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Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1

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Hardbound reprint volume of The Amazing Spider-Man, numbers 1-10, and Amazing Fantasy No. 15.


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Hardbound reprint volume of The Amazing Spider-Man, numbers 1-10, and Amazing Fantasy No. 15.

30 review for Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim Ef

    8.1/10 Gather around folks and witness the origin of one of the greatest superheroes of all time. Peter Palmer Peter Parker is a smart teenager that is made fun of all the time by his classmates. His life doesn't seem like much, but that will change when he will get bitten by a spider and turn to the one and only.... The Amazing Spider-Man!!!! Although his strength and his unique abilities are second to none, Peter's life is not easy. He finds out that keeping a balance in his life is hard. He trie 8.1/10 Gather around folks and witness the origin of one of the greatest superheroes of all time. Peter Palmer Peter Parker is a smart teenager that is made fun of all the time by his classmates. His life doesn't seem like much, but that will change when he will get bitten by a spider and turn to the one and only.... The Amazing Spider-Man!!!! Although his strength and his unique abilities are second to none, Peter's life is not easy. He finds out that keeping a balance in his life is hard. He tries to raise money for him and his aunt May as Peter and fights fearsome enemies as Spider-Man. In these 10 issues you can see how Spidey fights some of the most iconic villains and the worst enemy of them all... J.Jonah Jameson? ( Think about it, he is the person who causes the biggest troubles to Peter ) Must read if you like superheroes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    These Silver Age stories may be corny and too wordy, a product of their time, but the foundation Stan Lee and Steve Ditko laid with the original Spider-man made a huge impact on the superhero medium and deservedly so. Learn how it all started with Marvel's flagship character with his colorful gallery of villains, even if origins for the likes of the Vulture and the Lizard really don't make any sense. It's fun, and at least Peter Parker has some personality. Comic aficionados will appreciate read These Silver Age stories may be corny and too wordy, a product of their time, but the foundation Stan Lee and Steve Ditko laid with the original Spider-man made a huge impact on the superhero medium and deservedly so. Learn how it all started with Marvel's flagship character with his colorful gallery of villains, even if origins for the likes of the Vulture and the Lizard really don't make any sense. It's fun, and at least Peter Parker has some personality. Comic aficionados will appreciate reading. However, can't say the entertainment factor ages well since comics have evolved so much in the decades since...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Evan Leach

    1960’s comics have a certain style that is either fun or ridiculous, depending on your point of view. Villains engage in a lot of expositional speeches, nobody is ever seriously hurt in all of these superhuman battles (somehow), and the dialogue is awfully campy. That said, if you are a fan of the Stan Lee style there is a whole lot to enjoy here. This collection contains Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s first appearance, telling the familiar origin story) and the first 10 issues of The Amazing 1960’s comics have a certain style that is either fun or ridiculous, depending on your point of view. Villains engage in a lot of expositional speeches, nobody is ever seriously hurt in all of these superhuman battles (somehow), and the dialogue is awfully campy. That said, if you are a fan of the Stan Lee style there is a whole lot to enjoy here. This collection contains Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s first appearance, telling the familiar origin story) and the first 10 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. Along with The Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man was probably Marvel’s best series in the early ‘60s. The goofier style of ‘60s comics fits well with the wisecracking webcrawler, and subplots involving Peter Parker’s high school problems, Aunt May, or his love interests provide some variety. Mercifully, these issues avoid Marvel’s early obsession with ludicrous alien invaders and communist plots (at least for the most part). Instead, this collection includes the first appearances of Electro, The Lizard, The Sandman, and Doctor Octopus: Personally, I think these Stan Lee stories are fun and I have been slowly making my way through the Masterworks series. This is the best one I’ve read so far, and if someone were to buy/read just one Marvel Masterwork collection I’d recommend this one. You get to see the story from the very beginning, watch the development of some famous Marvel villains, and (most importantly) the quality of the storytelling is simply better than almost anything else Marvel was doing from 1961-1965. 4 stars, recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Okay, obviously this is not a book nor a graphic novel. What is contained here is the origin of Spider-Man (Amazing Fantasy #15) as well as issues #1-10 of The Amazing Spider-Man. While I have read the majority of these stories through the 25-cent reprint mags Marvel used to issue (which I have, lovingly backed/sealed/boxed), there were a couple I hadn’t. While a bit small on the Kindle, it wasn’t too small to read, and it was nice to see in color. For those not aware, Stan Lee and Marvel Comics Okay, obviously this is not a book nor a graphic novel. What is contained here is the origin of Spider-Man (Amazing Fantasy #15) as well as issues #1-10 of The Amazing Spider-Man. While I have read the majority of these stories through the 25-cent reprint mags Marvel used to issue (which I have, lovingly backed/sealed/boxed), there were a couple I hadn’t. While a bit small on the Kindle, it wasn’t too small to read, and it was nice to see in color. For those not aware, Stan Lee and Marvel Comics were totally different than the ones presented by DC (who had the Superman/Batman stable of heroes). Marvel was all about the characters and fleshed them out, just like a good book. While Superman didn’t fret much except staying away from Kryptonite and keeping his secret identity safe, Spider-Man was actually a high school student who had to deal with bullying, being a wage-earner so he could help out at home, girl friends (although it was the lack of in the beginning), and the various challenges that arise for all superheroes. It was a regular occurrence for Spider-Man to become tired, or have injuries, or to have the villain beat him senseless. Great fun for old or new fans to be able to see the original comics. Five stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    The first 10 comics for the Amazing Spider-Man! I really enjoyed reading these comics and reading his original stories. I loved the way he engaged his villains, even though the dialogue could be a bit corny. The drawings made the story truly come to life and really drove home my love for the simplistic style. The way they carry a story and give you exactly what you need! I loved that these stories didn't just focus on Spider-Man, they also focused on Peter Parker. Peter's love for his Aunt May, The first 10 comics for the Amazing Spider-Man! I really enjoyed reading these comics and reading his original stories. I loved the way he engaged his villains, even though the dialogue could be a bit corny. The drawings made the story truly come to life and really drove home my love for the simplistic style. The way they carry a story and give you exactly what you need! I loved that these stories didn't just focus on Spider-Man, they also focused on Peter Parker. Peter's love for his Aunt May, their struggles with money and how he was just a teenager, trying to figure out what he should do with his incredible abilities. Overall, really enjoyed seeing the original Spider-Man and I can't wait to delve deeper!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Sometimes these oldies are a bit rough, but it's not hard to see how this comic has been so popular for so long. Sometimes these oldies are a bit rough, but it's not hard to see how this comic has been so popular for so long.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Himanshu Karmacharya

    From the wide spectrum of all the different characters that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko have created, none are as popular as Spider-Man. What has made him so famous over time is how well the world of Spider-Man has been built up. Spider-Man/Peter Parker is not your typical superhero with endless amount of money or secret lairs, he's just a high school kid with real life problems, like rent, study, job. This makes the character more relatable and the readers are more invested in the book. Like the ear From the wide spectrum of all the different characters that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko have created, none are as popular as Spider-Man. What has made him so famous over time is how well the world of Spider-Man has been built up. Spider-Man/Peter Parker is not your typical superhero with endless amount of money or secret lairs, he's just a high school kid with real life problems, like rent, study, job. This makes the character more relatable and the readers are more invested in the book. Like the early works of Stan Lee, this book is also not without its fair amount of ridiculousness, but it is in its minimum as compared to those other works. Peter Parker himself is a lovable character and he is supported by a variety of characters who stand out so well on their own especially J. Jonah Jameson (Give that guy some pictures of Spider-Man!!). The art may seem a bit dated, but the character designs are so well that they are still including the modern comic book artists to this day. With a new and iconic villain bring introduced in every other issue and with an equally interesting plot, the early Spider-Man stories are nothing short of a classic.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deacon D.

    It was a lot of fun revisiting the first appearances of Peter Parker (or Peter Palmer, according to Amazing Spider-Man #2) as your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, even if the writing and art wasn't all that amazing. This collection of stories features some the most iconic Spider-Man villains ever, including The Vulture, Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, The Sandman, and Electro. And there are even several cameos by the Fantastic Four. How can you go wrong? All in all, a pretty great slice of nostalg It was a lot of fun revisiting the first appearances of Peter Parker (or Peter Palmer, according to Amazing Spider-Man #2) as your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, even if the writing and art wasn't all that amazing. This collection of stories features some the most iconic Spider-Man villains ever, including The Vulture, Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, The Sandman, and Electro. And there are even several cameos by the Fantastic Four. How can you go wrong? All in all, a pretty great slice of nostalgia for Spidey fans, like me. ☺

  9. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    This collects the first 11 appearances of Spider-Man, so that is way I'm going to give it a 5 star rating. Spider-Man is also a huge icon for so many people, so it's really hard to give this anything lower. However, there are something I didn't like about this volume..GASP! I'm really glad to see that Spider-Man has lasted so long because some of these stories feel dated now. The fact that Aunt Mary doesn't know who Spider-Man is makes me wonder how long Peter Parker kept it a secret from her. Fo This collects the first 11 appearances of Spider-Man, so that is way I'm going to give it a 5 star rating. Spider-Man is also a huge icon for so many people, so it's really hard to give this anything lower. However, there are something I didn't like about this volume..GASP! I'm really glad to see that Spider-Man has lasted so long because some of these stories feel dated now. The fact that Aunt Mary doesn't know who Spider-Man is makes me wonder how long Peter Parker kept it a secret from her. Form these stories she should have figured it a long time ago. Not sure why he kept it a secret form her either. This volume also shows why I don't like some Spider-Man stuff, he's got some boring villains. This has got some of the classics that are have lasted and some that seemed kind of random. Electro has been a favorite of mine for some weird reason (might be the powers), but then you got the Vulture: my least favorite Spider-Man villain. Even though these are minor nit-picky critiques I had with the volume, this is totally worth the read. Spider-Man fans NEED to read the first issue at least and Marvel fans should pick it up as well. Spider-Man has become the main icon for all of Marvel comics...even though the movies don't show that. [Nothing to do with the review, but thoughts after reading this volume] Speaking of movies, I'm glad Marvel is doing yet another origin story of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. From everything I've seen he's never a teenager (or he is young adult passing as a teenager). I main the point of his character was to have super powers and have the troubles of growing up as a teen in NYC. Plus I would love to see them do the villains better too. Spider-Man needs better and more enjoyable movies.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler

    It's been a rough week, but Spider-Man comics made for good company. It's been a rough week, but Spider-Man comics made for good company.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

    I don’t read comic books. Well, I didn’t. The last, and only, comic book I had read before this was a Disney comic and that was probably 20 years ago. It’s also only over the past year that I’ve even started watching some of the Marvel movies. But I figured I’ve exercised my brain with enough classics that it could withstand the rot of one comic book, and giving a new genre a try sounds fun. Why start with this one? I recognized Spider-man’s name and my library had a copy. So, the following are I don’t read comic books. Well, I didn’t. The last, and only, comic book I had read before this was a Disney comic and that was probably 20 years ago. It’s also only over the past year that I’ve even started watching some of the Marvel movies. But I figured I’ve exercised my brain with enough classics that it could withstand the rot of one comic book, and giving a new genre a try sounds fun. Why start with this one? I recognized Spider-man’s name and my library had a copy. So, the following are the thoughts of a comic book/superhero newbie. How fun! I love the art. The dialog is awful. There’s just no getting around it. (It will rot your brain. Kind of like an exclusive diet of (insert favorite candy name) will rot the rest of you.) Somehow though I didn’t care, eventually. It did take a bit over that. Usually, I lost track of that when the plot took some absolutely wild twist. Those were fun in a slightly horrific manner. Who knew that getting irradiated could be so spottily beneficial? It seems to be able to turn you into a superhuman, but it also seems to seriously mess with your morals by turning you into a supervillain. The sheer variety of villains keeps it fun. I enjoyed it. Then I also enjoy really old sci-fi. If you like that you will probably like this as well. Anyway, if you feel like rotting your brain this would be a fun place to start.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    After 55 years of media saturation, it's easy to forget just how weird Spider-Man is. The very first Spider-Man stories offer a good reminder. In Steve Ditko's hands, the whole enterprise is shot through with a sense of atomic-age paranoia, and the scientifically scarred and altered villains are genuinely creepy. Here, Peter Parker is also a much darker character than he is in the popular imagination. He entertains violent revenge fantasies against Flash Thompson, and seemingly the only thing ke After 55 years of media saturation, it's easy to forget just how weird Spider-Man is. The very first Spider-Man stories offer a good reminder. In Steve Ditko's hands, the whole enterprise is shot through with a sense of atomic-age paranoia, and the scientifically scarred and altered villains are genuinely creepy. Here, Peter Parker is also a much darker character than he is in the popular imagination. He entertains violent revenge fantasies against Flash Thompson, and seemingly the only thing keeping him from becoming a super-villain himself is his histrionic guilt over his aunt and uncle. The storytelling is also pretty bare-bones. There's no Harry Osborne or Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson, and each issue follows the same formulaic structure. The Amazing Spider-Man would quickly get much better than these first 11 issues both in Ditko's art and in the plotting by Ditko and Lee, but the subsequent stories lose some of the pure Ditko weirdness on display here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Sure, it's dated and juvenile, but it's also a great time capsule of the '60's. It's definitely fun and the art by Steve Ditko gets better as the volume goes on. There is no continuous story other than Peter Parker (or "Palmer", as at least one issue calls Pete) encountering villain after villain and gradually refining his crime-fighting technique. I suspect that was actually Stan Lee refining the logic behind what would become a world-famous pop culture character. The introductions of the Vultu Sure, it's dated and juvenile, but it's also a great time capsule of the '60's. It's definitely fun and the art by Steve Ditko gets better as the volume goes on. There is no continuous story other than Peter Parker (or "Palmer", as at least one issue calls Pete) encountering villain after villain and gradually refining his crime-fighting technique. I suspect that was actually Stan Lee refining the logic behind what would become a world-famous pop culture character. The introductions of the Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, the Lizard, and Electro are notable, though none of them have a very sympathetic goal other than to steal money. Clearly the real focus is on the downside of being a hero, which consistently makes Peter sympathetic; pretty common these days, but it must have been one of the very first steps toward a more mature superhero story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Todd Glaeser

    Whereas the Fantastic Four had to warm up a bit, (the writing was a bit uneven in the first couple of issues,) Spider-Man seemed to be great almost immediately. Most of the iconic villains were introduced in this first volume; Mysterio, Kraven & Green Goblin are introduced in the next Masterwork volume. Steve Ditko is "the" Spider-Man artist. I found it interesting that when Kirby penciled the Torch vs. Spidey story the action was great but the story was lacking the usual wow, even though Steve D Whereas the Fantastic Four had to warm up a bit, (the writing was a bit uneven in the first couple of issues,) Spider-Man seemed to be great almost immediately. Most of the iconic villains were introduced in this first volume; Mysterio, Kraven & Green Goblin are introduced in the next Masterwork volume. Steve Ditko is "the" Spider-Man artist. I found it interesting that when Kirby penciled the Torch vs. Spidey story the action was great but the story was lacking the usual wow, even though Steve Ditko was inking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This collection includes the first ever appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15, as well as the first ten issues of the original Amazing Spider-Man run from 1963. The story (told by Lee in the intro) is that “Amazing Fantasy” was about to be discontinued, and this gave Lee and team the opportunity to present a character that the powers-that-be found too ridiculous to merit consideration (but no one cared because the series was going under.) Lee’s instincts were right. Marvel got tons of This collection includes the first ever appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15, as well as the first ten issues of the original Amazing Spider-Man run from 1963. The story (told by Lee in the intro) is that “Amazing Fantasy” was about to be discontinued, and this gave Lee and team the opportunity to present a character that the powers-that-be found too ridiculous to merit consideration (but no one cared because the series was going under.) Lee’s instincts were right. Marvel got tons of love letters to the character, and Lee was able to sell the idea of a stand-alone comic. This is a hard book to critique. It’s the dawn of a much beloved character – arguably Marvel’s flagship to this day, and there are many solid reasons for that love. That said, this ground-breaking collection of comic books that would launch a vast empire [or multi-verse] around one of the most popular characters ever, is in many ways fairly amateurish (e.g. in an early episode the lead’s alter-ego is called “Peter Palmer” for a whole issue, presumably because Lee forgot that “Parker” was the correct last name and there was no editorial oversight.) So, this collection mixes tremendous strengths with some cringeworthy elements. I’ll start with the former for two reasons. First, I think they ultimately outweigh the weaknesses, and – judging from the immense popularity -- most people seem to agree. Second, and probably far more important, is the realization that criticizing Lee almost 60 years later is a little like faulting Edison for the short filament life of incandescent lightbulbs. Lee, Ditko, and Kirby were on the sparse end of the learning curve. [I also realize that the lack of objective editorial oversight that made “the Palmer debacle” possible may have also made the series much better because of a lack of second-guessing by higher-ups.] So, what are the strengths? First, Lee builds an extremely interesting and sympathetic character in Peter Parker / Spider-Man. Parker is beleaguered with problems (e.g. bullied at school, raised by a single aunt who is elderly and [in some issues] in poor health, and he’s constantly in need of cash to keep the household afloat.) Spider-Man is made tremendously powerful, but not invulnerable. He is presented with a steady stream of moral dilemmas in which he could easily solve a problem using his power if he weren’t compelled to act morally. Second, these early episodes did a tremendous amount of foundational heavy-lifting for the enterprise. It’s not just his origin story. Many of the members of Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery that are most well-known and which have been drawn upon for the movies (e.g. The Vulture, Doc Ock, Sandman, and Electro) feature in these early issues. The bulk of Spider-Man’s world – minus his most well-known love interests and the Osborn's [Norman, Harry, and the Corporation] – are presented in these pages. The bulk of the weakness is in dialogue and internal monologue. First, there is a lot of “as-you-know-Bob” exposition. [If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s explanation of things that should be clear to the relevant characters (and to the reader,) but that are said anyhow.] Part of the reason for this is the serialization issue (i.e. one doesn’t want someone to be penalized for joining in the middle of the series, so one is constantly rehashing backstory – but there are more and less skillful ways to do this.) Beyond the serialization conundrum, there seemed to be a lack of faith that readers would understand the action from the drawings. [However, while the art might seem crude by today’s standards, I think it did a very clear job of conveying the dynamism of action.] Second, there is sometimes flimsy psychology behind character motives. This is best exemplified by a soliloquy by J. Jonah Jameson at the end of the collection. He explains, to himself, why he hates Spider-Man, and it presents a man who is a villain in his own mind, as if he realizes his own faults but insists on moving forward with them. (As opposed to thinking that he is the hero of his own story and acting from that deluded belief.) I don’t know the backstory, but it reads as if someone said, “Why does Jameson continue to hate Spider-Man?” and the staff had no idea besides that it increased plot tension nicely. So, they wrote the kind of weak explanation that a person tends to engage in when one attributes nefarious motives to one’s employer or anyone else one doesn’t get along with. That is, they suggested that Jameson is just a jerk because he feels like being a jerk (not because he is operating from his own motives and worldview, which don’t necessarily align with Parker’s.) [Actually, a brief mention early in the collection hints that Jameson doesn’t like Spider-Man one-upping Jameson’s son, which is a much more interesting motivation than the others presented.] A possible third weakness is an excess of cornball. I suspect this tendency results from Lee trying to appeal to what he thought kids would find hip. (Which may or may not be the same as what they actually did find hip.) I’m not so sure about this one, as I think it’s something that people love about Lee’s work –e.g. alliterative naming schemes, strained metaphors, and narcissistic internal monologuing. If you are a fan of comic books, you must read this as a piece of history and for some very entertaining superhero stories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

    I usually don't like Spider Man, but I really enjoyed these early comics. Sure some parts were a little cheesy, and some sections had major reader feeder but the comics were made for kids, might read the other volumes, this was a great read. I usually don't like Spider Man, but I really enjoyed these early comics. Sure some parts were a little cheesy, and some sections had major reader feeder but the comics were made for kids, might read the other volumes, this was a great read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beau Johnston

    This is a fun read. The old-school artwork and easy to follow story lines were what made comics fun to read. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to see how one of the worlds most loved superheroes began, this is it. This is a fun read. The old-school artwork and easy to follow story lines were what made comics fun to read. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to see how one of the worlds most loved superheroes began, this is it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt Williams

    Yeah, well. . .this is just a classic. Can't really say anything bad about a comic book that has come all this way, and will go even further. Anyone own one of these? Swap it for a Spawn #1, probably worth about $40. Get at me ;) Yeah, well. . .this is just a classic. Can't really say anything bad about a comic book that has come all this way, and will go even further. Anyone own one of these? Swap it for a Spawn #1, probably worth about $40. Get at me ;)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Blue

    2.5 stars. Spiderman is my favorite superhero, but I found him to be a bit unlikable in this edition. However, it is only the first volume, so I do hope this changes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    sam

    Too 60s for me sonny jim DNF @ 9%

  21. 4 out of 5

    Keith Moser

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Signed up for ComiXology Unlimited just to borrow Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1 because I’m listening to a new podcast—Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk About Spider-Man, wherein brothers Kevin & Will Hines have set out to discuss each of the original Spider-Man comics written by Stan Lee & drawn by Steve Ditko. My only real connection to Spider-Man is five of the six movies released this century (I haven’t seen Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet) so it was interesting going back to the beginning and learning h Signed up for ComiXology Unlimited just to borrow Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1 because I’m listening to a new podcast—Screw It, We’re Just Gonna Talk About Spider-Man, wherein brothers Kevin & Will Hines have set out to discuss each of the original Spider-Man comics written by Stan Lee & drawn by Steve Ditko. My only real connection to Spider-Man is five of the six movies released this century (I haven’t seen Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet) so it was interesting going back to the beginning and learning how it all started. This novel collects essentially eleven issues—Spider-Man’s introduction as a part of Amazing Fantasy #15, plus the first ten issues of his own series, The Amazing Spider-Man. (Going off my memory here from the first SIWJGTAS-M podcast because I don’t feel like googling it) Amazing Fantasy was a (monthly?) comic that was split into two halves and usually had stories with weird twists (a la The Twilight Zone). However, superheroes were becoming popular so Lee decided to test a story where the all-powerful hero was just an unpopular teenager. And so a legend was born. AF#15 is the story we’ve been told so often—boy bit by radioactive spider, boy feels responsible for his uncle’s death, boy realizes that “with great power there must also come—great responsibility!” Then, as is often the case, our new hero gets his own series but has a crossover to make the cover a little more enticing. In TAS-M #1, Spidey goes up against the Fantastic Four (in a silly attempt to join their team to earn money) & also battles a ridiculous villain called The Chameleon, whose power is a multi-pocketed vest with every possible disguise available. He also has a story where he is labeled a menace by J Jonah Jameson, but still saves Jameson’s astronaut son when his rocketship has a malfunction. It’s actually a little surprising how much they crammed into one issue, but I guess they had to wow audiences as best as they could! Issue #2 has Spider-Man battle The Vulture with magnetic disrupters and The Terrible Tinkerer, who’s in league with aliens (for some reason). #3 introduces Doctor Octopus, who takes up the whole issue. He almost defeats Spider-Man, but another cameo from Fantastic Four’s The Human Torch prevents Peter from giving up! #4 is another full-issue story, this time introducing The Sandman who Peter has to fight in his own school! #5 feels like another “ratings grab,” as it pits FF’s Dr. Doom against Spider-Man—at first, Doom asks Spidey to join him so the two of them could defeat the FF together. At Spider-Man’s refusal, the two battle until Spidey escapes. Meanwhile, Peter’s school foe, Flash Thompson, has dressed up as Spider-Man to scare Peter but instead gets kidnapped by Doom. Spider-Man again overcomes his loss & defeats the villain & escapes (before the Fantastic Four can get there). #6 introduces (and cures!) The Lizard, taking Spider-Man out of NYC while #7 brings back The Vulture for his second appearance (now with new and improved magnets!). #8 has the weirdest “villain” I’ve ever read—The Living Brain, a robot accidentally set loose in Peter’s high school. While the villain is odd, it does have a nice subplot of Peter boxing Flash (in a teacher-sponsored fight), knocking him out, and later accusing Flash of not being around while Spider-Man was battling the Living Brain. There’s also a half story of Spidey crashing Johnny Storm’s party and Spider-Man once again fighting The Human Torch (and other Fantastic Four members). #9 introduces Electro, a villain who can harness electrical power and shoot it at metal tie clips, belt buckles, and shoelace aglets! It also introduces a subplot of Aunt May needing surgery. Finally, #10 gives us a mob boss known as The Big Man and his three cohorts, aka The Enforcers—Fancy Dan, a short, nimble, judo expert; Ox, a lug of a man who can’t seem to get hurt; and Montana, a thug with expert lasso skills. Peter has also been building a relationship with Jameson’s secretary, Betty Brant, and in issue #10, we learn she has a dark past. All the stories are pretty fun (some more than others). The Marvel Masterworks collection has a silly introduction from Mr. Stan Lee himself but ends with some great looks at the original artwork for AF#15, complete with white-out changes and notes in the margins. I’m surprised that there’s not one mention of Mary Jane—I would have guessed someone so linked with Spider-Man would have been there from the start. I'm interested to see if I'll see her first introduction in the next couple of collections...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam Spanos

    The best thing about this Marvel Masterworks is that it collects Spiderman from the very beginning so you start fresh with issue 1 and are introduced to many of his classic villains such as Doctor Octopus. That alone makes it worth buying, Especially to those who are curious about the Spiderman character and want to start fresh as well as the old school fans. That being said, The one thing I do care for is that the comics are very straight forward plot wise. No real depth to them and are incredib The best thing about this Marvel Masterworks is that it collects Spiderman from the very beginning so you start fresh with issue 1 and are introduced to many of his classic villains such as Doctor Octopus. That alone makes it worth buying, Especially to those who are curious about the Spiderman character and want to start fresh as well as the old school fans. That being said, The one thing I do care for is that the comics are very straight forward plot wise. No real depth to them and are incredibly predictable. It also doesn't help that there are no two-part comics or a series of comics centered around a single villain, It's all just a one shot comic with a different villain each time. The dialogue also comes off as very kiddish and would easily appeal to younger readers far more than adults.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris W

    Fun but humble beginnings for Spidey. Here some of the villains are introduced for the first time : Chameleon, Vulture, Lizard. Living Brain, Sandman and Doc Ock. Not all the pieces of what make spiderman excellent are here yet (That happens in Masterworks vol 4 when he finally is in college and the essential villains are established) but this was a good start to one of the most popular heroes ever. Campy, silly 60s fun but it feels like written version of a saturday morning cartoon. Never too d Fun but humble beginnings for Spidey. Here some of the villains are introduced for the first time : Chameleon, Vulture, Lizard. Living Brain, Sandman and Doc Ock. Not all the pieces of what make spiderman excellent are here yet (That happens in Masterworks vol 4 when he finally is in college and the essential villains are established) but this was a good start to one of the most popular heroes ever. Campy, silly 60s fun but it feels like written version of a saturday morning cartoon. Never too dull, the plot is always moving, its colorful, and theres action and some humor in it. Likeable start, but if you're looking for the peak of stan Lee's run on Spider-man start at Masterworks vol 4

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    He floats through the air... Stan Lee's creation sparkles on the page in this kindle version of the early adventures of Spider-Man. It's a great way to experience the stories panel by panel. Steve Ditko's drawings look great. No better way of diving into the early years of this teenage superhero who has problems just like the rest of us. And you can't beat the classic Stan Lee dialogue. Highly recommended! He floats through the air... Stan Lee's creation sparkles on the page in this kindle version of the early adventures of Spider-Man. It's a great way to experience the stories panel by panel. Steve Ditko's drawings look great. No better way of diving into the early years of this teenage superhero who has problems just like the rest of us. And you can't beat the classic Stan Lee dialogue. Highly recommended!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen)

    I hate that I read the first 9 comics of this 6 months ago, and that I did not write updates when I updated. I now don't know what I'd rate this, so I'll just go with the final two I just read. 3,5-4 stars! There was a terrible panel of Betty saying her life is nothing without Peter in it, and I know this was written in the 60s but honestly.. that was just gross. The drawing and writing is hilariously awful at times, but it's still so entertaining overall! I hate that I read the first 9 comics of this 6 months ago, and that I did not write updates when I updated. I now don't know what I'd rate this, so I'll just go with the final two I just read. 3,5-4 stars! There was a terrible panel of Betty saying her life is nothing without Peter in it, and I know this was written in the 60s but honestly.. that was just gross. The drawing and writing is hilariously awful at times, but it's still so entertaining overall!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Dio

    Very happy that I got to read the first issues of Spider-Man! Great story and nice artwork, I enjoyed it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Obviously a classic. :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gav451

    Sometimes reading is not just about the act itself but also the associations and memories it triggers. There can be an added dimension to the item you are reading which is unique to you alone because of those memories. This can be both positive and negative in that it can bring fond memories or it can fail to live up to your expectations and ruin what is a perfectly lovely memory of a great thing. In this case the book evokes happy memories for me. I grew up in a house which was not rich. Second Sometimes reading is not just about the act itself but also the associations and memories it triggers. There can be an added dimension to the item you are reading which is unique to you alone because of those memories. This can be both positive and negative in that it can bring fond memories or it can fail to live up to your expectations and ruin what is a perfectly lovely memory of a great thing. In this case the book evokes happy memories for me. I grew up in a house which was not rich. Second hand and slightly broken cars; last person to get a colour TV and last person to get a video. Holidays that were not abroad and were not every year. Mum and Dad had ordinary jobs and worked hard to provide the secure house and good food for the table. It wasn’t much but I always felt safe, loved and free. I look back on those times as halcyon days and consider my childhood idyllic, not for stuff I had but for the freedom I was given and the fact they always believed in me. Because funds were limited, gifts and purchases were a rare and treasured thing away from Christmas and birthdays. Because if this I have a very strong memory of Dad getting me a load of Spiderman Comics, at my request, to read on a holiday as a child. They were UK reprints of the classic old ones and I read and read and reread them. They had a selection of classic tales some of which were in here and some of which are in the later volumes. I got these for my son to try at his request and decided to re-read them myself. It was very hard to resist. These comics are well presented and you get a lot for your money. (You will see this as a theme in my reviews as I love a decent amount of value for money) The art shows comics at their very start. Sometimes simplistic and of variable quality in comparison to more modern comics where the art form has naturally been developed but what we see here are the beginnings of a new art form. Some of the images are amazing, some of the panels a delight and full of contrast. Reading it is also a rare pleasure in that it is very much of its time. I enjoyed this. I liked the fact that Peter Parker was made a proper teenager so on occasion we see him dreaming of punching the school bully's teeth out. In the more modern comics Spiderman is such an icon that he is often projected as older than his years and has to be super nice, balanced and reasonable because he is an iconic hero. In this he is a teenager like the others around him and full of his own troubles and angers. So why only 3 stars for such a classic and iconic book? One which evokes such fond memories? Well there are issues. At the time it may have seemed all hip and groovy and I am in awe of Stan Lee but his comments and introductions kept taking me out of the narrative. This direct contact with the reader grates with me. I accept It may have been necessary at the time but it really gets on my nerves. Similarly the introductions as the 'greatest adventure you have ever read' pieces do not help. Finally, probably because the writers were still testing the format, the lack of an ongoing story and the episodic feeling of the comic makes it less effective now. This is no way means I did not enjoy the book, because I DID. The age of the comics do also add charm. I loved the way all the teenagers wore suits and looked like young adults. Yet had the usual teenage worries. We see here a document showing the beginnings of society allowing teenagers to be teenagers and understanding there is nothing wrong with that but that they are not adults. Peter is always in a shirt and tie. I loved the fact the tryst between Peter and Betty was basically sitting behind a desk arm in arm and this was the romance between them, I appreciate this was a side effect of a more repressed society, but in this context I found it charming. I also enjoyed the way the Fantastic 4 were portrayed as the groovy party people and Spiderman went to them for a job. All in all, while there were elements that I was not so keen on, this is a good read and fun. I will read through the rest of them. As an aside my son really enjoyed them. He thought them amazing. I thought the fact it was from a different era may have been a barrier he could not get through but clearly there is a universal truth contained within and he engaged immediately.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Andrasik

    I first read many of these issues when they were reprinted in my youth as SPIDER-MAN CLASSIC, and I enjoy them as much now as I did then, if not more. Stan Lee really captured lightning in a bottle with this one, melding zippy, humorous, young characters with really innovative superhero adventure. It's no surprise this worked out so much better than the adventures of Hank Pym: for the average reader in the early 60s, there could be no comparison between the stuffy, by-the-numbers grown-up ploddi I first read many of these issues when they were reprinted in my youth as SPIDER-MAN CLASSIC, and I enjoy them as much now as I did then, if not more. Stan Lee really captured lightning in a bottle with this one, melding zippy, humorous, young characters with really innovative superhero adventure. It's no surprise this worked out so much better than the adventures of Hank Pym: for the average reader in the early 60s, there could be no comparison between the stuffy, by-the-numbers grown-up plodding of Ant-Man and the wise-cracking Spidey, who had problems and concerns just like theirs--popularity, money, girls, grades, and so on. (And, as discussed in my review of Ant-Man/Giant-Man, while the addition of the Wasp helped, all the jive talking, daddy-o business that middle-aged scientist Hank adopted felt decidedly stilted at best.) Enough about the unfavorable comparisons! These first Spider-Man stories are dynamite. This is comic book writing in the mode Stan Lee's jocular prose and ridiculous situations are ideal for: larger than life, swashbuckling, angst-riddled yet grandiose. And it all makes sense because this is a story about a teenaged boy, suddenly imbued with great power, acting out all the fantasies we all engage in regularly, if we're being honest with ourselves. Given the power of an insect, of COURSE I'd put on a mask, shed my insecurities, and pester intellectually inferior criminals with jokes and barbs. Something I didn't notice when reading these stories as a child is just how dark Peter Parker's character could be at first. He's very mercenary-minded, always thinking in terms of how he could make money. He's saved from seeming greedy because his desire for money is always based in true need, and not just for himself, but for his doting, struggling aunt, but it's notable--and part of the character's appeal--that he has some of the real-world needs that most other superheroes eschewed in this era. (How DOES the FF make all their dough, anyway?--I know, Reed's patents and contracts, but that's just a handwave so that Stan doesn't have to address the money issue in that comic. Spidey is thus instantly more relatable than the FF.) Peter is also very often on the verge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on his taunting classmates, especially Flash Thompson. It says a lot about him that he never gives in--not for real--but for other silver age superheroes, the question would never even come up; they'd all be far too high-minded than that. Peter Parker is so realistic, a fact that his negative traits underline; in part he's reacting as anyone with a sudden influx of power would, but in other ways, he's reacting in the way that a teenager would, specifically. (As my dad liked to remind me every day between my thirteenth birthday and my twentieth, "You're not done cooking yet.") It's also remarkable how very many of the facets that make Spider-Man instantly recognizable, as a character and as a property, are baked in during these initial stories. The down-on-his luck average guy, the witty banter, the colorful and bizarre rogues gallery; even such details as "Spider-sense--tingling!," "Thwip!" and "Friendly Neighborhood" appear in one form or another within the first ten issues. Certainly Peter Parker would grow and change in the coming months and years, but unlike so many other characters--especially the Marvels I've reviewed so far--his changes won't feel so much like Stan Lee saying "Whoops, that doesn't work, let me change course"--they feel like organic developments to a character who really worked perfectly pretty much from his inception. Steve Ditko's art is far more off-beat than Jack Kirby's and that of many other silver age pencilers, and when I read these as a kid, I didn't love it. My opinion has changed 100%; now I see its inventiveness and expressiveness in ways I couldn't appreciate back then. His designs are so unique and iconic, and they feel so much more lived-in, somehow, than the grand, fantastic sensibility of Kirby. Ditko was perfect for a story about a mixed-up teenager and his nutty foes. The issues collected in this volume work unexpectedly well as a unit, setting up the themes and ongoing story arcs that would define Peter's life: the public's vacillation between trust and unease, his great sense of responsibility (especially to Aunt May), the toll of his double life, and his frequent girl problems. (His attraction to Betty Brant comes up a little precipitously, but feels like an authentic teen experience, and is surprisingly affecting in the last couple of issues collected here.) With these issues, I can finally agree with Stan's oft-boasted claim: the Marvel Age of Comics has finally arrived. BRING ON THE BAD GUYS: These first stories set a high bar for what will prove to be one of the most colorful and effective rogues gallery in comic history. Chameleon! The Vulture! The Lizard! Electro! Sandman! A special appearance by Dr. Doom! And, perhaps most significantly to Spider-history, Doctor Octopus! They're all macabre, bizarre, and teetering on the brink of madness. Most are of the "I-have-powers-so-I'm-gonna-rob-a-bank" variety, but Doc Ock and the Lizard offer hints of more grandiose motivations to come. There's also a definite "Battle of the Generations" vibe to these stories, with the teenaged Parker going up against mostly older-coded foes, particularly the explicitly geriatric Vulture. That carries over into his personal life, with publisher/Spider-basher J. Jonah Jameson serving as boss and thorn-in-the-side. The only villains that don't really land, for me, are the Tinkerer (victim of a poorly thought-out "He's really an alien!" twist, and also probably super racist) and the Big Man/the Enforcers (because I hate it when Spidey fights crime bosses and it literally put me to sleep in the car earlier today). [One thing I'll say for the Big Man is that his issue seems to presage the later Green Goblin debate that would end Lee and Ditko's partnership over the question of whether to reveal a villain to be a random nobody or an established member of the cast.] LADYWATCH: Aunt May! Liz Allen! Betty Brant! Mrs. Connors! The Invisible Girl! This is a not-inconsiderable number of featured female characters, especially compared to the other Marvel titles I've reviewed so far. Aunt May is the stereotypical worried mother figure, Liz Allen is a stuck-up teen who seemed to suffer from Lee's decision to focus more on Betty, and the Invisible Girl is inexplicably attracted to Spidey in the FF's handful of guest appearances. But Betty Brant turns out to be much more interesting than her initial status as background character would suggest, and I have to wonder if Lee and Ditko decided that giving Peter a "grown up" love interest would lend more balance to their storylines than if they'd gone the predictable route of pairing him with a high school classmate. It's a good move. The biggest surprise, to me, was Mrs. Connors' key role in the first appearance of the Lizard, the evil alter-ego of her husband, Curt. It's unfortunate that she's not given a first name at this point, but Lee and Ditko imbue her with an unexpected quiet strength; it's somewhat implicit, but the fact that she stuck around the swamp where a monster roams in hopes of reuniting her family speaks volumes about her character, and it's she who's given the role of filling Spider-Man in about her husband's transformation. CONTINUITY NOTES: We're starting to see the web of the Marvel Universe weave more tightly together (sorry), but not yet to its greatest potential. The FF appear no fewer than three times, but with no indication given as to where these appearances fit in with their own comic's events. Dr. Doom's appearance comes with a footnote, which is helpful, but there's little sense of the passage of time between his last defeat at the hands of his arch-foes and his reappearance here to vex our favorite arachnid.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This collection of the first ten issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man" plus the fifteen page comic that started it all featured in the pages of "Amazing Fantasy 15" was a trip down memory lane for me. At the height of my love for collecting comic books featuring Spider-Man, Marvel Tales began reprinting the entire early run from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Picking up this full color, heavy and glossy paper collection brought the comics back to life in better quality than they were in my old reprint d This collection of the first ten issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man" plus the fifteen page comic that started it all featured in the pages of "Amazing Fantasy 15" was a trip down memory lane for me. At the height of my love for collecting comic books featuring Spider-Man, Marvel Tales began reprinting the entire early run from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Picking up this full color, heavy and glossy paper collection brought the comics back to life in better quality than they were in my old reprint days. But it was really the stories that kept me reading them over and over again, wanting to savor them. At the time, I was too young to understand that I was reading a part of comic-book history. Instead, I was just happy that I was getting to read the earliest adventures of my favorite super hero and discover the origins of he and his array of famous adversaries for myself. These eleven stories are just plain fun. From the famous origins for Spidey to his first battles with Doc Ock, the Lizard, Electro and the Vulture, the ten stories collected here are just plain fun to read. Looking back, you can see just how Lee and Ditko tapped into something and created a cultural icon with Spider-Man.

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