Back Issue Comic Book Review: Amazing Spider-Man#500

27 07 2010

Cover art by J. Scott Campbell

Amazing Spider-Man#500

Written by: J. Michael Straczynki

Drawn by: John Romita, Jr. and John Romita, Sr.

Inks by: Scott Hanna

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.50 (got my copy for $1)

So last week I ranted about the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man and after that I needed to cleanse my palette, so I read this based on the fact that I’ve liked most of what I’ve read of JMS’ run on ASM. I’m also a sucker for almost anything drawn by John Romita, Jr. I REALLY enjoy his art. So I started reading this and, to me, the story got off to a slow start. Now keep in mind that I haven’t read the issues before this, so that could’ve played into the fact that I thought it started slow. But things quickly moved along quite nicely. Basically Spider-Man, in this issue, is re-fighting his old fights when he first started out. For example, his early fight(s) with Sandman, Doctor Octapus, Electro, Lizard, Vulture and a couple others. He also re-lives that classic scene (and my personal favorite Spider-Man moment) when he lifts the huge piece of machinery to get the ISO-36 to save Aunt May. First of all if you haven’t read that story (in ASM#31-33, don’t worry it’s been reprinted several times) then shame on you. Go read it NOW. Secondly, here is that scene:

Is he strong? Listen bud-- he can lift heavy machinery above his head. But apparently a fat guy can pin him down...

 As someone who grew up reading the reprints of all the classic Spider-Man stories I really enjoyed this book. A lot actually. But to me the best part of the book is the ending. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet, but all I can say is that I started to cry a little. This is a great book, especially if you’ve read the classic stories of Spider-Man. We need more Spider-Man stories like these. Oh, what’s that? Dan Slott’s going to take over ASM? Well, it looks like my prayers have been answered!

Rating: B+

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Back Issue Comic Book Review: Fantastic Four#236

14 07 2010

Art by John Byrne

Fantastic Four#236  

Story and Art by: John Byrne  

Cover price: $1 (I bought my copy for $2.10)  

This is one of those rare books that just completely goes over your head, but when you finally read it you go, “Wow, why didn’t I read this before?!?” If I say this issue for sale at a used bookstore I wouldn’t give it a thought. About a month ago my dad bought a Hardcover called “The best of Fantastic Four” and this issue was in it. To me this issue felt like my experience reading Captain Britain and MI13 and Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. This was a story that I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. After reading this I want to hunt down all of John Byrne’s FF issues.  

Anyway let’s get into the story. On the cover they say it’s a triple-sized issue and they mean it. This is a true anniversary issue and a true triple-sized comic. No reprinted material. No wiki-padding. None of that crap you don’t want. It was all original story and art. The main story is 2/3 of the issue. What I loved about the main story is that it was totally original and when you think it’s going one way, bam, it goes the other way. It was a fresh new challenge for the FF and how they get out of it made perfect sense and how they defeated the bad guy was awesome and kind of funny. The art adds a whole new layer of greatness to the story as well and really works well with the story.  

After the main story there is a small back-up feature based on the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon episode The FF Meet Dr.Doom. I grew up with this cartoon as a kid and LOVED it. My dad would buy the video tapes where some episodes of the show would be featured in and I enjoyed every minute of that cartoon. So, you can imagine how excited and surprised I was when I got to the first page of this back-up story. Overall it was good, but there were a couple of downsides for me. They didn’t include my favorite part of that episode where The Thing kicks sand in the pirates’ faces when Herbie tells him not to. Also the story was too quick for me. It went by way too fast.  

This is a great issue of FF that I highly recommend to anyone. It’s what comic books should be. Great story, great art, and worth your money. To me Byrne’s FF run is under appreciated compared to his run on X-Men. Both runs are awesome, but I wish more people would recognize his FF work.  

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment! I look forward to them!  

To watch that clip of the FF cartoon I was talking about look below this sentence:  

The timing in the video of the clip is: 0:46-1:00