Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Amazing Spider-Man #600
Slott, Romita Jr, Lee, Martin, Waid, Doran, Gale, Alberti, Guggenheim, Breitweiser, Wells, Donovan, Kelly and Fiumara
As Marvel continues to return their character’s titles to classic numbering, this one needs no return as it achieves its 600th issue almost as straight forward as you can get. As a result, we get over one hundred pages of original material for $4.99. This is an incredible bargain in this day and age as I found myself having to break out a bookmark to read a comic for the first time ever. The issue has some elements to celebrate the character and even a few to mock the long history of Spider-Man as well as a nice, long in continuity story that is engaging and very new reader friendly. This comic is worth picking up even if you haven’t dipped your toe in the Spidey world in a long time or even ever.
The opening story, by Slott and Romita Jr, is basically Spider-Man dealing with the return of Doc Ock. The urgency of the battle is that Aunt May is trying to get married and Peter is juggling an awful lot as a result of this. I found this story to be very new reader friendly and a relatively self contained story. It’s not to say that some items aren’t left open but this problem of Doc Ock and the event of the wedding is dealt with within these pages.
The big reveal is that this story marks the return of Mary Jane. This brings up the ugliness of the whole reboot of the character and his history with Mary Jane. Not being a reader of Amazing immediately before, during or after One More Day I really didn’t feel any level of outrage over the topic. However, to restart or go back and drastically alter a few decades of stories I felt was fairly cheap. Having said that, I found the end of the story involving MJ enough to possibly follow the next comic or arc. This whole story had the feel of the movies where Peter is always a step behind but finds himself surrounded by trouble and beautiful women while being anchored by Aunt May.
The second story by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin was an exploration of the very confusing continuity in the history of Peter Parker. It’s a charming story as Lee manages to make fun of the management of the character over the last few decades, but done in a tongue-in-cheek manner. It’s a fun story that has Spider-Man talking to a psychiatrist about his various visions about being married and then not being married, etc. It’s a fun story.
Waid and Doran have a short story about Uncle Ben trying to connect with a young Peter. It’s a sweet story that involves the ever present Uncle Ben, who is rarely seen or heard from. It’s a good way to re-establish just how important Ben was to Peter without using his death or the ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ line.
Gale and Alberti have a short story about Peter talking to his friends about what they would do if they were Spider-Man as we get a glimpse of the secret identity, student side of Peter Parker. Guggenheim and Breitweiser tell an in-continuity story about Aunt May visiting Ben’s grave asking for his permission for her to remarry. It’s a touching story inasmuch as the Gale and Alberti story is charming. Both are very good.
Wells and Donovan have a quirky story about Peter having to defend the actions and causes of Spider-Man. It’s a good story that made me laugh and even brings back the Spider-Mobile. Finally, Kelly and Fiumara have a strange tale about a witch. This was the one story that had me a bit lost. I wasn’t sure if it had appeared in a previous arc.
There you have it; a ton of content. The only thing missing is the cover gallery that appeared in Captain America and Hulk issues number 600. However, this one had a letters page, so there. The only portion of the entire comic that I found out of place was the fake covers that popped up periodically. While a couple of them were funny I found the one pointing towards the wedding of Peter and MJ to be a little bit over the top in terms of mocking. Some people were really pissed about the undoing of the marriage and the destruction of their comic collections. Why twist the knife and remind them?
The constant of the issue was the art. The art on a Spidey comic needs to be big, feel real, be very colorful and be especially lively. This comic achieves this. Story after story. Whether it’s in black and white or painted, the comic is a treat to read no matter which art team are walking you through the story.
When you consider I only picked this up because it was a huge value and an anniversary issues I would say this is a hit. It only captivated me, but it also made me intrigued to see where the Peter and MJ angle is heading. However, if you are still mad about the decision to jettison the marriage in the first place you may want to stay away from this one.
4 out of 5 geek goggles