Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: Ron Frenz

Well, I was only going to read a couple of issues of Amazing Spider-Man that I had missed as a kid, but I think I'll keep going for a bit. I'm pacing myself at about one issue a week, but have missed a few and am now catching-up, as well as reading an extra one each bank holiday, of which there have been a few lately.

When I borrowed the issues that I'd missed off of Herschel, he also offered me the surrounding titles that tied-in, but I declined, deciding not to get too sucked-in again.

Y'see, at the time, everyone's favourite web-slinger had no less than four different titles coming-out each month. As well as The Amazing Spider-Man, there was Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars.

The Secret Wars were clearly set before the current run, introducing as they did Spidey's new alien black costume, but the other three comics ran concurrently. As a result, the webslinger's life was quite complex, with characters, storylines and situations overlapping between titles a great deal.

And yet, in re-reading just the Amazing Spider-Man issues I'm once more impressed at the quality of Marvel's storytelling.

It's entirely possible to just read this one publication each month, without ever getting confused about any of the other threads that keep crossing-over. Sure, Spidey spends a few panels swinging about thinking to himself about whatever ongoing situations are still current in the other magazines, but generally speaking you never feel like you had to have bought them in order to follow this one.

Sure, we could cynically complain that these are blatant adverts for Marvel's other products, but there's nothing wrong with that, and they don't subtract from the enjoyment of following just this title.

I'm well-aware that I have quite high-standards when it comes to enjoying fiction, but in revisiting these issues from my youth, I can see where those expectations come from.

Everything should be written as well as Marvel Comics were in those days.


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