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The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2 (New Printing) Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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I want to say more on the Omnibus edition. It is spectacular or amazing as the hero itself. Marvel has done a good job here. The prints here are slightly larger than the ones in the Epic Collection and the binding is black with the title in white letters. Although the introductions provided by Lee and Romita are copied straight from the Marvel Masterworks, what I really thought was unique about the Omnibus was that it also reprints fanmail that was written specifically from that era. Wow! I thought that was pretty cool. I also like reading people's reaction to Spider-Man during these early years when so much was changing in America's social landscape. From these letters you find out that some people didn't like the intrusion of Aunt May in these stories; others found Romita's Aunt May younger than Ditko's and they appreciated that; many college students were reading Spider-Man as well as people who were in the Army. Well-designed. Marvel has done a good job here.
Start with the storytelling. Yes, some of the references are dated starting with the Daily Bugle newspaper...that really can't be helped: society changes. But the realism of the characters, the tight dialog, and the struggles that they face...they FEEL real and still relevent today, even if you factor in the concept of a guy with spider powers. The cost of keeping secrets from those you love, teen angst, money issues, nasty bosses...reading these comics shows you what a genius Stan Lee was in creating characters and creating dialog; and reading them now shows you what a classic really reads like.
These stories are illustrated by John Romita, whose smooth, distinctive style for Peter Parker and crew defined what a comic should aspire to be in graphic appearance. He makes the Green Goblin the scary monster he is, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane the beauties we all wished we could date, and give every other character the personalities that jump off the page and flow that moves the story from one panel to the next. A lot of current artists could learn a lot by studying these pages carefully, from human form to facial expressions.
Like many of the other Marvel Omnibus editions, this includes the original letters pages that appeared in the comic book. That helps give some additional context to the stories and the reaction of the readers. It's a way fun bonus.
More than any other character collections, this Omnibus and Volume 3 offer phenomenal storytelling that everyone should be required to read.