The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Newspaper Comics Collection Volume 1 (1977-1978) (Spider-Man Newspaper Comics) Hardcover – June 16, 2015
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About the Author
He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. Lee received a National Medal of Arts in 2008.
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This is a great hardcover set, nicely bound and with quality paper. The two main issues I have with this series and the reason for giving it a 3-star rating, is:
First and foremost, some of these strips have been poorly scanned. Although it doesn't happen a lot you can clearly see muddy, thick or half-erased lines in quite a few strips here. I would say perhaps 90% has been done with high quality, and a remaining 10% with various degrees of mid-lower quality. I don't think these strips are particularly difficult to find and/or restore (I myself still have quite a few of these original ones) so it's a bit surprising they would not bother on tracking down a decent version of all of them for this otherwise nicely presented volume.
Secondly and less important, even though I love these strips myself, objectively they don't particularly shine as Spider-man (or anything) stories. They are at best an entertaining and self-contained story but, more often than not, ridden with plot holes and continuity mistakes (continuity within this newspaper strip universe, not the main Marvel universe, which these do not belong to).
Volume 1 and half of 2 has the added benefit of coming from John Romita, his art shines here almost as much as in his regular Amazing Spider-man run. Larry Lieber takes over through the rest of volume 2 and half of volume 3, at which point Fred Kida replaces him. Both Larry Lieber and Fred Kida are great artists in their own right, but it's difficult to top Romita.
Overall a decently priced and solid book if you are a fan of these strips. It would easily be 4 stars if they managed to properly scan and/or restore all strips and not just most of them.
Honestly, the one thing I remember most about reading this strip in the 70's was my irritation at having to read the same episodes twice, even three times, due to stan recaping the previous episode. Monday would just be a recap of the sunday strip, then tues would recap mon which in itself was a recap.... ugh. And the sunday page wastes 1/3 of its space every week with the title tier. The local paper where I moved didn't carry it, so I missed the ones from the 80's.
The main reason to buy and read this is for John Romitas exceptional art. Looks like he did the inking at the begining and then some others took over. I thought I saw some Infantino Andru and Springer in there.
Stan lee taps into some of the spidey cartoons for plots in this newspaper continuum, and most of the story arcs have huge plot holes. Parker is pretty stupid in many episodes because Stan can't come up with any reasonably complex plots for parkers supposedly near genius intelligence to solve. So Perker is dumbed down, enabling the bad guys to have some fun. In some instances the villains are cyphers doing silly things for no apparent reason, because, stan lee thinks it would drive spider-man crazy. During Dr Dooms plan to discover spideys secret identity, he uses a robot pigeon to follows him around. But for some reason Doom never bothers to find out who lives in that apartment spidey swings into.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<mild spoilers ahead>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Its interesting to see Parkers hair grow out over the course of a years episodes. Parker is a real petty paranoid psychotic in these strips, and his adversaries range from Dr Doom power levels to a random crazy lady who found out his secret identity. So lee, for his first original newspaper spidey villain, can only muster up a jealous crazy lady? Crazy lady also predictably has a disfigured face, hidden by her madam hydra hairstyle, from a past phantom of the opera type incident. Finally, Lee grafts Kirby's original idea for dooms face(the scar is very small) onto his idea for a crazy lady. Predictably she will die, but sadly spidey actually kind of helps her out!
After about 80-100 pages to find its groove, the stories flow fairly well most of the time, and there are some better than average episodes. I picked up vol 2 as well, pete should have a pony tail by the end of that one.
Top international reviews
Se tiver duvida, procure ler por si as tirinhas do Aranha, você acha na internet com facilidade, elas são publicadas até hoje e têm o mesmo temperamento das HQs dos anos 60, se você gosta daquele Homem-Aranha nerd de gravatinha borboleta e cabelo batidinho e puder comprar esse volume, esta recomendado.
Good I did not buy earlier editions or languages. This is it.