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Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1 Paperback – August 11, 1998
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That being said, The one thing I do care for is that the comics are very straight forward plot wise. No real depth to them and are incredibly predictable. It also doesn't help that there are no two-part comics or a series of comics centered around a single villain, It's all just a one shot comic with a different villain each time. The dialogue also comes off as very kiddish and would easily appeal to younger readers far more than adults.
Still, for 4 dollars (at least that's the price it was when I bought and the price it is as I post this review), It's too good to pass up and I would definitely recommend buying.
But beyond just reprinting what is in the masterworks Marvel worked in many extras. All the letters pages are reproduced which recaptures the excitement of the Silver Age like nothing else really can. Rereading these letters really takes one back. But wait...there's more! There are three Spider-Man parodies from the contemporary humor comic Not Brand Echh! There are the usual pages of original and unused art including the full color oil paintings from the Spectacular Spider-Man magazines. There are house ads. There are reproductions of the reprint book Marvel Tales covers, four to a page. And finally, reproductions of the seven trade paperback Masterworks covers. I can hardly imagine what else Marvel could have thrown in.
The production values are first rate as well. The book lies flat, opened to almost any page. The reproduction is first rate.
Last but not least there are the stories. Although not as tightly (and densely) plotted as the Ditko stories, these books are still first rate as Peter Parker continues the transition from loser geek to chick magnet as Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane Watson vie for his attention.
Highly recommended. The asking price of this omnibus volume is high but not as high as the relevant masterworks and certainly not the original issues. Any Silver Age Spider-Man fan should consider picking this up.
I love these stories, as I'm sure many people do, because Peter Parker is a very relatable character for many people. Stan Lee captures his geekiness on one side, but on the flip side he catches the man Peter wants to be but can only be when he is spider-man because he wears a mask and has nothing to fear.
These issues are great introductions of some of spider-man greatest villains that remain in his rogues gallery still today. We meet Chameleon, Vulture, Lizard, Tinkerer, The Enforcers, and of course JJJ.
This is essential to anyone who is a true fan of spider-man comicdom. Great reprinted artwork, high quality pages. Highly recommended.
The only thing that disappoints me is that the next epic collection does not pick up where this one left off. This book has everything that is in the Amazing Spider-man Marvel Masterworks 1 and 2 except for issues 18 and 19.. So I could pick up the Masterwork volume 3 and go from there, but I'd miss issue 18 and 19... That's nothing against this specific book though.
This Spiderman beginning-of-it-all is really a must for me. Marvel came to Sweden in the late 60's and the first 30 or so of the Spiderman stories were never published until in the 80's so we started directly with post-Ditko. But Romita's strong pencil work was probably better for the bw-publications that was the common comic-book standard then.
But I love this volume and it looks very good alongside the others