I'm a guy over 40. And I'm bitter about Spider-Man.
Yes, I can admit it. Sad? Yes, in a way...but it's my story and I'm sticking with it. I'm not proud.
I have stacks of Essential volumes and have read them all...Amazing! Spectacular!! Whatever, the character is welded in to my psyche. Thousands and thousands of pages were undone by a simple, melodramatic, storyline some years back when it was "revealed" that Gwen Stacy was actually having barely legal sex with Norman Osborne (Green Goblin) and had kids that would hunt Spidey down later. And we got to see that barely legal sex...fuck this. I'm not reading Spider-Man anymore. Nostalgia is great and I still love the books that I enjoy (hey, Spectacular Spider-Man was tons of fun!)--but that was it.
I have a boy that is almost six. He deserves Spider-Man. But could I pick up one of the current books for him to enjoy? No. No. No.
I know Marvel has launched several attempts at kids lines, and I do love Superhero Squad, but my friend Ted of Chamber of Comics popped the new Marvel Adventures into my sons Christmas presents (with a way cool MODOK toy) and we read it.
While it isn't really for me, we had a blast reading this. Spider-Man decides that everyone thinks he is a menace, so he becomes the Kick Ass styled character AGENT 9. That is sort of fun and he gets a way over the top bit of Superhero costuming that I liked a lot. The writing by Paul Tobin is smart and funny and doesn't get bogged down in mundane details. The art is bright without being either too far away from looking vaguely human or too close to the dreary and boring "reality" of most Marvel books these days. And I laughed and remembered why I loved Spidey...that was reflected back in my sons enthusiasm. He'll have these too read from now on.
And I'll have my Spidey memories...I still need that Spider-Man omnibus edition that collects all of the Ditko run!
Read this page and try not to chuckle...good art and writing that leads to a big fight with The Vulture. Awesome. Click for a full sized version to check out.