Pick of the Week

07.22.2009 – Amazing Spider-Man #600

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

830
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Avg Rating: 4.6
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 53.6%
 
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Size: pages
Price: 4.99

You will have to bear with me on multiple levels. It's late (or very late, according to my body), I'm somewhat drunk, and I'm very tired. And I think I ate a half a pound of bacon at dinner.

So because we're at Comic-Con and things work differently, you're going to get a different kind of Pick of the Week review. I apologize in advance. Or maybe I don't. Maybe that's the booze talking.

(Please direct any and all complaints to all the members of the iFanbase who kept plying me with beer at Star Bar tonight)

Comics are normally a solitary experience, at least they are for me. I read them by myself and it isn't until the Pick of the Week Podcast is recorded that I talk about them with other people. Here in San Diego, it was — and is — different. Josh, Ron, and I picked up our comics together and then we read them together by the hotel pool (after a while we were also joined by our friend Drea — so we had quite a comic book reading group by the Westin pool). So today as I read my comics there was discussion and (mild) debate and (mild) disagreement and it was an entirely different Wednesday experience.

After finishing my stack and jumping back in the pool to spend a few more minutes cooling off beore heading back to the convention, I still hadn't really decided on the Pick of the Week. But as I swam around and joked with the guys in the water, in my head I kept coming back to Amazing Spider-Man #600, and when you've been doing this as long as we have, when you can't chake a book from your mind, you know you've found the Pick of the Week.

And now because it is late and I had quite a bit to drink, I present to you the Top Ten Reasons Amazing Spider-Man #600 Was The Pick of the Week:

10. It felt big. (That's what she said) When you have a big anniversary issue that clocks in at 100+ pages, you want the events in the book to feel weighty, and this one certainly had that. As I read this issue I had the feeling that while I might may or may not have been reading an important Spider-Man story, I was reading a good one, and a big one. Lots of big things happened in this issue.

9. Head Injuries. I loved, loved, loved, that the entire issue sprang from the idea that Dr. Octopus was dying from all the traumatic brain trauma that he had suffered throughout all the years of being a guy with a normal body who was constantly being punched in the face by people with super human strength. That's the kind of stuff I think about all the time when I read comics. I mean, most superheroes have to have a mouth full of false teeth at this point, right?

8. Marcos Martin.

7. The interconnected Marvel Universe. Lately it has seemed that the Marvel Universe — who once prided itself on having a universe of characters who were interconnected and crossed over into each other's lives — has segmented itself into little pockets of fiefdoms. The X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, Daredevil, Thor — everyone seems to exist in their own little bubble of the Marvel Universe with no interaction. This may or may not benefit storytelling as a whole, but this issue reminded me of how much fun it is when the characters cross over with each other, and how much Spider-Man used to be the focal point of the the events that happened in New York City. The issue starts off with a team-up between Spider-man and Daredevil (who proves that being a downer isn't limited to his own book these days), and eventually includes the Fantastic Four and The (New) Avengers. It was nice to see everyone interacting.


6. Spider-Man's commute. I swear to you this happened. As I was reading Amazing Spider-Man #600, I put he book down and polled the group (which at this point included Ron, Josh and Drea) and asked how the heck it was that Spider-Man got from Forest Hills (in Queens) to Manhattan. As a one time resident of Forest Hills I knew that there are no tall buildings to swing from, and no where to hide. We concocted all kinds fo scenarios involving skulking along in the shadows until getting the Queens Borough Bridge (which goes from Queens to Manhattan) or catching a ride on teh Long Island Railroad (which runs through Forest Hills into Manhattan), and eventually, after much laughter I returned to reading and turned the page to find Peter called into an emergency while he was at Aunt May's house in Forest Hills, and then cut to Spider-Man riding on top of a cab that was going over the Queens Borough Bridge. Much laughter was had by all


5. The Fantastic Four joke. In this issue, Dr. Octopus takes mental control of all the technology in New York City, bending it to his will. The Fantastic Four respond by going into science mode to solve the problem (except for Johnny who goes off to help Peter). Just as Peter saves the day and defeats Dr. Octopus, we see the Fantastic Four on the roof of the Baxter Building with some giant contraption being worn by The Thing. Once they find out that Spider-Man saved they day and that they won't get to turn on the great machine that Reed invented, they get all disappointed. That made me laugh.

4. The talent on the back-up stories. Stan Lee, Marcis Martin, Mark Waid, Colleen Doran, Bob Gale, Mario Alberti, Marc Guggenheim, Mitch Breitweiser, Zeb Wells, Derec Donovan, Joe Kelly, and Max Fiumara. That shit's an all-star line-up right there.

3. Mary Jane Watson. I may not have been a fan of the marriage, but that doesn't mean I don't like the character and the dimension that she adds to Peter's life. Mary Jane shows up at the end of the main story here, to the shock and awe of everyone at Aunt May's wedding. I don't know if this is a signal that she will be back in the book full time (she has shown up once before, only to disappear again), but it' always more interesting when she's around. Funnily enough, I think that the only thing that has been a let-down since the Brand New Day reboot happened has been Peter's love life, which has been totally non-existent.


2. John Romita Jr. The art in the main story is absolutely beautiful. John Romita Jr. is one of those guys who is made for drawing Spider-Man (you might say it's in his blood).


1. Classic Spider-Man. At the end of the day, this issue reminded me of all the classic elements of a Spider-Man story, all rolled into one big package. Peter balancing his personal life, his work life, his super hero life, and his obligation to Aunt May. Spider-Man teaming up with The Human Torch. Spider-Man teaming up with Daredevil. Peter bickering with J. Jonah Jameson. Peter having money problems. Peter and Aunt May having a heartfelt talk. Spider-Man teaming up with the Fantastic Four. Peter up to his neck in lady trouble. A classic villain whose deeds were not as evil as the originally appeared, but now that he as foiled by Spider-Man he is going to seek his revenge. Big science. Newspaper reporting. New York City. Just about everything that is quintessential about a Spider-Man story was found in this issue and that made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Conor Kilpatrick
Man, I am TIRED
conor@ifanboy.com
 

Comments

  1. I’m sure it’s good if you like that sort of thing

  2. That was a great review considering your state of being while typing it, lol.  I always fuck up when I’m typing drunk.  You sold me on your end.  I agree with you on the main story, but I couldn’t stand most of the back-ups.  I only liked 2 of them and the others I started, but was unable to finish. 

    The only thing I hate about reading comics is it’s all relative to the mood I’m in when reading them.  Tonight I was pissy, so therefore I was impatient with stories I, otherwise, might have enjoyed.  Oh well.  I’ll read them again when I’m in a happier mood and maybe they’ll be totally different.  Another overcast day in Ohio.  It was good to have rain.

    On a more enjoyable note, I’ve watched my new Watchmen DVD about 7 times since I got it at midnight on Monday/Tuesday morning.  What a great fucking movie!

  3. I was sure this issue would be POW, despite the rather average quality of its main feature and many of the backup stories. I did enjoy one page of the issue, I’ll give it that.  On paper it should have been POW, but in execution the main story just wasn’t all that good.

  4. This issue was a good representation of the whole run since OMD… good art with average to poor writing and a dated, low grade feel. The main feature especially felt like it would have been equally at home in the Marvel Adventures book.

    Green Lantern was my pick. 

     

      

     

  5. Great Review. This ended up being my pick as well.

    Phonogram was in the lead after I finished the main story in ASM. But I changed my mind after finishing the entire issue, for all the reasons Conor articulates in reason #1. It left me feeling all squishy inside.

  6. I love the idea of a drunken POW. Also a group comic reading session sounds like fun–I haven’t done that since 6th grade…good pick!

  7. Just picked this up from the store on my lunch break. Had a flick through it looks great (I was going to type looks Amazing, but decided against the pun).

     

  8. This was my POTW as well, and I actually haven’t read the back-up stories yet. But the main story was EVERYTHING I have ever loved about Spider-Man, all in one story. The Doc Ock angle, with the brain trauma, was so brilliant. it’s something that should have been obvious, but i never actually thought of before. A great way to celebrate an anniversary issue like this. It was the opposite of Hulk #600, which I was really looking forward to and wanted to vomit after i was done reading it. 

  9. Not my potw, but definitely runner-up (lost to LOTW #5). I thought the main story was pretty good, but the backup material just nailed it. And no mention of the Spider-man/Batman team up cover (that you’ll never see) on that list. That’s pretty surprising, considering it’s Conor of all people.

  10. Great review Conor. You should do more often. Just think; comic reviews written in Gonzo style.

  11. OK, I’m not a regular Spidey reader but I may have to go get that one.  Sounds fantastic.

  12. I wasn’t able to get to the shop yesterday, and then I went to bed early in preparation for this weekend. I must have had six consecutive dreams about buying or failing to buy my comics. It’s all my mind has room for right now. Can’t wait to pick this one up.

  13. All of this reminds me how much I miss the title from years ago. Even down to the JRjr Red/Black Costume against Black background cover. This is yet another Marvel book I look at and think "My Universe? Yeah right." In any event, I’m glad some people are enjoying this book. Good review, Conor. 

  14. @xebix Conor would have to be taking multiple narcotics to be truly Gonzo.

  15. I’m a huge Green Lantern fan. So I surprised myself when I also chose ASM over GL. This issue was just to good. Not that I’m not a Spidey fan, but I haven’t been this into Spider-Man comics since the 80’s. I love the direction Brand New Day started. 

  16. Hmm….Now your pick was FCA: Dance #3 last time I checked. Ah well I must’ve read it wrong.

    I don’t read ASM anymore, but for some reason I was thinking of picking this up. Maybe down the road I will try this series once more. Especially if Joe Kelly is writing Deadpool in one of those issues. 🙂

    My pick was GL #44 though. You can’t beat what Johns/Mahnke did with Martin Manhunter in this issue. It was a buddy comic with Hal and Barry too.

  17. Two weeks in a row that I haven’t at least read the book that was POTW!!  Craziness.  Still, sounds like this issue was a blast.  I personally came to the conclusion that I am not really a big Spider-man fan, so I just have no interest in picking up the book.  Maybe later on in life…

    My pick, Invincible #64.  Insane, fantastic, beautiful, gory, intense, etc.  Love love loved it.  

  18. @Conor: Mea culpa, mea culpa. After reading your review here, I went back and actually read the backup stories, which I only skimmed through the first time.  When I read the main story by Slott, which was way too long, I just didn’t have the energy/desire to read the rest.  However, now that I have, I have to upgrade my score of this issue. The bonus material was pretty good overall, in some places terrific– overall enough to push the comic to about a 4 or 4.5/5 for me.  

    Had the main story been cut in pages by at least half, and maybe just a bit better overall, the great backup material would probably have pushed this book to a 5/5 for me.

    This isn’t the first the boys (and girl) of ifanboy have helped straighten me out, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

     

  19. After reading the first three paragraphs, I thought "Josh has Pick Of The Week again?"  Oh, this is drunk Conor.  Weird.

    Personally, I ended up going with Invincible this week, but think you’re right on all fronts about ASM.  This was a solid issue with great art.

    May San Diego continue to be filled with fun, and your food and drinks continue to be purchased by other people.

  20. As far as Twitter jokes in comics go, the one in this issue is the best.

  21. holy crap its no dc this

  22. week

  23. Was Josh drunk last week when he made his POW too? (just kidding, don’t get upset)

  24. great pick. loved the main story, but the mark waid uncle ben story reeeeeeeeeeally got me.

  25. I thought this was one of the weakest ASM stories since BND.  A very dissapointing issue.  The Mark Waid backup story was good.   The main story had one redeeming page.  It was a great moment when Peter calls Aunt May mom.  That was fantastic.  I don’t recall ever having read that before and it was beautiful.  The rest of the story was pretty much take-it or leave-it.

  26. Loved the review. 

    If this is the type of quality that we should expect when you are in this condition, the podcast will be excellent this week!!

  27. zomg you didn’t pick (random book)! I read (random book) and it was my potw and it was great and whatever book this is wasn’t and I’m hurt, confused and angry! Everyone else loves (random book)!Clearly this review is pandering to the non-(random book) type people out there.

    Sorry,I just felt like pretending to be THAT type of guy this week.

  28. @Fugmo: Ha ha ha….Those are so HIS mannerisms. 🙂

  29. Can’t help but agree on all accounts.

    Him teaming up with Johnny definitely felt like a classis Spider-Man thing, and I love them as a team.

    Stan Lee’s little story was great, I’m not sure why that surprised me. 

    And I LOVED Ed Brubaker’s Spider-Man cover you’ll never see. Fraction’s was good too.

    All around great issue. Deservedly so.

  30. … good to see Marvel back for a POW.

  31. I thought the main story was good, and the back up stories even better.  Definitely PotW material.  Stories about family always get me.  I definitely enjoyed this 600 issue more then any of the others.

  32. PymSlap PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

     

     I dunno, after Peter hulked out with the Therapist I got bor_ed. In my humble opinion, nothing was as exciting as seeing Mr. Fix-It head-flick Otto.  Maybe I should have got Hulk #600 instead. (Was it killer?)

    Peter just seems too in love with Aunt May to me, and after the PaperDoll arc, I don’t want to see anyone but Marcos Martin drawing Mary Jane Watson.

    Have a great Con, Conor! This is the 21st century and youre kind of a God, and more bad-ass than Danny Ketch with a new leather jacket.

  33. PymSlap PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    Matt (PymSlap), sauced hiself

     

    Wish I could do Comic Con with the motherfucking Ifanboy!!!! Can you do some investigative journalism and find out… Thor Movie? Summer Glau? 

  34. Woohoo!! 🙂

     Drunk or not those reasons were all SPOT-ON in my book.

    Great review, Conor! 

  35. Romita Jr art is always fantastic, amazing even. I spent most of the time studying Romita’s art because the story was pretty formulaic. After 600 issues Peter Parker has the same problems he had when he first started out? Really? I get nostalgic as much as the next guy but people please give me something more profound. I want to see more stuff like when Spider-man broke into prison to kick Kinpin’s ass.

  36. I liked Spider-man being married 🙁

    Would be stupid though to not at least get 5 to 10 years of single spidey after all the hassle of OMD. 

  37. I just wasn’t feeling the art for some reason.  A lot of people say John Romita is the best Spidey artist, but his lines just don’t catch my eye for some reason. 

    Oh well, it was still DEFINITELY worth reading once for the $5 though.  24/7 and American Son were so much better though, in my opinion.

  38. Really loved this, a great pick.  It was just what I was hoping for: some fresh angles like the new take on Doc Ock, but alongside a healthy dose of nostalgia. Also, some great character interaction making excellent use of one of the best supporting casts in comics.

  39. I didn’t pick this up. I generally find Spider-Man to be a boring character (probably due to my DC bias). However, I will go pick this up and give it a shot.

  40. Did anyone else think that they were looking at Kick-Ass when they looked at Doc Ock? 

  41. Ok I’m REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLY HOPING it’s not sold out in my very very out of the way private lcs…. >_> I wanted to see what the podcasters had to say… to see if it was a safebuy (100 pages or not).

  42. It sounds like a good pick.  Maybe I should start reading Spiderman again after all these years…

  43. The borrowing 50 bucks from Jonah was the greatest line I’ve heard in a while and his proud expression that he’d gotten Jonah was priceless in the next panel. Those 2 panels made it my pick of the week!

  44. FYL, indeed.

  45. You’re a Forest Hills native? Same here! Did you live in the normal Queens part or the super-rich gardens section?

  46. @comicBOOKchris: Not a native. I lived there through most of high school and all of college. We lived in the Gardens, which is definitely not all super-rich.

  47. Great book.

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