The Amazing Spider-Man #801

2

Terrible

SpiderMan801VCDripping with the sickly sweet sentimentality of Dan Slott’s “final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man” after ten years”, it’s arguably hard to credit that “There For You” was the fourth best-selling comic of June 2018 by shifting a staggering 122,256 copies. For whilst the twenty-page periodical undoubtedly depicts the titular character web-slinging his way through a young, armed store robber, as well as a posse of Inner Demons, the Berkeley-born writer’s central plot predominantly focuses upon Kenneth Kincaid, “a busy office worker”, and the “worst night a’ my life.”

Of course, presenting a narrative which actually spends almost its entirety simply following the impact a super-hero’s momentary derring-do had upon a normal average Joe’s life is reasonably innovative, and actually ensures that the Eisner Award-winner’s narrative at least partially lives up to the “Marvel Worldwide” pre-publication hype that his story contains an “emotional, heartfelt” tale. However, the rescue of Ellie’s father from a pistol-totting masked gunman and his subsequent involvement in helping Web-head retrieve “the formula for the Devil’s Tears” some significant years later by tripping the Asian immigrants’ leader up is hardly one of the most moving adventures ever penned during “Dan’s run” or “in all of Mighty Marveldom itself”.

Indeed, considering that this comic was supposedly “one Marvel fans around the world won’t want to miss” and yet largely features Kenneth either burying his father, becoming a grandfather, celebrating Thanksgiving Day, attending his niece Judy’s successful Science Fair, or commiserating his wife’s Fortieth Birthday, Peter Parker’s crime-fighting alter-ego would debatably appear to be conspicuous by his very absence; “First time I ever get to see a super hero up close… And it has to be Spider-Man. Like why couldn’t it have been Thor, Captain Marvel, or Black Panther? Those guys are cool. When they save the day, they save the whole world.”

Disappointingly, this magazine’s artwork is also debatably rather undynamically drawn and lack-lustre despite it being pencilled by “one of the best illustrators in the biz, Marcos Martin”. The Spaniard certainly would appear to have tried to emulate Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko’s quirky, ultra-athletic style when depicting the Human Mutate, something which is especially noticeable during the wall-crawler’s aforementioned fight with the teenage gunman, yet many of the “prolific” cover artist’s other panels questionably lack detail and appear more like preliminary sketches than the final product.

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2

Terrible

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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