So....Hi again! What? This issue is late? Yeah there was trouble at the printers, some guy fell in, it was a total bloodbath....Okay so I was lazy and demotivated what of it? That's not the point! Crisis is back after an apathy fueled hiatus and today I'm going to tell you all about the super hero that's been near and dear to me for as long as I can remember, Suggestions(And some things to steer right away from) incoming! So if you want to get to know the old web head better(Perhaps after seeing and loving Amazing Spider-Man? Or enjoying the Rami films?) Why not start here?
Now, if you know me, then you know of my love of this series. What is it exactly? Well way back when in 2000, fresh off of surviving the ravages of Y2K humanity was ready to love movies again. Marvel had a few big releases in the pipeline for the future, X-Men and Spider-Man movies were headed to the silver screen and the hype they were generating was insane. So Marvel hatched a dastardly plan to take more peoples money.
High School Romance?! The Fiends!
Really though it was simple, take the long established Spider-Man mythos and rewind the clock, bring Peter back to his original High School roots. What came out of this was the "Ultimate" Universe, a side universe where writers could tell stories outside the main body of marvel comics and forge their own path through the crazy world of super powers. The series ran for about 122 issues and then relaunched and it had it's highs and lows, but it comes with the largest recommendation I can give for it's excellent balance of Drama, Romance, Action and Comedy. Speaking of that relaunch....(Well the second one at least)
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man:
Did Peter do something with his hair?
Spoilers, that 'aint Peter Parker. It's Miles Morales, now this series is set in the same universe as Ultimate Spider-Man before it. In fact I'm willing to bet you've heard of this comic before, the reveal of Miles sent shock waves through the comic world at the time and even spilled into mainstream news with news of a new mixed race Spider-Man entering the fold.
Now why is Miles Spider-Man now you might ask? Well to be frank(And spoilerish) Peter is dead. A devastating attack on a wounded Peter by a coalition of his foes did what nobody wanted to believe was possible, they successfully killed Spider-Man. Miles, shortly before this attack, was bitten by the very same type of Spider that gave Peter his Spider Powers, and although their origin is similar Miles has much different issues to think about. Miles was just given powers in a world where recent events have made people with powers and mutants hated and feared, and though Spider-Man was beloved by the people of New York he has very large shoes to fill.
This series is up to about 17 issues now, making a bit harder to get into but it's still a great place to start if you want a Spider-Man that has a different world to deal with and different ways to look at said world.
I'd put a joke or something here, but it would tarnish the perfection.
Okay, so maybe the High School aged Spider-Man sounded pretty cool to you? But Maybe you don't want to read 122 issues of a comic book to experience that, understandable, comics can get pretty expensive when you add all of them up. Well Spectacular Spider-Man does you one better, it moves! ....It's a cartoon.
Anyway, this show covers much of the same ground as Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter is back to his High School years and he's still yet to really get down the whole "Be Spider-Man" thing. The big thing about this show though really isn't all Spider-Man(Though that's a great part of it) Peters reactions to the things that are happening in his life at the time all fit perfectly into his life as Spider-Man. You got dealing with girl issues(It's High School, it happens!) Loyalty to friends and loved ones, and that thing that killed us all at the high school age...The need for money!
However this show doesn't just deal well with Peter, every character on this show, whether they be Villain or Hero is extremely well fleshed out and acted. Characters you thought were one note are peeled back to reveal they're very much human underneath the Electricity Containment suit or Football Jacket. Tragically the show was cut short at the end of the second season, producing only 26 episodes before a three hit combo of licensing and rights troubles, Production Delays and a misguided desire to do all animated shows "In House" suddenly became top priority for Marvel.
(The creator of the show, Greg Weisman would later go on to work for DC on a new cartoon "Young Justice" which while not being Spider-Man, is just as good as Spectacular and I also highly recommend, however it's future is also very bleak and uncertain at the moment.)
The last thing Henchmen #23 saw.
What is Spidey Avenging you might ask? Well...Honestly I don't know. What I do know is that Avenging Spider-Man is the right book for the Spidey fan who can't get enough of his trademark snark and acrobatic action. Each issue pairs Spidey with a new hero to fight alongside in short one issue adventures, whether it's stopping the serpent society with Hawkeye or rescuing J. Jonah Jameson from Subterranean monsters with Red Hulk the stories in this book are fast paced, funny and extremely entertaining.
Utilizing an excellent mix of humor, action and character dynamics. Avenging has been hailed by many as the best Spider-Man book on the market. I'm inclined to believe this, the issues I've read have had a huge smile on my face the entire way through. I don't believe there's a better entry point to Spider-Man than this series, and while it's future is uncertain(See "Spidey to Watch For" section) I very much advocate reading this while it's around, you won't regret it.
Wait....Wasn't I just talking about this?
Oh god no....no I was not.
While the cartoon I just talked about culled all the right parts from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic, this little devil decided to pull every terrible part it could find and then make up a bunch on it's own. Instead of character development, we have cut away gags. Instead of a delicate balance between the man under the mask and the hero, we have a Peter Parker who will maybe be used for one or two gags an episode before Spidey heads off on some poorly written and thought out "Wacky" adventure. This show shares only a name with the Ultimate universe, it has none of the same well done tales or engaging characters. While Spectacular was easily accessible to kids by keeping things clear and focused but also entertaining for Spideys older fans, this show is content to pander to kids with little more than sugar laced ADD style stories and animation. It's not only insulting to the older fans of Spidey but even to the kids who the show is aimed at, it sadly assume the kids are idiots and that all they want or need is flashy colors and bad guys being punched.
Watch at risk of your own sanity and brainpower.
Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Saga
Adding the word "Epic" to something doesn't make it good Marvel.
First and Foremost let me apologize to anybody who's ever read this. This arc pretty much symbolized everything that was wrong with comics in the 90's. A convoluted tale, this story had to do with clones of Spider-Man, now on paper I bet that sounded pretty cool, but they executed it with the grace of a ballerina breaking her leg. It's really hard for me to even explain this series but the gist of it is that a clone of Spider-Man who originated in a short story line involving the Jackal in the 70's was revealed to be very much alive and living under the name "Ben Reilly"
What followed this revelation was just....terrible, a rapid fire of nonsensical plot points combined with writers stretching the high selling series out like taffy over a period of years resulted in a ending so stupid I really don't want to talk about it. Point is, if you want to read Spider-Man Comics, this is not the right one. Nor is....
Amazing Spider-Man: One More Day
I'm sorry Stan, but nowhere near 'Nuff is said about this turd.
Spidey has a long and colorful history, but one thing that's been his anchor for a long time is the character of Mary Jane Watson. Presented as Spideys second love after Gwen Stacy's tragic death and a person he could always count on to be there for him, she's a staple in almost all Spider-Man stories and universes. So why did Joe Quesada suddenly decide this beloved character was no longer needed? Who even knows? The man must have went insane. Oh but don't you worry, he didn't kill her, he just wrote her out of history.
Yes, this comic is a retcon of the highest order. When Peters Aunt May is dying (Again) He makes a pact with Mephisto(Essentially the devil in the Marvel Universe) to save her life, and Mephisto ask for....wait for it....Peter and Mary Janes love. What follows is this deal going through and all the tender moments they shared, their marriage and all the important moments involving Mary Jane throughout history being erased from time. However, this isn't the only way the timeline was changed, many characters were brought back from death in the process, including Harry Osborne, who's devolution into insanity and death had a profound effect on Peter at the time of it happening.
Due to the fact that Amazing Spider-Man is soon ending the effects of this arc will never go away, a sad new day for all Spidey fans around the world.
Spidey To Watch For:
Yeah unnamed new Spider-Man! You show that wall who's boss!
Now here's the thing with this one, we know very little. What we do know about this mysterious new series is that it's going to replace Amazing Spider-Man when that comic ends on it's 700th issue. Another thing we know is that this Spider-Man is not going to be Peter Parker. Rumors are flying around as to who it could be(With the most prominent being Miguel O'Hara, once the lead character of Spider-Man 2099) But given that the series hasn't even started yet we really can't know for sure.
Buzz from the writer says this comic is going to probably greatly anger Spidey fans at first, who will hopefully get what he's trying to do eventually. However he(Dan Slott) hasn't exactly been the best writer Spider-Man has ever had. So if you're thinking of getting into Spider-Man this is a rapidly approaching new start for the character, a new Issue one is the best time for anyone to get into any comic so in the event of interest of Spidey growing keep this one in the back of your head for when it rolls around in February.
So true believers, like my fanboyish ode to Spideys highs, lows and future? Feel free to use the comment section below to talk about whatever you so desire in the world of Comics, Anime, Manga, Cartoons or whatever!
I apologize for the delay, but seriously that guy who fell into the printer wasn't even a good person, so no need to worry about him, pretty sure he got powers and became a super villain anyway.