Another R’view (review) from my old 2002 AOL homepage on comics, this time on the first Amazing Spider-Man issue by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita, Jr., Scott Hanna and company. It’s not exactly a true review – this was a letter I wrote to Marvel after reading issue #30 (cover dated Jun’01). I’m a sporadic reader of Spider-Man – started around the Black Suit era, dropped off before Venom’s first appearance, missed the Clone Saga, jumped back in when Norman Osborn returned, stuck around for a bit of the Byrne stuff, you get the drift. But the potential of this first issue was enough to get me to send in an actual letter on my thoughts. By 2001, I only knew Straczynski from his Rising Stars Top Cow series (and from a handful of Babylon 5 episodes). So the whole “he starts great, but ends with a whimper” common critique wasn’t around (and is a comment I don’t quite agree with either). As is apparent by the letter, the potential, the twist, the new direction, was far more interesting than the little I read before it. Looking back on where the series would eventually end up, sure – some of that potential never materialized. But at the start, I was hooked. I never took his origin twist as canonical. It was just a question. Just a way to tell new stories without throwing away the old. It worked for me at the time and the possibilities were engaging to think about. Again – this isn’t a review, and I only could base my letter of observations off of one issue – it was enough at the time to win me over to continue reading throughout the entire JMS run. Plus – it cemented my enjoyment for artist John Romita Jr who, up to that point, was solely my X-Men artist. It’s also interesting to read some of the end paragraphs in light of what is going on in Superior Spider-Man and Doc Ock’s quest to be “better”. Read on!
2 thoughts on “TBT: Peter’s Comic Page: Amazing Spider-Man #30”
The JMS JRjr run on Spider-Man is one of my favorite superhero runs ever. I’ve read those trades a handful of times now, and they always entertain and engage me. I dropped off when Romita left (I am not a Deodato fan, at all, and I think it was at a time when I was cutting back on books, so it was easy to drop it at that point). These issues felt like “classic” Spider-Man to me. Somehow JMS captured that feeling even though Peter was now a teacher and not a nerdy student, and the art by Romita is some of his best. I loved how lean he made Peter. It made sense for the character and made him distinct from the typical superhero physique – and some of the innovative layouts that Romita did (I’m thinking particularly of the scene where Peter is pummeling Morlun in that initial arc and having little effect) just solidified him, for me, as a premiere artist. Great stuff.
Chris! I forgot that Peter was a teacher – certainly fit with his character and I like when writers remember that he’s supposed to be a genius. You’re making me want to reread it now – but I sold the issues long ago.