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Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Marvel; First Edition edition (July 13, 2011)
Here are some technical things about the book itself. First, it's printed in the original comic book size. Second, the paper is glossy and in full color. Marvel has a habit of releasing some books, like the Essential X-Men, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials), which are only printed in black and white with paper that is largely newsprint quality. This book is in full color and is an exact duplicate of it's past glory. Last, in the book there are reprints of the original covers. So, one can look at the art work of #149 that was originally published back in May of 1975.
The Spider-man/Jackal war didn't start with issue #139, it actually goes farther back to the 1st issue of Punisher in a Spider-man comic and that's back in the late 120 series, published in 1973. If you own that comic it's worth money.
The Spider-man/Jackal war is the 1st real epic struggle in comics. This starts hardly 3 issues after the death of Green Goblin (and that was screwed up later in the various clone stories: another subject). At issue #139 things start to take off with the introduction of Grizzly in the Spider-man Jackal war. Note, this war goes from issue 139, full inclusion of the double sized annual into the story, to an epilog in issue 151; the reader isn't treated to a story line with Shocker later in that issue. Note, Marvel does not top the Spider-man/Jackal war until the X-Men epic of the X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga and that particular comic line is about as good as it gets with this medium.Read more ›
I've been reading the Clone Saga releases as they've been released, and I've had mixed feelings about how that collection of stories was executed. While I had read the original issues of Amazing Spider-Man that led up to the original clone, the story had never struck me as being terribly important. It was entertaining, but not the sort of story that makes a massive change in the title's continuity. So I held off on getting this collection, and eventually bought it out of boredom, as well as because it included some things that I rarely see reprinted - stories from annuals, and issues of Spectacular Spider-Man.
But I was impressed with the collection. There's the enjoyable original clone story, but that leads on to cleaning up the issues with the clone of Gwen Stacy, followed by a few stories that deal with Carrion. While I had read all of these stories separately over time, putting all of them in a single volume has an interesting effect of making the story feel better thought out than it probably was. There's an explanation as to how the clones were created, which is very satisfying. However, it sounds like it was abandoned when 90s clone saga got started.
The artwork is a mixed bag. I like most of the classic artwork, but Sal Buscema changed his style over time, and during the time period here, on Spectacular Spider-Man, his artwork turned into a style that seems to have split people. Some people love it, but I felt like it was unique, but hardly enjoyable.
Still, it's a better volume than the other clone saga books out there, and entirely worth the purchase.
I loved this story growing up when they reissued it during the second clone saga, and though my students would too. They think it is okay, but they don't love it like they do other Spider-man graphic novels I got. If I could do it again, I'd stick to the '90s Clone Saga, they seem to love Ben. Go figure.
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The spiderman collection collects three stories rather loosely to the first Spiderman clone story. The first group ofstories involve the machinations of a villian named the jackal and the other stories involve Carrion who is a clone of the Jackal and a fellow student who takes the clone formula and becomes Carrion in the second set of carrion stories.The spiderman clone is important in one issue so the stories are misnamed in that respect. The stories are solid but not great .I would give this collection 3.5 stories if I could but give it four stars because this is a set of stories rarely collected and because of the significance to Spiderman of the Jackal stories roughly Amazing Spiderman 139-150