First(?) Impressions – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679-680 (Includes #679.1)


Something I’ve been meaning to get to, before I can go over the Weekly Pull for this week. This is because I started reading The Amazing Spiderman lately, and it wouldn’t do to not go over what I thought of it in some capacity. Since this week saw the release of #681, this “Impressions” post was time sensitive.

There are three issues that fall under this (the most recent one I’ll talk about in the Weekly Pull). But I’m going to talk about the actual content of each only in brief. More time will be spent on what attracted me to this series rather than just what the issues have to offer. That being said, #679 concludes the recent storyline of Spiderman having to stop some vague doom from raining down on New York (see the last Weekly Pull). And it illustrates one of the reasons I like this series. It’s clever as hell, and not just with Spiderman’s dialogue. I mean the plot is clever and the twists inventive.

Three words. “Science High Five”. Awesome.

You know what else I love about this book? The art style gets to me. It’s fantastic and has a quality that I can’t really put my finger on, yet I really like.

Next was #679.1, part of Marvel’s Point One initiative. For the life of me, I still don’t understand the logic behind this gimmick, and I still think this sort of thing is going to screw up people’s filing systems. But I have to say, this was an enjoyable issue. By all accounts, it isn’t something that will make the following issues unreadable. It’s just a small story with Spiderman teaming up with boy genius Uatu Jackson to wrangle a crazed Micheal Morbius, classic vampiric Spiderman villain.

And yes, Uatu is also the name of that one Watcher in the Marvel universe. No, I don’t know what the connection is, and the book seems intent of putting as many references to “Watching” as possible when it comes to this kid. Not that I have any problems with him besides the inexplicable connection to a cosmic being.

Finally, we have #680, which sees Spiderman and the Human Torch going into space. Frankly I could just leave it at that, since that’s really cool. The cover to this issue (and #681) changes the tagline to “The Galaxy’s Greatest Super Hero”. I’ll get more into why I enjoy this new storyline when I get to the Weekly Pull, but for now it brings up another reason I started reading this series. It’s not just clever, but it’s not afraid to be funny.

One of the things I’ve found annoying about DC comics lately, in fact since the relaunch, is the almost line-wide shift towards the dark. Things that once were bright, colorful, and fun have shifted towards the more austere and shadowy. Now there’s nothing wrong with a story that deals with dark subject matter. Some of the best works in fiction deal with fundamental aspects of the human condition, and sometimes human nature is bleak and depressing. But then that’s the point exactly, life is dark enough as it is. Sometimes I like brighter stories, ones that don’t hesitate to take the piss out of themselves. And Amazing Spiderman fits that bill perfectly. It’s funny, cheerful, and full of heart. Yet it can also be serious when it wants to be.

Again, I’ll get more into that next time.

That’s about it for now. The Weekly Pull breaks into two parts, just like last month. For some reason, a good chunk of the titles I follow come out in the first of the month. Just an unexpected result of my particular taste in comics. So when next we meet, I’ll be talking about the DC titles from the first week of March.

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