SPIDER-MAN: ENDS OF THE EARTH (Marvel, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 682-687, Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth No. 1, and Avenging Spider-Man No. 8 (cover dates May- August, 2012).
Writer: Dan Slott, Ty Templeton (co-writer, Avenging Spider-Man No. 8), and Bob Williams and Brian Clevinger (Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth one-shot).
Artists: Stefano Caselli (682, 683, 686, 687), Humberto Ramos (684, 685), Thony Silas (Avenging Spider-Man No. 8), and Matthew Clark and Sean Parsons (Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth one-shot).
Is this a mislabeled Avengers book? I say that because it features the Avengers throughout and basically feels like an Avengers book. Doctor Octopus is on his deathbed, and reassembles the Sinister Six to fulfill his final dream. Is this dream to save mankind or destroy it, though? Needless to say, Spider-Man is once again the odd man out. Peter Parker's employment at Horizon Labs has seen him becoming more gadget oriented, which is getting old. Yes, Peter is a science whiz and all, but to be cranking out all of these innovations in such a short period of time is silly. I am also growing weary of all of these new costumes for Spider-Man.
There are some bright spots here, such as the Avengers fighting the Sinister Six. This is, all in all, a satisfying read with the exception of the two issues drawn by Humberto Ramos. Ramos' art is the usual suckiness that I've come to expect from him. While he has improved, he is still the worst artist to ever draw on this title.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Oh come on, Marvel! After 27 Premiere Hardcovers in a row for Amazing Spider-Man you crapped up my bookshelf by making the Spider-Island arc an oversized hardcover. Then you gave us two more Premiere Hardcovers and now another oversized hardcover. Do you have any idea how many nights I am going to lay awake, staring at the ceiling over these inconsistent formats for one era of this title? I believe that this is all part of an elaborate conspiracy on Marvel's part to drive us OCD-stricken collected edition obsessives insane. Uniformity on the bookshelf is next to godliness, you know.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick coated stock with a slight sheen, perfect for material with modern computer coloring.
Binding rating: 4.25 out of 5. This book has glued binding, but these oversized hardcovers lay reasonably flat for some reason or another. It's not super thick so it's not a deal breaker for me.