Monday, April 30, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man 618-620, 638-641

(This week I'll be reviewing comics I've bought from Comixology 99-cent sales over the last few months.)

Spider-Man is my favorite video game character. He has a great set of costumes, a large group of villains that work perfectly as bosses, and a sublime skill set. But he's probably my least favorite comic book character. Self-pitying and devoid of ambition. I picked up these issues because they were illustrated by the brilliant Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera.

Amazing Spider-Man 618-620, written by Dan Slott and Illustrated by Marcos Martin, is Spider-Man at his best. Spider-Man's whining about Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and all the gorgeous women that keep making passes at him, is kept to a minimum, and the emphasis is on a gang war featuring Mysterio, a cyborg mafioso, and some sort of super-powered Chinese gangsters.

Tremendous art and a fun story.

On the other hand, Amazing Spider-Man 638-641, written by Joe Quesada, and illustrated by Paolo Rivera, is exactly why I don't buy Spider-Man comics.

It is occasionally funny:

And Rivera draws maybe the best black Spider-Man ever:

But it's oh so miserable to read. Just a lousy soap opera.

And the portions of the issues not illustrated by Rivera just seem really off:

In their favor, the issues also feature a delightful backup story illustrated by Marcos Martin:

The art is good enough to justify buying these. Just ignore the writing.


  1. Do you have a referral link to Comixology so you can get a little back when we buy these? I had no idea Rivera had done Spider-Man work prior to Daredevil.

  2. Thanks very much for asking, but no, I don't think they have an affiliate program for bloggers.

  3. You might want to try Dan Slott's more recent Amazing Spider-Man a try (starting with, say, #648). Your chief complaint about the character seems to be that he never grows up and never applies himself. Slott (working with FF's Jonathan Hickman) addresses that and I've really been enjoying the character, whom I hadn't read in a decade.

  4. I'll keep it in mind (I liked Slott's run on She-Hulk).

  5. Mark Waid's run on Daredevil features a lot of Paulo Rivera's art, too, and it's EXCELLENT! It's got a fun, carefree approach to the character is a nice change from the recent darker-than-dark Daredevil stuff, and it's an easy entry point for new readers

  6. I think the Joe Q. issue was sort of a drag was due to the build up of the series and his issue was address all this build up. But I agree with you, I was really excited for that trade and I found myself wanting to just skip those "intense" talks between MJ and Peter.

  7. DAREDEVIL (2011) #1-10. #1-6 are currently available in a hardcover trade, the second half arrives in trade form in June. Seriously -- it's a fun, smart and witty read.