SPIDER-MAN: THE NEXT CHAPTER VOL. 1 (Marvel, 2011; Softcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 1-6, Amazing Spider-Man Annual '99, Peter Parker: Spider-Man Nos. 1-6 and Thor No. 8 (cover dates January-June, 1999)
Writers: Howard Mackie (both titles) and John Byrne (co-writer/plotter for ASM)
Artists: John Byrne (ASM), John Romita, Jr. (PP:SM) and John Buscema (ASM Ann.)
Yes! This is how I like my Spider-Man: Fighting! Laughing! Living life! And most importantly: Peter Parker! I was starting to feel worn down after reading all of those Clone Saga/ Ben Reilly trades. The often garish artwork and substandard writing coupled with Clone Spider-Man (a.k.a. Ben Reilly) tested my loyalty to the limit. I now understand why people abandoned Spider-Man in the mid-90s. These issues were a breath of fresh air, with vibrant artwork by John Byrne and John Romita Jr. that leaped right off of the pages.
|Artwork by John Byrne|
I had the floppies of these, and you can read what I thought of them here. They were garage sale finds for like $1.00 a piece, and they hold up just as well on the re-read. The writing is so good, the artwork is so good...these feel like comic books to me, not “chapters in a graphic novel” (term used facetiously to describe modern, made-for-the-trade floppies). Only the Spider-Women arc towards the end is iffy, but even that had its moments.
|Artwork by John Romita, Jr.|
I love these thick-ass trade paperbacks. The only problem with them is that they make me feel like I'm not maintaining my “productivity” because they can take almost a week to plow through. It's a nice problem to have when the stories are as wonderful as these are. This was an absolute joy to read.
|More John Byrne goodness.|
The OCD zone- Nice thick coated stock paper. All variant covers (and I mean all, even Dynamic Forces variants) are included.