Thursday, 17 January 2013


The Amazing Spider-Man #699.1 by Joe Keatinge (with Dan Slott), Valentine De Landro & Marco Checchetto

Entirely about Morbius the Living Vampire, entirely setup for the new Morbius: The Living Vampire series that began a couple of weeks ago, and so entirely a pointless aside as far as I'm concerned. Ho hum.

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 by Dan Slott & Humberto Ramos

The final ever issue! Until they inevitably relaunch it at some point, of course. And it's a bumper-length 104 pages! Finally, a comic that really feels worth their cover price... except because it's longer they've doubled that, naturally. But the whole thing is more than double the length of your regular comic (more like four or five times as long, in fact), so it still feels value for money. Why can't they do this every month?

(Incidentally, this was out December 26th. I actually received it a few days early but have only just got round to it. Why I'm bothering providing my views and summary three weeks late I don't really know, but hey-ho, keeps me happy.)

The contents kick off with a 52-page main story (that's about 2½ regular issues' worth). Here, Slott wraps up stuff he's been building for a very, very long time -- and in the process, justifies (in-story at least) why this is the final issue and why it's being (well, been) replaced by The Superior Spider-Man. This whole storyline has been remarkably controversial, often without justification, but this finale does warrant it. A bit, anyway -- I mean, it's just a story. And it's comics -- nothing's permanent. Still, I can see why some were aggrieved. Personally, I enjoyed it. Also good,, Ramos' cartoony art is a perfect fit for a book like Spidey. Hope the guy doing Superior is as good.

Following the main story, the issue has all sorts of other wonders up its sleeve. There's a whole 'nother issue's worth of back-ups: Spider-Dreams by J.M. DeMatteis and Giuseppe Camuncoli (a neatly constructed, fun tribute to the entire Spider-Man legacy) and Date Night by Jen Van Meter and Stephanie Buscema (retro-styled humorousness). There are galleries of #700's variant covers (there are lots) and the main covers for all 700 issues of the title (packed 100 to a page). There's a brief preview of all the Spidey books coming up, and a whopping seven pages of letters.

Bumper indeed.

Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 by Chris Yost & Paco Medina

Following on immediately from the end of ASM 700, this reads rather as you'd expect issue one of Superior to. I guess it's designed as a bridge, then, allowing the first issue of the new book to be completely new-reader friendly -- always the point of a #1 in the comics world.

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