- Series: Essential (Marvel Comics)
- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Marvel Comics; 6th edition (August 11, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785109889
- ISBN-13: 978-0785109884
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1 Paperback – August 11, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Essential Spider-Man" harkens us back to the early 60s, when an angst-ridden teenager first was bitten by a radioactive spider and learned that with great power comes great responsibility. Stan Lee is often ridiculed for his overwrought prose, but his Spider-Man tales remain extremely poignant and affecting some four decades after they were written, while their postmodern successors seem dated already.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the amazing Spider-Man is that Lee creates a supporting, non-superpowered cast which is often more compelling than the heroes and villains. Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's archenemy, is also Spider-Man's biggest fan, willing to undertake reckless acts of courage to keep his hero's name from being dragged through the mud. Betty Brant, whose brother died after an ill-considered criminal career, loves Peter Parker but despises his alter ego, building a wall between her and Parker that neither can breach. "The Essential Spider-Man" is packed with such realistic contradictions.
The collection covers Amazing Fantasy # 15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man) through Amazing Spider-Man # 20 and Annual # 1. The tales feature some incredibly fluid artwork by Steve Ditko, Stan the Man's superlative writing, and the first appearances of such characters as Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Dr. Octupus, and the Green Goblin. Lee and Ditko's creativity is to be marveled at, given the number of characters they created during these twenty issues which are still viable in 2000.
If you're sick of the gorgeous garbage that passes for comics today, pick up this collection and see what the medium is capable in the hands of men who love it.
What is amazing as you re-read these stories is how well these comics stand up (with the glaring exception of "Spider-Man" #1 where they drop a net to try and capture John Jameson's errant space capsule and Spidey catches a ride from a jet fighter using his webbing). I was never a big admirer of Steve Ditko's artwork, especially the stuff he did after he left Marvel, but in going over these early Spider-Man comics I am very impressed with his compositional skills. Maybe it is because these are in black & white rather than in color that this strength of Ditko's
artwork really emerges, but Ditko deserves a lot more credit than I had given him the first time around.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Knowing the Essentials line is B&W, and also knowing this was the very first book(my copy is a used first printing) in that line, I understand how there could be some complaints. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Thonza
A lot of early Spiderman work packed all in one place. The problem is the reproduction itself. An excess of lackin even where it doesn't belong obscures the line work of the art... Read morePublished 3 months ago by thirdtwin
Was expecting the book to be in color like the cover. The description should be updated to inform potential buyers of that.Published 10 months ago by Lisa B.
I love Spider-Man and have never gone through the original comics. Just spin offs, cartoons, and the movies. Got this one to go through the originals. I love it so far. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kevin Rust
I'm re-reading my collection of Essential Spider-Man. I purchased volume 1 back in my college days. The actual panels are in black and white, which is why they can keep the price... Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by MasterAP
Excellent, quick service. It arrived in the condition described, and very promptly.
The downside, however, is that my book had a misprint, which stopped in the middle of... Read more
Spider-Man in his glory days. Seminal Ditko work, with not so much crazy Stan Leeness. A neurotic, nerdy, geeky, scrawny science student, not a stand up comedian superhero with a... Read morePublished on September 3, 2007 by average
This collection covers the early comic books that provided the foundation and helped establish Spider-Man as the leading comic book super-hero of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Read morePublished on March 16, 2007 by A Fan