Thursday, May 10, 2012


The Amazing Spider-Man (1990) collects issues 88, 89, and 90 of the eponymous comic book; these issues, which were written by Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita, Gil Kane, and Jim Mooney, were originally published in 1970.

This is a straightforward Spider-Man-versus-Doctor-Octopus story, and it’s important to the Spider-Man canon because it includes the death of Captain Stacy, a formative moment in Spider-Man’s early career. The story itself is decent, but not great. There’s plenty of fighting (fights with Doc Ock haven’t changed much in 40 years), as well as plenty of expository thought bubbles, stilted dialogue, and 70s’ “hipness.” Honestly, it hasn’t aged all that well.

Kane and Romita  are two of the classic Spider-Man illustrators, and their work here is excellent, as always: realistic and dynamic. The comics themselves are presented in black and white. Like a number of Tor’s comic collections, this book is about four inches by seven – standard paperback novel size. The panels have been rearranged to fit the small pages – the material from one page of the original comic is spread over several pages here. This disrupts the flow somewhat, as you might imagine, but not to a damaging degree.

On the whole, these issues are worthwhile, but you can certainly find a better version than this. Try Essential Amazing Spider-Man 4 and 5 or Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 10 instead.