on December 27, 2003
"Marvel Masterworks vol. 1: Spider-man HC", essentially the birth of Spider-man saga. His first appearances are collected in this book. The inaugural appearance of Spidey can be traced through comic issue "Amazing Fantasy #15", which was published on 1962. The issues extracted from the original comicbook form into this exquisite hardcover version were Amazing Fantasy #15 & Amazing Spider-man(vol.1) #1-10.
Significantly, the historical importance of this book is about chronicling the birth of Peter Parker & his alter-ego Spider-man. All issues are masterpieces, but particularly notable among them is Amazing Fantasy #15, aside from his first appearance, it also tells his original(& still is), complete origin. This issue also introduces to the world for the first time Peter's woorywart Aunt May & his Uncle Ben. Also in this inaugural issue you will see the death of Uncle Ben. Whom because of the cause of his death help shaped Peter to become a better hero & thus, learned the popular adage "with great power, comes great responsibility". That doctrine, still sustain and popular up to the present & one of the foremost reasons made Spider-man very popular around the world.
Amazing Spider-man #1. The historical significance of this issue is finding a new,long-running home(& still is) for this title. It also commemorate the momentous introduction of other Spidey supporting characters-- like Flash Thompson & the gruff & loud publisher of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson.
Amazing Spider-man # 4. This issue introduces us to Betty Brant, the personal secretary of J. Jonah Jameson & ultimately, Peter's paramour. This issue also introduces us to Spidey other rogue gallery-- the Sandman.
Spider-man battles the Sandman relentlessly inside his high school compound. Only through his use of his ingenious wits did he found a narrow way to defeat his persistent foe.
Issue #6. Vs. the Lizard. This issue showed us even a supervillain like the Lizard can be an unwitting victim of fortuitious circumstances. Spidey desperately finds a way to cure the Lizard, to trnsform to his old self back as Curt Connors, a scientist. This issue had a myriad of high points. A poignant story. A pitiful tragedy, as Spidey learned from his teary-eyed wife & son the plight of Dr. Connors had became. The intense and exciting duel between Spidey and the Lizard. And the concluding repartee of the cured and well Dr. Connors wrong & skewed perceptions of how happy and fortunate of Spidey and his civilian identity living his life.
Issue # 8 vs the Big Brain(a giant computer robot)also is a memorable issue. Akwardly Peter Parker finally confronted his his constant bully, Flash Thompson into a boxing match, & knocking him out in the process with one, small Spidey-strenght punch. Peter forgot in a minute to restrain himself using his superpowers, especially against an ordinary people. Also Peter experienced a major scare, as the infallible robot nearly synthesized the secret identity of Spider-man. Only again, using his wits did he outsmarted everybody including the robot.
The popularity of Spider-man is due mainly as most people stated, to being an accessible hero. People can relate to Spider-man & Peter Parker for various reasons. He, as Peter Parker is feeble whereas Spider-man is very strong. He is also burdened with varied problems-- his Aunt May failing health, money difficulties, constant harrassment from his school bully, Flash Thompson. The dual identity problem ironically created by Spider-man which suppose to make him a hero, popular & above everybody else. For example, the good deeds of Spidey aiding people were always misjudged and misconceived as frivolous & callous in his actions; the resulting injuries he perpetually received from the beating being a Spider-man, becomes a major hazard to his health, his cover of his secret identity to his Aunt May & to his schoolmates; the time spent being Spidey frequently crosses his time to spend as Peter Parker. For example, his inability to study his lessons well because Spidey is needed in actions. The resulting lack of quality time to spend with his doting Aunt. And by being Spidey in general make his schedules very busy & tight. Some or all of these characteristics are what made Spider-man a household name, famous & most of all endearing to all kinds of people.In fact because of these reasons, people can mirror themselves as Peter Parker & sometimes as Spider-man as a release of their pent-up hostilities & negative emotions.
Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-man & the writer of the first 100 issues, obviously deserves every accolades & adulations he received from ectastic fans for his works. Spider-man is a household name. And a legend. An immemorial. If not for Stan Lee, Spider-man will never be conceived. Also kudos to Spider-man initial artist(penciler) Steve Ditko, whose works can be found in this volume.
However, in my opinions, John Romita Sr. will always be the best artist of all of comics, not only his Spider-man efforts. Alex Saviuk, another favorite of mine, is not too far off as one of the better artists in Spider-man history. Also worth mentioning about is J.M. DeMatteis. J.M. DeMatteis should at least, be commended properly as one of the very best writers of all of comics, not only his ran on Spectacular Spider-man & Amazing Spider-man. He is one of my favorite comic writer and he is very talented.
Please buy it, as this book is very important memory of Spider-man.
Most highly recommended !