KC Recommends Amazing Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man #679 cover

KC’s latest Westfield column recommends Amazing Spider-Man as a good read, specifically, the “I Killed Tomorrow” story in issues #678 and 679 by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, and Victor Olazaba.

KC praises the title for its “wonderfully unique identity — being true to the angsty “fun” and ever-changing relationships of the Lee/Ditko/Romita era, updated with powerful modern-era storytelling” and also compliments editor Steve Wacker. Find out more at the link.


11 Responses to “KC Recommends Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Yeah this was a great storyline, it even got me off my butt to cover it http://comicreasons.blogspot.com/2012/02/amazing-spider-man-678-679.html

    I’ll definitely be back for more after reading these issues. I like that Peter Parker has moved on with his life. He’s no longer the poor schlep working as a photographer for The Daily Bugle. His new job and environment makes things fresh and exciting, which isn’t easy to do for a character that’s been around as long as Spidey.

    It’s something I’ve noticed on a number of books from Marvel currently as I check in on them. Status quos are no longer there, new characters, directions and stories are taking place.

    That’s something maybe another company who just restarted should consider doing. (but so far just put their characters back in the same old situations)

  2. Anthony Says:

    I started reading “Amazing Spider-Man” as well, having enjoyed what I’ve seen so far (though still think how they broke him and MJ up was moronic… divorce apparently wasn’t an option?). Helped I’d been looking for something else to read with the pending cancellation of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man/having dropped almost all of the “New 52″ I was reading…

  3. gdwcomics Says:

    After 40 years of reading spiderman, I still haven’t read a story that is any more “powerful” than Ditko’s ASM 31-33 arc now nicknamed “Spider-Man Shrugged”.

    I flip through spiderman occasionally but I’m not wowed by what I’m seeing and haven’t been for a long while. One of the best things about the character when he was conceived was that he was a kid AND one of the strongest characters in the Marvel U, with a level of power just shy of Thing or Thor.

    That’s no longer the case as the character is getting beat up and losing to characters with virtually no superpowers at all. He’s now being written as a low level superpower. I’d be surprised if he could hold his own with Squirrell Girl or Daredevil at this point where as once upon a time he beat a herald of galactus to a pulp. That power was always brimming under the surface and Peter was subconciously holding back because he was afraid of his full abilities. He could only access his full power by digging down deep in dire moments and putting aside that fear.

    As he’s written now, he’s basically indistinguishable from any other low level Xmen or Avenger. All his adventures are crafted specifically for his abilities as they are now defined. He’s not challenged like he was in the now legendary confrontation with Juggernaut back in the late 80s or like he was during the Romita era Kingpin confrontations. And without that element of being challenged with a threat well above his power level, the surprise is gone and he’s basically just pretty boring and predictable.

    That said, I don’t completely dislike “Avenging Spider-Man”. In the context of a “Marvel Team Up” format the character shines a bit more than usual. Just a bit.

  4. Johanna Says:

    gdw, I think you’re seeing a general powering-up of the Marvel universe. (The same is true of DC, but let’s talk Marvel here.) There are a lot stronger characters in the MU now, because it’s gotten away from its “everyman” approach where it started. You ask for more, bigger threats, but I think that’s part of the problem that caused this escalation. I like a more down-to-earth treatment of Spider-Man (and the others — the more powerful characters, like Thor, are less interesting to me). What you see as a fit challenge for Spider-Man, I see as “more power arr arr arr” writing that doesn’t take advantage of what makes the character unique. But that difference of opinion is what makes horse races.

  5. gdwcomics Says:

    You’re missing my point. I don’t want Spiderman beating up Red Hulk and Galactus on a daily basis. I’m talking about something more psychologically complex that was integral to the charcter.

    The fact that he had that power but was afraid to use it and very rarely did and over the course of time had even built up mental blocks. But the readers knew it was there somewhere under the surface and could come out at any time. Not knowing when it would happen was the fun part. Not the actual feats of strength beyond what we typically saw although that was fun because it was so rarely done. That was what was so unique because it played in perfectly with the “with great power comes great responsibility” thing. Spiderman had “Great Power”. Not mediocre power. It’s the fact that that plot point has been completely erradicated that bothers me and makes the character less than what he used to be.

    But I do agree with your point about the powering up of the characters. But I think a distinction in abilities and power level is important to the characters being unique. Not as much as personality and good supporting characters, but still very important. By powering everyone up you make them all the same. But by making SpiderMan weak, they’re sort of doing the same thing, he’s just in the club with the other weaker characters instead of the stronger ones where he would stick out like a sore thumb. And that’s what I liked.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Ah, that’s a version (interpretation?) of the character I’m unfamiliar with. Thank you for elaborating so I better understand that observation, but it doesn’t sound like the kind of character I would like. Then again, it took a long while for me to find any Spider-Man stories I enjoyed — there’s something about the character that just doesn’t click for me.

    I do enjoy seeing him with the Avengers when they’re playing him as a jokester, because I think that gets at the “sticking out” part while lightening up things. Too many superhero comics are too serious for me these days.

  7. Jeff Says:

    Although my general reading list is more Vertigo/Criminal/Powers etc. with a smattering of things like The Killer and some great GNs recommended here, I do still have some connection to the old days of 15 cent comics, and remember my first X-men, buying the issue where Spider-man gets 4 extra arms, etc. So for quite a while I was following at least one Spidey title. That stopped when Quesada rebooted the title by having Pete make a deal with the devil, wiping out MJ, confusing a lot of the crossover arc at the time, etc. Maybe the secret identity reveal was too much (many other ways around that) but he really wanted to wipe out the JMS/totem arc from existence which I guess was a kind of powering up of its own. I would really have a hard time now reading ANY Peter Parker title, although I’d watch a new toon or movie.

    That’s just my viewpoint, but I’m sure there are more than a few others that were turned off for life by Joe Quesada.

  8. gdwcomics Says:

    @Jeff

    I had grown tired of the direction SpiderMan had been taken long before he revealed his identity in Civil War. But revealing his identity really changed the character so fundamentally and irrevocably that I doubt I will ever buy another issue of Amazing Spider-Man again. They’ve changed so many of the fundamentals of the character over the last 10-15 years that I rarely even have the level of curiosity needed to flip through an issue at the comic shop. And as a fan whose first comic was ASM#115 and who stayed dedicated to the character for several decades, that makes me incredibly sad.

    But then I just dig out my trade of Death of Jean De Wolfe or Kravens Last Hunt or my Spidey Masterworks and I feel a little better.

  9. gdwcomics Says:

    Fun fact, Kravens Last Hunt was originally going to be a story about Joker and Batman. I read that a while back in Back Issue.

  10. Jeff Says:

    gdwcomics, I actually thought the totem stuff from JMS could be an interesting re-interpretation of the origin etc. but it did end up with ‘powering up’ issue. The secret identity reveal was really done as a separate storyline altogether as you mention with Civil War. But this long-running continuity with pressure to do new things with a character while also leaving them permanently at roughly the same age etc. really does get to be a bit of a chore, and the big two and the universe cross-overs all just turn me off. Which is why I greatly preferred Legends of the Dark Knight to Batman or Detective, and why I’m mostly gravitating to stories with a beginning, middle, and END.

  11. KC Celebrates Spider-Man’s 50th Anniversary » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] KC’s latest Westfield column looks back at his long relationship with Spider-Man comics and how much he’s enjoyed them over the years, from 1970 to more modern issues. [...]




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