Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Spider-Man- The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Book 2


Collects Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 407, 408, New Warriors No. 67, Sensational Spider-Man No. 1, The Spectacular Spider-Man Nos. 228, 229, Spider-Man Nos. 64, 65, Spider-Man/ Punisher: Family Plot Nos. 1, 2, Spider-Man: The Parker Years No. 1, Web of Scarlet Spider Nos. 3, 4, and selections from Spider-Man Holiday Special and Venom: Along Came A Spider Nos. 1-4 (cover dates December, 1995- April, 1996)

Writers: Tom DeFalco, Howard Mackie, Dan Jurgens, Larry Hama and more

Artists: John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson, Mark Bagley, Sal Buscema and more


I was on sabbatical from this hobby when these issues were originally published, so this was all new to me. The problem is that some of these issues are not very good. There are a few clear winners (the lead story in the Spider-Man Holiday Special springs to mind), but the craptastic Image-influenced '90s artwork makes much of this book a chore to sift through. 

The '90s were a strange time for comics. Everyone started having hair past their ass, even when they never had long before. That scarf-like thing swimming in the air is supposed to be the Punisher's hair.

Bad writing can be salvaged by good artwork, but good writing sinks like a stone when coupled with bad artwork. 

Horrendous "artwork". 
Some John Romita, Jr. art to wash away the crappiness above.
An impressive Mark Bagley issue. I actually like the redesigned Mysterio costume.
The completist in me is thrilled that they are compiling these 400+ page monster trade paperbacks, while the reader in me has mixed emotions about this material.

The OCD zone- The paper used in this book is a reasonably thick coated glossy stock.

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