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Review: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37

Flashback stories you'll want to read.

Annuals are either really good or really bad. We get an oversized issue and often the stories can feel like throw-away ones. Nothing really major happens. Telling new "flashback" stories can be tricky as well. We're supposed to believe that these stories really happened, yet, there's never been any mention of these events in the character's histories (because they were just recently written). How will these two Spider-Man tales stack up?

The Good

The first story tells the first meeting between Spider-Man and Captain America. Let's think about that, two of my favorite Marvel characters. The writing by Karl Kesel and art by Paulo Siqueira are a treat. This is early in Spidey's career. While reading the first few pages I wondered when this was supposed to take place. You know what they did here? They actually put in a footnote indicating that this story took place a few days after Avengers #11.
Spider-Man really geeks out inside when he first talks to Captain America. Mentioning (to himself) how Uncle Ben used to go on and on about him was a nice touch. It was also great seeing Spider-Man be able to use his brilliant mind to help out the super-brilliant Rogue Scholars. Too often Spidey's intelligence is overlooked due to his "witty puns."
The second story brought a big smile on my face since it brought back the original team of creators for Untold Tales of Spider-Man ( Kurt Busiek & Pat Olliffe). If you haven't and are able to, you have to read that series from 1995. Again, it's new "old" Spider-Man stories. They were written in a way that fits in perfectly with the old existing stories. I really feel like digging out my old collection of those issues.

The Bad

There wasn't a lot of "bad" here. Of course you have the fact that these stories won't really have a huge impact on Spidey's future. Normally that bothers me a little but these stories were simply fun that it's not a big deal. The only other thing that bothered me was the first story was updated to fit in with current times. It makes sense to do but if the story took place after Avengers #11 in 1964, it felt weird hearing Cap talk about computers and looking up information on Wikipedia.

The Verdict - 5/5

If you're a Spider-Man fan, there's no question whether or not you'll enjoy this. This is what comics should be about. Fun well written stories with stellar artwork. Don't let this issue pass you buy if you don't normally buy Annuals. The funny thing was, in between reading and getting ready to write this review, I was hesitant to look at the price. I feared that with today's prices, this would really be steep. If you look, it's only $3.99. That right there is...amazing. Buy this comic. 

Posted by sora_thekey

Wait? Where's the out of 5 rating?
I'm glad this is a good comic... I thought this was going to be a boring read... now I realize that I need to buy this... Thanks Tony!

Posted by MysterioMaximus

Is there really much better than old Spider-Man? G-Man, you've sold me! =]

Posted by G-Man
@MysterioMaximus: I loved the "classic" stories. When I started reading (in 1984) I gobbled them all up. The back issues were pretty cheap to buy. Great times. Untold Tales managed to capture that same feel.
Posted by The Jeff
@G-Man: I always trust your opinion. I hope this is better than this weeks abysmal issue of Amazing Spider-Man
Posted by G-Man
@The Jeff: I haven't read that one yet. Inferiorego loved it though.
Posted by geraldthesloth

I  love Buseik at times, I'll look at this since you gave it such a high rating.

Posted by War Killer

Question, you said that these stories normally don't ave any effect on the characters in general, right? So is the Fantastic Four Annual that comes out next month worth spending my money on?

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

Did they slip in an update in there?  Since this story was would have taken place in 1964 and is now updated so it would have taken place a few years ago instead?  Like when the Simpsons updated everything, so that Homer and Marge met while Sienfield was on the air instead of MASH going off the air?

Edited by victimblue

Don't like it. Sorry G-man. Fist off it felt like reading one of those ''Spidey Stories" books from the 1970's electric company/marvel team. It felt too simple.... Felt out of place... Second, The talk of cap using computers to research spider man, Spider man using a terminator quote and mentioning his bad impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger when in fact Terminator and Arnold was decades away from becoming household names and the fact that Spider man said he was going to use the ATM when in the 60's there wasn't any at the time. This is badly done in the case of writing. The art was good however. You gave this a 5???  i was think more of the lines like a 2 or 3. You through me for a curb G-man. When i read this i was thinking " G-man is gonna have a field day with an unscripted segment for this book" How wrong i am. Why would they update this to fit current times? Its not like kids buy comics anymore, Mostly adults buy comics now. Why does marvel see fit to insult our intelligence thinking we can't possibly handle a story from a 1960's era? What, they think it will confuse us? I wonder what babs think? I gave this ish to my 7 year old kid. He shouldn't have a problem reading this.

Posted by doordoor123

This was surprisingly well done. Claps from me. My only criticism is the mention of Wikipedia. Was wikipedia alive at that time? i dont think so...