brand New Day" much sooner and much cleaner than they ended up doing. Paul Jenkins' Peter Parker, in the Buckingham issues anyway, mostly came across as a young character.


    Quote:
    Ezekiel, the return of MJ, the teaching job, and May finding out Peter’s identity are his only worthwhile contributions to the Spider-mythos


I was in high school when JMS started writing ASM. Needless to say the idea of Spider-Man being a high school teacher did not work for me.



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.10 on Windows XP
Punk Funk & Junk




I don't see it that way at all. I'm on #503 and for the first time in a long time, Peter Parker is an interesting character. The supporting cast may be smaller at this point, but Peter's interactions with MJ and May feel very real and worth my emotional investment in their lives.

At some points in the ASM series when the cast was large, the book felt more superficial. Too many characters can sometimes mean a writer can only gloss over their interactions and relationships in an attempt to include everyone. JMS did a smart thing by shrinking the cast to be able to focus in on their deeper complexities. In a way, I see it as a natural progression. When we're young we all have a large circle of friends. Then as we get older, some friends fall away and we develop deeper, more complex relationships with the ones we grow older with.

My 2 cents.


    Quote:
    Amazing Spider-Man had a prominent supporting cast in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s... until JMS's run where it dwindled down to MJ and Aunt May, both of whom were privy to Peter's super-hero life. The focus shifted almost exclusively to Spider-Man the super-hero whilst Peter Parker, the ordinary guy with ordinary life problems was pushed to the sidelines.





Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Punk Funk & Junk





    Quote:
    JMS is really overrated. Paul Jenkins had been quietly fixing Spider-Man in PP for about a year before JMS showed up in Amazing.


I may have a different opinion of JMS later on, but this is my first time reading these books and I'm enjoying them immensely.


    Quote:
    Ezekiel, the return of MJ, the teaching job, and May finding out Peter’s identity are his only worthwhile contributions to the Spider-mythos and every single one of those things were gone by the end of his run.


Even if those are the only contributions he gave, isn't that enough? They are some big progressions in Peter's evolution as a character.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
bstie1198





    Quote:
    As I've said before, my current mission is to read every issue of ASM in order from the beginning. I just finished #400 through #500. Now unlike many of you, this is my first time reading these later issues because I'm mainly a silver and bronze collector. So if this board can stand one more review post, here's my 2 cents on these issues:


I've been looking forward to it! Make sure you check back in again after reading the last 95...


    Quote:
    #400:
    A beautiful, touching issue that gives Aunt May all the respect she deserves. It's a such a strong point in Peter's evolution as a character. He who was once a teen now steps out from the shadow of his aunt to emerge as a man with a family of his own. My wife, who is no comic book fan and merely tolerates my constant Spidey ramblings, actually cried when I told her about May on her deathbed confessing that she knew Peter was Spider-man and how proud she was of all the good things he's done.


This is my favorite Spider-man comic ever. This and Spectacular 200 (my second favorite) were the only two comics to make me cry when I read them as a teenager.


    Quote:
    #401-#441:
    These issues remind me of a spastic child running around in 100 different directions and accomplishing nothing.


This is a funny and pretty apt description for the books, even when you're reading all the titles. It must be far, far worse if you're just reading Amazing. This is the era I warned you about in your last thread.


    Quote:
    This run continues and ends the clone saga and I couldn't care less since it was impossible to follow anyway in only the core title. I have no problem with spilling the story over into other titles, but I'm a firm believer that the core title should contain the bulk of the story and be easy to follow.


Yeah, this was a blatent money grab. Sales / marketing totally took over. I had to drop the book when I was 15 cause I could only afford Amazing on a regular basis, so I couldn't follow the storylines anymore. By the way, for an insider lowdown on the clone saga and the forces behind it, check out the Life of Reilly series of articles. Just a fascinating series. It's being redone as a book, with new creator insights, but in the meantime, the online articles are a great read.


    Quote:
    Aunt May returns with the most idiotic and moronic explanation possible. This was a HUGE slap in the face to any half way intelligent reader.


Amen. Of the three major resurrections / retcons (Aunt May, Harry, and Norman), this is the one that still enrages me...


    Quote:
    #442-#500:
    442 kicks off a reboot that doesn't feel like a reboot since there nothing new or different going on.



    Quote:
    I enjoyed seeing John Byrne's work since I have a fondness for his style since I started collecting back in the 1980s. However, Howard Mackie's writing is as exciting as watching my lawn grow.



    Quote:
    Mary Jane is kidnapped and I still don't know what the whole point of this was. She's presumed dead for 6 months and everyone seems barely affected as if she wasn't even a major character. Peter is so sure that she's still alive, but are we given any clues or build up to show that he's right? No, nothing. Absolutely nothing until issue 470, Mackie's last issue and good riddance.



    Quote:
    By issue 471, something wonderful happens as J. Michael Straczynski and JR Jr take over. Peter and the cast now feel fresh and real. For the first time in a long time, Pete and MJ's marriage is integral to the series and not just an afterthought. Peter as a teacher feels like a natural progression of his character.



    Quote:
    A stellar standout is issue #480. Not a single word of dialogue or narraration, yet both MJ and May come across as such thoughtful and complex people.



    Quote:
    JMS made the series fun again. Before his run, it felt like work slogging through the issues. JMS's run so far is enjoyable and hard to pull myself away from. He's now jumped way up my list of favorite comic writers.


I think JMS is an extremely tallented writer, but I don't like his work on Spider-Man much. There were too many continuity flubs and inconsistencies, and he pared the supporting cast down to nothing. Things got worse the longer he stayed on the book, to the point where I actively dislike his run as a whole. To me, the Spider-Man magic was brought back earlier and better by Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham over in Peter Parker.

If you like JMS' writing, I highly recommend checking out Midnight Nation from Image Comics. It's a 12 issue miniseries by JMS and Gary Frank, and is one of my all time favorite comics.


    Quote:
    Now onto the 500s.


Enjoy!


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista
Punk Funk & Junk




Thanks for the tip. I'll hunt it down.


    Quote:
    If you like JMS' writing, I highly recommend checking out Midnight Nation from Image Comics. It's a 12 issue miniseries by JMS and Gary Frank, and is one of my all time favorite comics.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Common-Sense, Tingling!






    Quote:
    Even if those are the only contributions he gave, isn't that enough? They are some big progressions in Peter's evolution as a character.


Is it really THAT much of a “progression” when most of them were basically him using old ideas (which didn’t stick around after he left anway)?

Plus a lot of the stuff he set up was either poorly handled by him or better handled by other writers.

Ezekiel started out an interesting take on the “Spider-Man gone wrong” template but was revealed to be just another generic villain that becomes indistinguishable from all the other evil Spider-Men. He was so much more fascinating when he was a guy who wanted to be a hero but never got around to it.

MJ’s return was basically just fixing the previous creative team’s mess but I never really thought he wrote her that well. And then there’s the OMD thing he wrote that invalidated all the MJ parts of his run anyway.

The teaching job was a cool idea but Kirkman and PAD did FAR more with it in a handful of MTU and FNSM issues than JMS did in his entire run. JMS basically abandoned that entire plot point after the first couple arcs.

I like the idea of May knowing. I LOVED finding out that she always knew in AMZ400 so I was REALLY ticked when they retconned that away. As far as I’m concerned May finding out again in JMS’ run was just fixing a mistake the reboot made. Unfortunately he did a TERRIBLE job writing May. I’m really baffled that people love his May so much when she does things like practically out her nephew in the silent issue (and then talk him into outing himself in CW) and not realized that Otto is Doc Ock even though she’s seen Otto fight Spider-Man on her front lawn before. Was he trying to write her as if she was senile?

And then there’s the totem stuff. I HATED the concept when it was introduced. It took other writers (many of which only got short stories in Unlimited) to make me realize the potential. Connecting Spider-Man to Anansi is darn cool if you really think about it but all JMS did with the totems was explain the reason for all the animal-themed villains and introduce a Morbius knock-off that eats animal-themed characters.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
Common-Sense, Tingling!





    Quote:
    Paul Jenkins' run was much stronger than JMS's I felt, but went south when editorial told him to do lots of long multi-part stories and what-not. Also, whilst I do really enjoy Humberto Ramos's art I don't think he was particularly well-suited to Spider-Man, whereas Mark Buckingham was.


Yeah, Peter Parker was loads better than Spectacular but I generally still enjoyed Spectacular more than Amazing in spite of me really hating the art. And the slower pacing. And the constant crossovers.


    Quote:
    You know, if they'd dealt with Peter and MJ separating for good as a subplot during the Jenkins era, and quickly coming to a clean and simple divorce with no hard feelings then they could have gotten to "Brand New Day" much sooner and much cleaner than they ended up doing. Paul Jenkins' Peter Parker, in the Buckingham issues anyway, mostly came across as a young character.


It’s funny. I consider myself to be in the “pro-marriage” crowd but I loved Jenkins’ PP run despite the minimal use of MJ. If Brand New Day (and the circumstances leading up to it) were more like the Jenkins run then maybe I could have gotten behind it. For starters, killing off MJ is MUCH more preferable than a satanic divorce.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP

Alvaro's Comicboards powered by On Topic™ © 2003-2021 Powermad Software