Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Now that's classic



I've been reviewing a superhero and his late 1970s adventures, inspired by Spider-Man. But when I kicked back to read SPIDER-MAN CLASSICS #6, reprinting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 from 1963, I have to say, I see the resemblances, but I also notice how much difference there is in a story with 22 pages of art as opposed to one with 17, like NOVA in 1977. For one, the supporting cast gets a bit more room to be themselves and give the story more depth.

For another, Doctor Doom and Spider-Man meeting for the first time just happens to be one of the most fun issues ever of Spidey's comics. it's a blast seeing the arch enemy of the Fantastic Four plot to take over the world with Spider-man. There are so many little details developed here, exploring all of Peter's relationships with cast while never slowing down, in a giddy, juvenile-fiction flavored dynamo of expressive art and hilarious and knowing writing. Even the colors are joyous.

I'll tell you a little more about it---I have having the last of my summer fun, thinking in terms of a certain few subjects with one strong reach back into the happiest moments of my past. Yet everything to come points towards our lives out here in California, like the two shows we plan to attend Friday, full of friends new and newer and music and dancing and the smell of the sea, and of course all the work going into Integr8d Soul Productions! The Wavehouse and the House of Blues---not a bad evening!

I could break this issue down bit by bit, but three things here:

1) J Jonah Jameson is one of the best characters in comic books, and these classic Spider-Man stories would not be the same without him almost connecting with the people around him, but bossing them around with a grumpy bottom line attitude and cynicism disguised as public service.

2) Flash and the gang may pick on Parker, but he is really one of them, nonetheless---just kind of a scapegoat, particularly for Thompson. But when they play a gag to scare Peter, Flash gets to meet Doctor Doom! Oh, man, no spoilers here, but watching Peter consider doing naughty things like teaming up with Doom just to honk off Doom and leaving Flash Thompson in his clutches? Just priceless. He's so human!

3) Finally, the thing that made me stop and write. A friend of mine who shall remain nameless if not blameless recently played a trick on a visiting friend, who did not understand that she had chosen a run-down hotel for them and that in his country, the difference between a good one, a fabulous one, and a run-down hotel is much wider than she is used to as an American (health codes, what not). So, he pulled a fuse he discovered, to effect an inconvenient black out. Now, he's since confessed, as that was the least of his problems, and should he find this, he will have a belly laugh finding that even Peter Parker has to resort to a ruse with a fuse now and then.
Below: Peter devises an excuse to leave the house to rescue Flash: he's got to go out for fuses!!!

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