New Reviews of Old Comics
Of the thousands of super heroes out there in the comic world, Marvel, DC or anyone else, Spider-Man is among my all time favorites. I used to watch the original cartoon, had at least one of the Mego dolls (which I still have) and he was one of the reasons I wanted to look over the comic rack on that fateful day back in 1984. Although I read Peter Parker and Web of Spider-Man it’s safe to say Amazing Spider-Man was always my favorite of Web Head’s various titles. Did Amazing have the better stories? Not always, some of the Web storylines were pretty damn good, but I figure it was more of sentimental thing. Regardless, it’s not too often I come across Amazing Spider-Man in the bargain bins, and I’m always thrilled when I come across one.
This issue precedes Secret Wars so there is no black costume/Venom to account for in “Confrontations” written by Roger Stern with art by John Romita Jr and Kevin Dzuban. We just get the classic red, blue and web costume to go along with Peter Parker and his typical woes of balancing school, friends and life as a super hero. On the one hand I think, after 25 years of doing this Peter should start to get some of these things under control, but on the other hand I don’t really care because those are the kind of stories that make Spider-Man stories great. So Peter is worried about his girlfriend, Black Cat, but his friend Lance Bannon thinks the chick he likes, Amy Powell, also likes Peter. Seems like a good problem for a single web-slinger to have! And what’s a Spider-Man story without a super-villain to instigate a multi-page fight scene? That part comes courtesy of The Thinker who, although confined to a jail cell is able to mentally access his laboratory to launch one of his mayhem creating robots. The issue wraps up with Mary Jane Watson returning to Peter’s life at a very inopportune time.
Overall, this is a typical Spider-Man story, nothing more, nothing less. If you like Spider-Man you won’t be disappointed. If you’re like me you’re going to want to find the other issues to see where the storyline is going.
Fans of independent comics will note a contribution from Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese, Dork, among many others) in the letters section. I thought it was kind of neat to see a letter from a recognizable name. I once had a letter published in an issue of Fish Police and was thrilled beyond belief.
Notable Ad: While it would seem more appropriate in Farmer’s Almanac or maybe even Grit, there is an ad for chickens in this issue. Yes, chickens. “Raise bantams, chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas, geese for hobby, food and profit.” For a mere 50 cents the Country Hatchery of Wewoka, Oklahoma will send a brochure showing all of the fancy, rare and exotic poultry breeds you could raise. Our local Tractor Supply Store sells baby chicks in the spring, and my wife and I have talked about getting a couple to raise for eggs, but I can’t imagine buying them through the mail, much less via an ad in a comic book. Would you really trust the post office to deliver live poultry when they can’t even deliver a comic book in the mail without crushing it and ripping up the cover? Honestly, I can’t imagine many comic book fans responded to the ad anyway. I mean there isn’t much room to raise poultry when you’re living in your mom’s basement, right?