|Characters & Development:|
|Originalality & Continuty:|
Book Information:Cover Date: Aug 1964
Characters & Groups
- The Sinister Six
- Dr. Octopus
- Kraven the Hunter
- Supporting Cast
- Aunt May
- Flash Thompson
- Uncle Ben (Flashback)
- Betty Brant
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Liz Allen
The Main story featuring the newly formed Sinister Six made up the first 41 pages of this now classic Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. But what an amazing 41 pages it was, featuring the teaming up, and defeat of Six spider-Man villains, Fifteen cameo appearances by other marvel Super Hero’s, and included scenes with no less than six major supporting cast members for spider-man. It’s amazing a story so large could fit in so few pages, and include so much without being overwhelming. In fact, it almost felt overwhelming by the end!
But can such an epic story, with so many characters live up to the hype that comes with an annual issue of its day? or is it just an average story; and a clever marketing campaign for all the other marvel books and hero’s of the day? Lastly is there room for Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 to be both amazing and great marketing?
Before I dive into addressing the all-important questions i pose just above, lets take on something a bit easier to address, the artwork of the issue. the 42 page story included some fine action panels, well drawn drama, and even artistic comedy. The level of detail was among the highest I could hope for, and the raw suspense keeping the story a page turner.
We can top this off with the inclusion of six great full-page spreads showing Spider-Man and one of the Sinister Six in each that make you just go ‘wow’ . included to the right is the page where spider-man punches Elextro , this is both the first of these spreads in the issue and my favorite.
All and all this leaves the art on a all time high for Spider-Man up to this point, something to be lived up to in the issues and art to follow by Steve Ditko and others.
Characters & Development
This issue offers a great chance for both our hero and his key antagonist to shine, as he faces each of them once again with the stakes never being higher. The greatest development in this story though seems to be for the formation of the sinister six and the start of a possible bond between Betty Brant and Aunt May. The real question is where will these things lead in the stories to follow?
Originality & Continuity
This issue does an amazing job, of working in aspects of spider-man’s past, as well as the guest scenes with every major marvel hero of the day. Helping build both spider-man’s history and the shared universe even further. while at times this all can feel a bit over the top, and even forced for the purpose of marketing other marvel books, it still seemed to be done well.
in the end, it all comes down to the story, after everything is considered it is here, that the hard views on the issue is held. while this issue is clearly an advertisement for every other marvel series, it is also a spider-man story that feels both epic and historic. It serves as a great culmination for everything Peter Parker and spider-man faced so far; and giving us a clear view on just where the future might lead. the inclusion of all the (ad’s) guest’s, did not detract from this, and even some where worked into the story quite well. Only the scene with the X-men in the danger room seemed really out-of-place. Would the story have been better without these (ad’s)? perhaps.. but it was quite good even with them.
Beyond the pages of the main story, there is still a significant amount of comic left, from a gallery of “Spider-Man’s Most Famus Foes!” that I believe to be all inclusive of every issue of Spider-Man so far and even his origin in amazing-fantasy #15 . “The Secrets of spider-Man!” that shows us details about his powers and personal life like we never seen them before, but will likely again. “How Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man” story that i feel may be dramatized but speak of the underlying real drama that was to come between the two creators. and more still!
Each of these extra’s where entertaining, and took the great story and made something even more special of the first annual for spider-man! I believe this is a must read for any Spider-Man fan, and highly recommended for anyone who likes the classics. But please, read this issue and share with me what you think!