Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Punk Funk & Junk

Subj: Re: Amazing Spider-Man #400 through #500
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 at 01:19:47 pm EDT (Viewed 11 times)
Reply Subj: Amazing Spider-Man #400 through #500
Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 at 05:02:17 pm EDT (Viewed 276 times)

    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...

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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...

    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.

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.

    Now onto the 500s.


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