How I spent my Summer (Spider-) Vacation 2010

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I had the chance to get away over the last few weeks and made a serious effort to avoid anything resembling work. As a result, I managed to read a few comics that have been laying around this place for a while. This was the same plan I attempted last year, but as you’ll see, my reading list has changed quite a bit.

Last summer, I took a fairly eclectic mix of books away with me in a little box, and I even started writing this post about them. All the big names were there: the X-Men (X-Men Forever #1, Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2New Mutants #2-3), some Marvel Cosmic stuff (Nova #26-27Skaar: Son of Hulk #6-12War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar), a few Avengers (Mighty Avengers #24-27, New Avengers: The Reunion #2-4Ms. Marvel: Storyteller), even some things that aren’t normally on the reading list (Batman and Robin #1, Warren Ellis’ Ruins).

What I came away with after reading all this is that  I should have never continued with Mighty Avengers after Brian Bendis left the title. Everything else was rather satisfying, but it solidified my decision to stop buying a lot of books. One of the stand outs that I didn’t mention was Amazing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween by SNL’s Bill Hader and Seth Myers. It’s a fun book, but remembering it makes me sad about what I’m coming away with this year:  there’s just too much Amazing Spider-Man each month.

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It’s Amazing when 600 actually equals 600

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Amazing_Spider-Man_600This week not only saw the release of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk #600 but Amazing Spider-Man #600 as well.  It looks like I made a poor decision in what to read on Wednesday (especially considering I only had time to read one book).  While Hulk #600 had more problems than I care to recall, Amazing #600 was truly amazing. Featuring a massive 104 pages of new material, this book was well worth its $4.99 price tag.

The feature story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. told a tale of a frail and aging Doctor Octopus trying to leave his legacy to the world.  Of course, this was a gift the people of New York were wishing they could return as it all goes wrong and chaos ensues.  Set against the back drop of Aunt May’s wedding to John Jameson Sr. (J. Jonah Jameson’s father) Spider-Man has even more motivation to save the day.  This is a great story for an anniversary issue as it has an epic quality to it while being very much set in current Spidey continuity.  Some plotlines are wrapped up and a number of new ones are set in motion.  The artwork is top notch and it’s the kind of story that could have been spread over three regular sized issues.

The rest of the book consists of short stories including: Spider-Man’s trip to a psychiatrist by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin, and a museum by Zeb Wells and Derec Donovan; a couple of touching stories featuring Uncle Ben by Mark Waid and Colleen Doran, and Aunt May by Marc Guggenheim and Mitch Breitweiser; “If I Was Spider-Man” by Bob Gale and Mario Alberti where some kids in a playground daydream about what it would be like to be Spidey; and a final story featuring Madame Web sets things in motion for the Spidey event the Gauntlet continuing throughout the year in Amazing Spider-Man.  Between the pages of each of these stories are series of “Spider-Man covers you’ll never see” that were good for a laugh.

All in all, I can’t say enough good things about this book.  I’m reading Amazing Spider-Man on a regular basis and this was really satisfying both as an issue that fits right into ongoing events and as an event itself.