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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolve or die? Actually, Spider-Man does both in "The Other"
It used to be that when a comic book character went through a significant change that usually meant they changed their costume, suddenly developed new powers, or if someone they cared for died tragically. That has certainly been true of Spider-Man in the past. Even before he had his own comic book Peter Parker lost Uncle Ben, then watched Gwen Stacy die before his eyes,...
Published on April 24, 2006 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, but just not handled well at all.
As a collection, "The Other" is a mixed bag. The ASM issues are well done, as are the MK Spider-Man issues. The FNSM issues however are not to my liking thanks to the art of Mike Wieringo. It's just not to my liking at all.

The story had potential, but I found it difficult to accept what the writers presented as the payoff for the story and as a consequence, it...
Published on February 4, 2012 by Craig Medaris


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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolve or die? Actually, Spider-Man does both in "The Other", April 24, 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Hardcover)
It used to be that when a comic book character went through a significant change that usually meant they changed their costume, suddenly developed new powers, or if someone they cared for died tragically. That has certainly been true of Spider-Man in the past. Even before he had his own comic book Peter Parker lost Uncle Ben, then watched Gwen Stacy die before his eyes, and even had Aunt May die on him at one point in Volume 1. As for new powers, there was the time in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #100 that he grew two extra sets of arms (Spider-Man being depicted as Leonardo's Vitruvian Man on the cover is not a hint as to what happens in this mini-series) and in the wake of the blockbuster Hollywood movie followed suit and starting shooting webs out of his arms without the webshooters. Then the "Secret Wars" came along and suddenly Spider-Man had a new black costume, and we all remember how well that went. However, a few years back J. Michael Stracynski, writing "The Amazing Spider-Man," decided to follow Alan Moore's example with "The Swamp Thing," and rewrite Spider-Man's origin taking as his premise the idea that getting bit by a radioactive spider does not make a lot of sense.

As Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg explain in "The Science of Superheroes," all spiders spin silk but many (tarantulas, jumping spiders, and wolf spiders) do not make webs; only hunting spiders have the ability to walk on ceilings or up the sides of bathtubs (but they do not spin webs). Spiders are not particularly fast for their size (eight legs make that a problem) and spiders are not known for their strength (unlike ants, which are). Consequently, spider strength, spider speed, and spider agility have nothing to do with real spiders; only spider-grip and spider-sense of Peter Parker's five super powers have any relationship with actual spiders. Therefore, Stracynski came up with the idea that our hero was given his powers not by some fluke, but rather by the totemic spider spirit.

The fact of nature behind "The Other: Evolve or Die" is that there are spiders who shed their skin once in their lifetime. That is actually a good thing because Spider-Man has been weaker and slower than usual, with his powers actually failing him from time to time. So he has some tests run on his blood and they reveal that there is something terribly wrong, that cannot be understood by modern medicine, let alone cured. The diagnosis is terminal, and while Peter and Mary Jane try to come to term with the news, Morlun, the parasitic hunter who has already tried to kill Spider-Man once, has returned from the grave. The initial question is whether Morlun can kill Spider-Man before Peter Parker drops dead, but then we get to the big fight and there are suddenly a whole bunch of questions to be asked and answered.

"The Other: Evolve or Die" was a 12-part series that consists of "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" #1-4, "Marvel Knights Spider-Man" #19-22, and "The Amazing Spider-Man" #525-528. Those three titles are drawn, respectively, by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and the pencils and inker team of Mike Deodato and Joe Pimentel. Now, this will sound confusing, but while those three titles are currently being written by, respectively, Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and Stracynski, the first three parts of the story are written by David, the next three by Hudlin, then three by Stracynski, and then each writes their own title in the final third. Since Stracynski started the ball rolling on this one I assume that he is the main architect behind the new and improved Spider-Man, which is what we get at the end of this mini-series.

Fortunately the new costume does not pop up until the issues after the ones collected here, because I did not like the black costume and I do not like the new one either. Iron Man can come up with a different suit for each day of the week, but that does not mean I want him designing new threads for Spider-Man. But the new costume is the least of the concerns here because what matters the most is the upgraded version of Spider-Man that we have by the end of "The Other." I understand that these are more realistic, in terms of what abilities spiders have in the real world, but there has always been a sense in which comic book superheroes are not living in the real world, no matter how much they draw it to look that way. I though webbing shooting out of Peter's wrists creeped me out, but now there is something else added to his arsenal that I think is a move in the wrong direction. Go back to the splash page of the first story in "Amazing Spider-Man" #1 and you find the words "Freak!" and "Public Menace!" It appears that after 500 issues J. Jonah Jameson got it half right.

This is an important mini-series because at least for the foreseeable future every Spider-Man comic book has to follow the lead of what has been established here. Consequently, "The Other" is going to be important, perhaps even more important than it will be controversial, although that is going to be a close call and it may be only trade paperback worthy and not worthy of having in hard cover. After all, a lot of people are going to be outraged by what they find here. At this point I am more disappointed than anything else, and given the track record of Stracynski and David (Hudlin is an unknown quantity with me at this point) I am certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I certainly have my doubts and I know I am not alone. Fans of Spider-Man will have to read this one and make up their own minds, but they might not like what they find themselves thinking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The changes in the characters work although the plot is predictable, January 27, 2011
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Paperback)
One of the strongest recent trends in comics is to make significant changes in the characters and their relationship environment. In this story Peter Parker is married to M.J., Aunt May is a much more forceful and less frail woman and they both know that Peter is Spider-Man. Spider-Man is also an Avenger, living in the Avengers penthouse mansion owned by Tony Stark.
Another theme that is a regular among the comic book characters is to have the hero die and then somehow be reborn. Nearly every character, even the almost indestructible Superman, has died. In this story, Spider-Man contracts a fatal malady where nothing can be done to counteract it; even the combined scientific knowledge of Tony Stark and Reed Richards is of no value.
The intelligent reader knows very early that while Spider-Man may die, there will be some form of resurrection so the only real item of interest is the manner in which it is executed. As always, Spidey retains his sense of humor over his condition, lamenting the fact that his profession and super powers have kept him from being able to acquire health and life insurance.
Another interesting point is the conversation that Tony Stark has with M. J. after Spider-Man dies. The conversation is over what has to be done to the body of a dead superhero. It must be disposed of in a manner so that no one will learn that Peter Parker was Spider-Man and the injuries he received in his final battle must be masked by some post-mortem damage. In the decades that I have been reading comic books that thought had never occurred to me, and it was a stroke of genius from the writers.
The inclusion of a love interest and his imminent death make Spider-Man appear more human than necessary. Since the remaining Avengers demonstrate their affection and concern for a fellow super hero they also are portrayed as human. Even Wolverine is depicted as having a heart under his hairy surface. I tend to be reluctant to accept major changes in the comic book characters, but in this case they are so seamlessly done that I enjoyed the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mauling, November 21, 2010
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Well there were parts of this that were pretty interesting and there were parts of this that were simply mediocre. In several parts I felt like I should have felt more tension. Tracer had the potential to be an interesting villain but ended up being a plot device more than anything else. The best part was where Spider-Man has his near final showdown and gets mauled as never before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Spider-Man Story, June 1, 2012
I've read a wide range of Spider-Man, from awful to decent to great. This falls into the Great category. `The Other' is a strange story, but considering some of the other things gracing my comic collection (read: gods, demons, insane angels, mutated aliens etc.) this was hardly off-putting to me. The story is quite dark, and Peter's `death' was very well done (this isn't a spoiler; it's pretty much the backbone of the plot). Many a fellow hero makes appearances throughout the book, and watching the silent tribute to Spidey was honestly very touching.

The story centers on the return of Morlun, and though I had no idea who this was, it was quickly established that he means business when he easily beats Spidey within an inch of his life. Peter's life has been going downhill (hardly news really, Peter is always getting kicked in the face by bad luck), and now his powers are in flux. These two events weave a very horror influenced tale of how Peter is more in touch with the Spider part of him than he knew (this sounds cryptic, but you'll see what I mean).

I wanted to give this collection 5 stars, for the story is that good. The art is what holds it back. This story collects three totally different series each done by a different team. The art changes every issue, and the transition is jarring, especially since not all of the art fits the tone of the book (the cartoon-ish art of Mike Wieringo clashes particularly bad, and Lee isn't much better, though it isn't nearly as jarring to go from his work to the Marvel Knights issues). This is a deal-breaker for some, hence my attention to detail.

If you can get past the revolving artists, you'll find one of the most interesting Spidey stories in years, so I highly recommend `The Other'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, but just not handled well at all., February 4, 2012
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Hardcover)
As a collection, "The Other" is a mixed bag. The ASM issues are well done, as are the MK Spider-Man issues. The FNSM issues however are not to my liking thanks to the art of Mike Wieringo. It's just not to my liking at all.

The story had potential, but I found it difficult to accept what the writers presented as the payoff for the story and as a consequence, it somewhat tarnishes the overall product greatly.

I loved JMS's run on Amazing Spider-Man right up until its final few issues, but these are most certainly nothing close to a high point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Read, April 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It was a great book, and kept me interested. I'm not sure if spiderman will ever be seen like this again. I would suggest this book to any spiderman fan, even if they don't like the end, it was a fun ride.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Choppy, but Exciting, March 19, 2007
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Hardcover)
Spider-Man: The Other is a compiled graphic novel of various Spider-Man titles (Amazing Spider-Man #525-528, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1-4, and Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19-22) and written by Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, J. Michael Straczynski, Pat Lee, Mike Wieringo, and Mike Deodato.

After a battle with the new villain Tracer, Peter Parker receives some shocking news from his doctor. He is dying! Of course, all the best Marvel superhero doctors team up to try to help him. But Morlun is back too. And he's just biding his time to feed off Spidey.

The story is suspenseful and exciting, but a bit choppy and incongruent over the span of the Spider-Man titles. In one scene, Mary Jane has a broken arm. In the next, she's absolutely fine. But when you're dealing with a span of multiple titles, it comes with the territory.

Some of the artwork was only mediocre at best. But thankfully, since there were multiple titles, we get to see more than one artist at work. And the story more than made up for it.

I definitely recommend this graphic novel to any fan of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Peter goes through a transformation that will change him forever!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spider-man meets the X-files, August 18, 2006
By 
Chowii (Irvine, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Hardcover)
I stopped collecting and reading Spider-man after the whole clone debacle in the 90's. I recently got back into reading Spider-man books through the trade paperbacks collection. I was enjoying Straczynski's run in the Amazing Spider-man until I read this.

Spoiler ahead...a summary recap of the book.

Morlun is back from the dead. Even though his assistant back in Spider-man Coming Home TPB killed him off. It is not explained how he came from the dead. Also, he promised not to bother Spidey if Spidey would spare him after it tried to suck Spidey's essence that was infected with radiation and he began to die. Guess he forgot his promise. After stalking Spider-man, he fights and beats a weakened Spider-man to a bloody pulp.

The messy pulp that is Spider-man is taken to a hospital for treatment. Morlun decides to finish up Spidey there. As Morlun threatens MJ life, Spider-man on his instincts and adrenaline alone, defeats and allegedly kills Morlun. Then Spider-man succumbs and dies from his injuries.

But wait...he's not dead! A shocker. Hmm...superhero dies and returns from the dead...a new twist...Not! Where have we seen this before, Superman, Green Arrow, Jean Grey aka Phoenix, Green Lantern and so on. He sheaths his skins, wraps himself in a cocoon, and re-emerges with new powers. Talons that forms from his arms, night vision, the ability to shoot webs from his wrist and more super strength. He is now a combination of Wolverine and Superman.

End of spoiler.

In short this story could have been told in 5 issues max. To drag it out into 12 issues is really stretching it. Now we have Spider-man meets supernatural elements from the X-files, which is so pretentious. Give me back my old Spider-man, nuff said!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolve or die? Actually, Spider-Man does both in "The Other", April 20, 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: Spider-Man: The Other (Paperback)
In former days, that is to say "Once upon a time," a significant change in a comic book character was if they changed their costume, suddenly developed new powers, or if someone they cared for died tragically. That is certainly true of Spider-Man, who before he even had his own comic book lost Uncle Ben, then watched Gwen Stacy die before his eyes, and even had Aunt May die on him at one point in Volume 1. As for new powers, there was the time in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #100 that he grew two extra sets of arms (no, Spider-Man as Leonardo's Vitruvian Man on the cover is not a hint as to what happens within these pages) and in the wake of the blockbuster Hollywood movie followed suit and starting shooting webs out of his arms without the webshooters. Then the "Secret Wars" came along and suddenly Spider-Man had a new black costume, and we all remember how well that went. However, a few years back J. Michael Stracynski, writing "The Amazing Spider-Man," decided to follow Alan Moore's example with "The Swamp Thing," and rewrite Spider-Man's origin taking as his premise the idea that getting bit by a radioactive spider does not make a lot of sense.

As Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg explain in "The Science of Superheroes," all spiders spin silk but many (tarantulas, jumping spiders, and wolf spiders) do not make webs; only hunting spiders have the ability to walk on ceilings or up the sides of bathtubs (but they do not spin webs). Spiders are not particularly fast for their size (eight legs make that a problem) and spiders are not known for their strength (unlike ants, which are). Consequently, spider strength, spider speed, and spider agility have nothing to do with real spiders; only spider-grip and spider-sense of Peter Parker's five super powers have any relationship with actual spiders. Therefore, Stracynski came up with the idea that our hero was given his powers not by some fluke, but rather by the totemic spider spirit.

The fact of nature behind "The Other: Evolve or Die" is that there are spiders who shed their skin once in their lifetime. That is actually a good thing because Spider-Man has been weaker and slower than usual, with his powers actually failing him from time to time. So he has some tests run on his blood and they reveal that there is something terribly wrong, that cannot be understood by modern medicine, let alone cured. The diagnosis is terminal, and while Peter and Mary Jane try to come to term with the news, Morlun, the parasitic hunter who has already tried to kill Spider-Man once, has returned from the grave. The initial question is whether Morlun can kill Spider-Man before Peter Parker drops dead, but then we get to the big fight and there are suddenly a whole bunch of questions to be asked and answered.

"The Other: Evolve or Die" was a 12-part series that consists of "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" #1-4, "Marvel Knights Spider-Man" #19-22, and "The Amazing Spider-Man" #525-528. Those three titles are drawn, respectively, by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and the pencils and inker team of Mike Deodato and Joe Pimentel. Now, this will sound confusing, but while those three titles are currently being written by, respectively, Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and Stracynski, the first three parts of the story are written by David, the next three by Hudlin, then three by Stracynski, and then each writes their own title in the final third. Since Stracynski started the ball rolling on this one I assume that he is the main architect behind the new and improved Spider-Man, which is what we get at the end of this mini-series.

Fortunately the new costume does not pop up until the issues after the ones collected here, because I did not like the black costume and I do not like the new one either. Iron Man can come up with a different suit for each day of the week, but that does not mean I want him designing new threads for Spider-Man. But the new costume is the least of the concerns here because what matters the most is the upgraded version of Spider-Man that we have by the end of "The Other." I understand that these are more realistic, in terms of what abilities spiders have in the real world, but there has always been a sense in which comic book superheroes are not living in the real world, no matter how much they draw it to look that way. I though webbing shooting out of Peter's wrists creeped me out, but now there is something else added to his arsenal that I think is a move in the wrong direction. Go back to the splash page of the first story in "Amazing Spider-Man" #1 and you find the words "Freak!" and "Public Menace!" It appears that over 500 issues J. Jonah Jameson got it half right.

This is an important mini-series because at least for the foreseeable future everybody who writes and draws a Spider-Man comic book is going to have to follow the lead of what has been established here. Consequently, "The Other" is going to be important, perhaps even more important than it will be controversial, although that is going to be a close call. A lot of people are going to be outraged by what they find here. At this point I am more disappointed than anything else, and given the track record of Stracynski and David (Hudlin is more of an unknown quantity with me at this point) I am certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I certainly have my doubts and I know I am not alone. Fans of Spider-Man will have to read this one and make up their own minds, but they might not like what they find themselves thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the evolution... of an arachnid, November 25, 2007
I'm a huge Spider-Man fan. I think what makes him so great is that he is just a man. Even with all of his powers, Peter Parker has to deal with everyday life, more so than in other comics. And here Spider-Man evolves. Into something more? I'm sure the Marvel writers will have more to do here. I expect great things in the future of one Peter Parker, Spider-Man.
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Spider-Man: The Other
Spider-Man: The Other by J. Michael Straczynski (Paperback - October 25, 2006)
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