There's been a lot of focus and attention on Spider-Man lately. With AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 bringing an end to the series and big changes to the character, everyone wants to know what's going to happen next. There has been many new readers jumping on board as well after hearing how crazy things have become. A question that comes up extremely often is, "I want to start reading Spider-Man, where do I begin?" This book can help you pretty much jump in to any point in Spidey's career.
This slipcase hardcover book comes in a great package. The inside cover contains two original prints. There's a forward by Stan Lee which is fitting. You'll immediately notice there are plenty of images throughout every inch of this book. With "visual" in the title, you would expect nothing less.
It all starts out in the beginning. You do get some background on where the character came from and what Marvel was doing before AMAZING FANTASY #15 featured the first appearance of the character we know today. The book is divided into decades and gives a pretty comprehensive summary of what happened and plenty of highlights of Spider-Man's early days.== TEASER ==
Of course it starts out with the 1960s. If you've ever read any of the early stories, you'll immediately be hit with a blast of nostalgia. Most people may know the story of how Spider-Man started but besides his origin, there's a lot that happened in this decade. This is where a lot of first encounters occurred. Seeing the classic styles is a fun treat.
The 1970s saw some slight changes in the tone of the series. With the loss of someone close along with the debut of characters like the Punisher, readers were quickly seeing a change in the lighter vibe from the 60s.
The way the decades are broken down, you get a nice summary for several key issues. It's not just a matter of summing up story arcs, there is a close look at specific issues. Besides just information from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues, important facts from appearances in MARVEL TEAM-UP, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, etc are included as well.
The 1980s is where a lot of events stuck and carried the character forward. The series became a little more serious as the 80s saw some dark and gritty comics. Peter and Mary Jane got married but other events such as (one of my favorites) the first appearance of the Hobgoblin, "The Death of Jean DeWolff" and "Kraven's Last Hunt" also happened. There's also a nice bit of information from one of my all time favorite single issues, ASM #248 with "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man."
Of course this is also the decade we saw the symbiote costume. This was big news for the character. It was the first time Spider-Man changed his costume and it was a drastic change. This was one of the first times something in comics actually made the news. People were talking about what was going on, something that didn't happen too often in comics.
The 90s are known for a lot of things. One of them is Todd McFarlane on Spider-Man. Again, it's important to note that you do get a lot of great images in this book. Because comics are such a visual medium, it would be a shame if we didn't get nice big splashy images along with all the facts and details.
The 90s is also when we saw the Clone Saga. Besides Ben Reilly's debut (or actually his return) and the return of Norman Osborn, there is also mention of May "Mayday" Parker's first appearance in WHAT IF (Vol. 2) #105.
There is plenty of information about the 2000s. Besides the fan-favorite "The Other" story arc, we also saw the birth of the Ultimate Universe along with Ultimate Peter Parker. This section even goes into SPIDER-MAN: INDIA and the adventures of Arana.
Spider-Man was extremely busy in the 2000s. He also played a big role in "Civil War," barely survived "One More Day," joined the Avengers as well as see Dan Slott's "Big Time" story begin. He even met Miles Morales in the first crossover with the Ultimate Universe.
As you can see, this is an extremely comprehensive collection. Just about anything and everything you'd want to know about Spider-Man and those associated with him is included. It's a shame it couldn't include the events from this month's ASM #700 but the book was published in October of this year and is as up to date as possible.
This is a book for every Spidey fan. The retail price is $50.00 for over 350 pages. Chances are you will be able to find it cheaper online at your favorite discounted book website.
And here's a tease. We will be giving away five copies of this book. You can look for a contest by the end of the week!