Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review- SPIDER-MAN: THE WORLD'S GREATEST HERO

SPIDER-MAN: THE WORLD'S GREATEST HERO (Marvel, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Peter Parker, Spider-Man No. 156.1, Sensational Spider-Man Nos. 33.1, 33.2, and Web of Spider-Man Nos. 129.1, 129.2 (cover dates October, 2012)
Writers: Roger Stern (Peter Parker, Spider-Man No. 156.1), Tom DeFalco (Sensational Spider-Man Nos. 33.1, 33.2), and Stuart Moore (Web of Spider-Man Nos. 129.1, 129.2)
Artists: Roberto De La Torre (Peter Parker, Spider-Man No. 156.1), Carlo Barberi (penciler) and Walden Wong (inker) (Sensational Spider-Man Nos. 33.1, 33.2), and Damion Scott (penciler) and Rob Campanella (inker) (Web of Spider-Man Nos. 129.1, 129.2).
Colorists: Matt Hollingsworth (Peter Parker, Spider-Man No. 156.1), Antonio Fabela (Sensational Spider-Man Nos. 33.1, 33.2), and Andres Mossa (Web of Spider-Man Nos. 129.1, 129.2).

These .1 and .2 issues are additions to cancelled Spider-titles of the past, part of last year's 50th anniversary celebration of Spider-Man. Veteran writers Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco return to the title and prove that they still have it. Roger Stern's story occurs in current continuity but references classic Spider-Man happenings, such as the ACME warehouse where Spider-Man confronted the burglar who murdered his Uncle Ben (Amazing Fantasy No. 15). The Brand corporation is trying to extract something from the sewer in the sub-basement of that warehouse from their time as part of the Roxxon Corporation. Stern's classic 1980s run dealt with Roxxon quite a bit, from the new Tarantula to Will O' The Wisp. Lots of great subplots on that run. On the artwork side, Roberto De La Torre's interpretation of Spider-Man is a breath of fresh air. While a bit more rough around the edges than I typically like, his storytelling is clear and concise and I could live with him having a run on the title. 
Artwork by Carlo Barberi (penciler) and Walden Wong (inker)
Tom DeFalco is another beloved Spider-Writer from my Golden Age of Comics, the early-to-mid 1980s. He also did a great, criminally underrated run on Spider-Girl. His two-part story deals with the new Vulture, human trafficking, and a crooked FBI agent. It is simultaneously contemporary and classic in tone. Carlo Barberi's artwork is effective and again, I could live with him having a run on the title. Anyone is better than Humbero Ramos. 
They say that all art is subjective. I say that this art SUCKS.
...and then we have the Stuart Moore issues. A pair of turds bogging down the proceedings with a horrid ret-con mockery. Damion Scott's artwork is, shall we say, not ready for prime time. Strictly amateur hour stuff. Moore's story and Scott's artwork was a total buzzkill and dragged the overall rating of the book down a full .75 points.
My advice: buy the book but bail after the DeFalco issues. You'll love it. Unless you read the last two issues. Then you'll be waiting for it to be over.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Standard fare Marvel trade paperback.
Paper rating: 4.25 out of 5. Decent weight glossy coated stock.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Standard glued binding.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Thick glossy waxlike coating. My favorite.


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