Reviews Archive
The Goblin's Always Greener  
Spider-Man Goblin's Always Greener
  -Amazing Spider-Man #176-#180
The Green Goblin is back again, but who's under the mask this time? has Harry Osborn gone off the deep end again? Has Norman returned from the dead? or has a complete unknown taken up the mantle for himself? This is a pretty reasonable little mystery from Len Wein with a lot of intrigue and some memorable and exciting battles throughout.
The Last Shoot  
Spider-Man The Last Shoot
  -Spider-Man's Tangled Web #14
Quirky story from Brian Azzarello about a wrestler who takes a lot of pride in his job, and his attempts to come up with an idea to raise some much needed money for his club, which has fallen on hard times. Its just a memorable done-in-one issue with great character work.
  -Amazing Spider-Man #618-#620
The Maggia and Mr Negative gangs are at war, Spidey's stuck in the middle, and just when things start to look bad for the Maggia they team up with Mysterio in an effort to consolidate their forces, managing to make a big come-back. Its a funny and entertaining story from Dan Slott, who for me has to be one of the premier Mysterio writers (he just succeeds in hitting the right balance between menace and fun).
The Death of Vermin  
Death of Vermin
  -Spectacular Spider-Man #194-#196
Psychological themes are what Spidey writer extraordinaire J.M DeMatteis does best, and this story is no exception. The plot is about Vermin, one of Spider-Man's most repellent foes, a cannibalistic rat-man who lurks in the sewers. Vermin was one of many victims of Baron Zemo a man who experimented on people with a machine that was able to physically manifest their inner demons. The story forces Vermin (and his misshapen brothers) to confront Baron Zemo and his own trauma in order to cure himself. Its interesting if a little heavy handed at times, Buscema's art is fittingly harsh and grotesque.
Peter Parker Paparazzi  
Peter Parker Paparazzi
  -Amazing Spider-Man #559-#561
Writer Dan Slott puts Spider-Man into another new situation here with Pete deciding to try out paparazzi photography after he finds he can make a lot more more money taking pictures of celebrities in awkward positions than he ever could with his crime shots. An interesting story that explored how Pete deals with the morality of intruding on other people's personal lives for monetary gain. The story also has a pretty creative villain and all in all is a rock-solid concept.
American Son  
Spider-Man American Son
  -Amazing Spider-Man #695-#599

In American Son Norman decides that he wants Harry to play a more active part in the family business, unfortunately for Harry he doesn't have any choice in the matter! Norman's thinking about creating his own "superhero" team and he'll practice whatever manipulation it takes to maneuver everyone into the right position. American Son is an entertaining action epic that highlights the Osborn dysfunctionality and has Norman acting more nefariously ruthless and sneaky than ever.

The Coming of the Schemer  
Spider-Man The Coming of the Schemer
  -Amazing Spider-Man #83-#85

The Kingpin is in a gang war with a new criminal known only as the Schemer, an upstart with a grudge, and all this at a time when Kingpin's personal life has been thrown into turmoil too. A good arc where we get to see a lot more about the Kingpin's private life, including his cultivated Wife and estranged son Richard. We also get yet another in a long line of heartbreaking examples that highlight the misery of unknowingly dating a superhero! with Gwen Stacy being yet again abandoned by her significant other during a time of need!

Unmasked at Last  
Spider-Man Unmasked at Last
  -Amazing Spider-Man #87

After suffering from prolonged feelings of physical weakness Pete starts to become worried about the state of his radioactive blood, he begins to act irrationally and whilst delirious reveals his secret identity! How is he going to get out of this one? A memorable issue from Stan Lee and John Romita Sr with one of the most compelling comic covers.

What Dreams are Made On  
Spider-Man What Dreams are Made on
  -Webspinners Tales of Spider-Man #1-#3

Here we get an in-depth look at Mysterio from DeMatteis, the writer who'd already done such a good job of making Kraven relevant again in the 80s. The story has Mysterio meeting up with one of his childhood friends, in trying to impress her he ends up in the latest in a long line of battles with Spidey. I think this story does a lot to flesh out Mysterio's character here, really pushing through the idea that he is more of an irresponsible prankster (One section has Mysterio kidnapping Jonah and convincing him that he's died and gone to hell!). Unfortunately the artwork here leaves a lot to be desired though, its kind of scrappy and in my opinion detracts a bit from the overall experience.

The Green Goblin Lives Again  
Green Goblin Lives Again
  -Amazing Spider-Man #136-#137

After the supposed death of his father, Pete's best friend Harry Osborn completely loses his mind and takes up the mantle of the Green Goblin for himself for the very first time here. I've probably rated this story a good bit lower here than most would, but to be honest I'm just not that much of a fan of Gerry Conway's writing (outside of the obvious exception). Its an important story that would have a lot of later repercussions, but could maybe have benefited from being a little bit longer and more focused on Harry and his state of mind.

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