Amazing Spider-Man is one of the most iconic series in the comics industry. Now it hits issue #900, a massive milestone only two other American series have hit, and Marvel is celebrating in style.
The massive celebration issue comes from Zeb Wells, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Wade Von Grawbadger, Cliff Rathburn, Marco Menyz, Dijjo Lima, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna, with back-up stories by Daniel Kibblesmith, David Lopez, Nathan Fairbairn, Jeff Loveness, Todd Nauck, Rachelle Rosenberg, Dan Slott, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente. It’s 90 pages of Spidey goodness to celebrate 60 years of the web-spinner.
Who is Spider-Man? The Living Brain has evolved, and begun to ask that question, hoping to reach the next stage in his evolution. To find his answers, the android has kidnapped Spider-Man and some of his closest friends, and placed the hero against perhaps his greatest foe- the Sinister Adaptoid, a Super Adaptoid with the powers of the entire Sinister Six!
Wells continues to show how well he understands his protagonist. At first it appears that the Living Brain just wants to know who’s under the mask, which would fit the anniversary, but he goes deeper into the question. This isn’t a story about a new villain trying to discover his identity while he fights his greatest villains.
This is a story about what makes Spider-Man tick. It’s about Peter Parker always doing the right thing, and defending the defenseless. Putting him up against the Sinister Adaptoid (who speaks in nothing but dialogue from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1- the Six’s first appearance- in a GREAT touch) shows how Peter will push through despite impossible odds just to save a life- even if that life is Otto Octavius. The team-up with the Six and the aftermath is a great bit of fun to wrap up the issue, and lead Living Brain to the answer he sought.
A great shout-out to Caramagna here. Not only does he letter all 90 pages, but he created a font reminiscent of 60’s lettering by the Marvel Bullpen. He uses that font exclusively for the Sinister Adaptoid’s dialogue, making it feel plucked directly out of the annual and put on the page as Peter fights to android.
McGuinness is a fantastic addition to the creative line-up of the series, and he makes the issue feel special. He hasn’t done tons of Spider-Man in the past, so his familiar line feels fresh for the character, but classic and familiar. His action layouts are engaging, and when combined with his linework creates a feel that’s closer to being animated than a still image. Even though there’s an army of inkers, they all ensure the pages have a consistent style.
The color team also does a great job. They’re clearly split over different sections of the story, so the switch isn’t noticeable, and one of the three set the palette to make sure they were largely consistent. It’s great work (including what’s some of the last work we’ll see from the recently deceased Lima) using bright colors to match the feel of that first Sinister Six story.
Of the back-ups, Kibblesmith and Lopez do something very fun and very special. While at first, it just seems like a gag short about Peter being a bit of a dope and irresponsible, it turns out to have a great, heartfelt message. The Loveness story is a bit of a vanity story, featuring his day job boss- Jimmy Kimmel. The Slott and Martin story is the shortest of the bunch, really just existing for a sweet little gag.
This is a really great celebration of Spider-Man as a hero, as well as his greatest foes. The web-slinger deserves stories of this quality more often.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 (Legacy #900) is available now from Marvel Comics.
Marvel celebrates Spider-Man’s 60th with an extra-sized anniversary. It’s exactly the celebration Peter Parker deserved.