Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 5.0
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Size: pages
Price: 34.99

No matter how much praise I could give to the man, most of you will still hate J. Michael Swiercyznski.

He’s become a myth to this website and not for the right reasons. I admit that he isn’t the most perfect writer out there and I have read a bunch of his stuff I didn’t like. But when you read something of his that you can clearly tell he has passion for (like his current Thor run), well it’s hard not to be impressed by his skills. Before the latter half of his stay on ASM, I dare say this collects probably my most favorite era of Spider-Man.

JMS just has a great style to write Peter. People try way to hard sometimes to make a Peter Parker that is interesting and funny at the same time. Here, the writer has no problem making the hero funny almost all the time but still show why he is such a great person. Now this trade collects the beginnings of the infamous ‘Totem’ storyline. While I will state that when ‘The Other’ was released I didn’t like it as much as I hoped. But this early introduction of the villains and ideas of the totem I thought were really great. It feels like your reading a Terminator comic because the villain Morlun is really just an unstoppable force. But once we get away from this arc we get pretty much simple stories from JMS. Although we get a huge bombshell of Aunt May learning a certain secret identity, JMS plays it up where Bendis I think failed a bit in his USM reveal.

Then we get the 9/11 issue in here and I have to say that it’s really a great tribute to the fallen heroes. I’m tired of people making fun though of the Dr. Doom crying scene in this. Okay so it’s waaaay off character for a Doom, but let’s face it. This isn’t about continuity and it isn’t about villains. It’s about paying respect to the people who died during the worst day of America’s history and how even the most evil of people felt horrible on that day. So the fact that people make fun of it still I think really misses the point of that moment.

I haven’t even gotten to the art in this comic by Romita Jr. He is much better suited for past run of ASM then he was now. I read ‘New Ways to Die’ and I’m thinking: “Wow this is nothing like the JR JR I saw in the previous Spider-Man arcs’. Do yourself a favor and make the comparisons to this comic and the current BND storylines. It’s almost impossible to see a similar style for the comic.

Overall I think the hatred of JMS really makes his ASM run be forgotten alittle bit. Sure once we get past this collection….it kinda gets fucked up abit. But if your looking for a truly great Sipder-Man run, this first volume is a great peice of beauty to purchase.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. i totally agree with you. JMS saved spider-man.  I stopped reading comics because of the crap that spider-man became with the reboot.  JMS brought me back to comics after a 4 year break.  This is the best run of Spider-Man that i have ever read.  He has some hit and misses later on but this first trade set is flawless.  The MJ storyline is great.  THe 9/11 issue is one of the most moving single-issues i have ever read.  He made aunt may a character you actually care about.  Oh man…. i am going to have to go back and read these again.  see ya. 

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