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Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 13

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Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #121-131. Norman Osborn’s memory has returned. The Green Goblin is back. Gwen Stacy is missing. And it will all lead to a confrontation atop the George Washington Bridge whose aftermath will leave Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, forever changed. That’s right it’s the—spoiler warning!— death of Gwen Stacy, the story that put a genera Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #121-131. Norman Osborn’s memory has returned. The Green Goblin is back. Gwen Stacy is missing. And it will all lead to a confrontation atop the George Washington Bridge whose aftermath will leave Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, forever changed. That’s right it’s the—spoiler warning!— death of Gwen Stacy, the story that put a generation into therapy and cemented the Green Goblin’s name as the definition of evil. Plus, the debut of Col. John Jameson’s werewolf curse, the Man-Wolf. The beginning of Harry Osborn’s descent into madness and suspicion and a certain green costume. The first appearance of Frank Castle—the Punisher—the maybe-villain, maybe-anti-hero who would rise to become one of Marvel’s most famous characters. Topping it off, there’s first appearance of the nefarious Jackal, the return of the Vulture, Hammerhead, the hilarious Human Torch-built Spider-Mobile, and the shocking wedding of Aunt May and Doctor Octopus!


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Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #121-131. Norman Osborn’s memory has returned. The Green Goblin is back. Gwen Stacy is missing. And it will all lead to a confrontation atop the George Washington Bridge whose aftermath will leave Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, forever changed. That’s right it’s the—spoiler warning!— death of Gwen Stacy, the story that put a genera Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #121-131. Norman Osborn’s memory has returned. The Green Goblin is back. Gwen Stacy is missing. And it will all lead to a confrontation atop the George Washington Bridge whose aftermath will leave Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, forever changed. That’s right it’s the—spoiler warning!— death of Gwen Stacy, the story that put a generation into therapy and cemented the Green Goblin’s name as the definition of evil. Plus, the debut of Col. John Jameson’s werewolf curse, the Man-Wolf. The beginning of Harry Osborn’s descent into madness and suspicion and a certain green costume. The first appearance of Frank Castle—the Punisher—the maybe-villain, maybe-anti-hero who would rise to become one of Marvel’s most famous characters. Topping it off, there’s first appearance of the nefarious Jackal, the return of the Vulture, Hammerhead, the hilarious Human Torch-built Spider-Mobile, and the shocking wedding of Aunt May and Doctor Octopus!

30 review for Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 13

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Collecting a dozen or so issues of the original run of The Amazing Spider-Man, this may represent the most memorable stories of the Gerry Conway era. Starting off with the epic two-part story that "changed comics forever," "The Night Gwen Stacey Died" set a new tone for the Peter Parker and his secret identity. It's one of the few comic book deaths (outside of Uncle Ben) that has really stuck, though Marvel has certainly tried to mess with this by having clones of Gwen come back and then later r Collecting a dozen or so issues of the original run of The Amazing Spider-Man, this may represent the most memorable stories of the Gerry Conway era. Starting off with the epic two-part story that "changed comics forever," "The Night Gwen Stacey Died" set a new tone for the Peter Parker and his secret identity. It's one of the few comic book deaths (outside of Uncle Ben) that has really stuck, though Marvel has certainly tried to mess with this by having clones of Gwen come back and then later revelations that Gwen and Norman Osborne were hooking up while she was off in London. The two part story that features the end of Gwen and the original Green Goblin has been retold and given homage in multiple re-tellings of the Spider-Man story. But few are better than what Conway does in these two issues. Knowing the ending allows you to sit back and really examine how Conway and the creative team on ASM toyed with readers of the day, building up and foreshadowing the two major deaths to come. As if that monumental two-part saga weren't enough, we also get the introduction of the Punisher to the Marvel-verse and the Jackal to the Spider-verse. And both of these introductions occur in the same issue. The sad part is that said issue isn't necessarily much to write home about. The Punisher is an interesting force to be reckoned with, but in his debut, he's pretty much a one-note character. The backstory that we associate with the character comes later. And in between a battle between Doc Ock and the return of Hammerhead, both of whom need Aunt May because (wait for it), she is the owner of an island with a nuclear facility on it, there's a lot of crazy bananas stuff happening in these dozen or so issues. But that doesn't even cover what are, for me, two memorable installments of the Spider-lore. And while issues 124 and 125 don't have the same impact on the Spider-verse that the "Death of Gwen Stacey" story does, issues 124 and 125 had a huge impact on my becoming a Spider-Man fan. If you're a certain age, you may recall a series of records released under the Power Records label. While DC offered new stories with new artwork, Marvel instead offered up re-tellings of certain stories (at least on the first release wave!). This meant we got some incredibly dark, bleak and depressing stories hitting the pages, many ending on a cliffhanger of sorts in which our heroes are in a less positive place than when we started. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Spider-Man offering, "The Mark of the Man-Wolf." Still reeling from the death of Gwen, Peter isn't happy that J. Jonah Jameson is hounding the wall crawler and blaming him for the death of Norman Osborne. Determined to set JJJ straight, Spidey head to Jonah's place, itching for a fight. But instead of the publisher, he gets to tangle with his son, former astronaut John Jameson who thanks to a moon rock pendant, transforms into a werewolf every 30 days. It's this bleak, dark storyline that Marvel thought would be just perfect for the kiddos to listen to over and over again as a book and record set. Sure the Power Record set drops all references to Gwen and her death and wipes away any subplots that don't directly involve Peter, JJJ or the Man-Wolf. But if you listen to the record, it ain't exactly the most fun Spidey story to adapt for young listeners. (The Incredible Hulk one is just as bad, ending up with the Hulk defeating his two enemies, only to be captured by General Ross!). I have vivid memories of listening and listening and listening to the "Mark of the Man Wolf" on record as a kid. And thanks to the power of the Internet, the entire Power Records catalog can be experienced by modern readers, including "Mark of the Man Wolf." A depressed, bitter and angry Peter Parker and a pretty much non-quippy Spider-Man. I can only guess that Marvel decided the death of Gwen Stacey storyline was too much for younger readers and went with this instead. I'll admit it was fascinating to see the original material and see what made the cut and what didn't. This collection is chock full of memorable moments like that. And, quite frankly, it feels like the stories in here are more written to create a sensational cover than in actually having a storyline that makes a lick of sense. Did I mention Aunt May owns an island with a high concentration of uranium and that she nearly marries Doc Ock?!? I clearly recall my younger self, begging my parents to buy a copy of the "My Uncle, My Enemy" issue in a reprint form simply because the cover image is pretty amazing. Seriously, how could any young Spidey fan resist it?!? And I haven't even got around to Spidey building the Spider-Buggy with the Human Torch. Or how these issues set up the Harry becomes the Green Goblin storyline with all the subtletely of a two-by-four to the noggin. Memorable, bananas and completely over the top. This isn't the heights of sublime that we got in the Lee/Ditko era. But I'd argue that it's completely memorable in its own unique, end of an era type of way.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Dalton

    What a great collection. So many big stories. First off the death of Gwen Stacy. Flash me back to 1973 and I am reliving this huge event. Plus the "death" of the Green Goblin (Norman Osborne). Big events that set in motion many other factors and storylines. Spider-Man meets Luke Cage for the first time. And the intro of the Hobgoblin and his assassin: the Punisher! All this in one collection: timeless! Throw in Doc Ock as well. Not every story is a winner. I can see Marvel had to buy some time af What a great collection. So many big stories. First off the death of Gwen Stacy. Flash me back to 1973 and I am reliving this huge event. Plus the "death" of the Green Goblin (Norman Osborne). Big events that set in motion many other factors and storylines. Spider-Man meets Luke Cage for the first time. And the intro of the Hobgoblin and his assassin: the Punisher! All this in one collection: timeless! Throw in Doc Ock as well. Not every story is a winner. I can see Marvel had to buy some time after the twin deaths of Gwen and Norman. Aunt May was old then and that was 46 years ago.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is a big one. The Death of Gwen Stacy. Mary Jane begins to struggle with her selfishness. The introduction of Man-Wolf, the Jackal, and the Punisher. The Spidey-Mobile. The Wedding of Aunt May and Doctor Octopus. There are some weird adventures like the cybernetically enhanced Kangaroo and a mutated scientist who pretends to be the Vulture, but mostly Volume 13 is packed full of legendary Spider-Man stories.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jdetrick

    The death of Gwen Stacy and the first appearance of the Punisher make this volume important, but it's also pretty good. Gerry Conway has obviously become more comfortable with the book and is spinning plots fast and furious. Its solid, confident work and the art compliments it well. The death of Gwen Stacy and the first appearance of the Punisher make this volume important, but it's also pretty good. Gerry Conway has obviously become more comfortable with the book and is spinning plots fast and furious. Its solid, confident work and the art compliments it well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Huxtable

    This is it, the death of Gwen Stacy, the catalyst for so much of Spider-Man's grief and evolving character. For a few volumes now, Spider-Man has been great but samey, a villain of the week, Peter has problems but nothing debilitating, but this changes everything This is it, the death of Gwen Stacy, the catalyst for so much of Spider-Man's grief and evolving character. For a few volumes now, Spider-Man has been great but samey, a villain of the week, Peter has problems but nothing debilitating, but this changes everything

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    A lot of momentus Spider-Man stories in here, and a marked turn in Peter Parker after Gwen Stacey's death. The writing here is fantastic, bringing Peter's story to life. The best thing about this is probably Peter's evolvement over time. Can't wait to read more! A lot of momentus Spider-Man stories in here, and a marked turn in Peter Parker after Gwen Stacey's death. The writing here is fantastic, bringing Peter's story to life. The best thing about this is probably Peter's evolvement over time. Can't wait to read more!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Pennekamp

    Gerry Conway stepping in and taking over the writing from Stan Lee was the best thing to happen to this comic in probably 50 issues.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James

    Some absolute classics in this volume, notably involving Ms. Gwen Stacy, but there are also a range of issues demonstrating how the series has shifted toward autopilot at this late date. The Gwen issues still pack a punch today, and I can only imagine how they must have been received at the time of publication. The associated violence--and the pure malevolence of the Green Goblin--are delivered so quickly that Spider-man and the reader barely have time to react. That's effective, and it doesn't Some absolute classics in this volume, notably involving Ms. Gwen Stacy, but there are also a range of issues demonstrating how the series has shifted toward autopilot at this late date. The Gwen issues still pack a punch today, and I can only imagine how they must have been received at the time of publication. The associated violence--and the pure malevolence of the Green Goblin--are delivered so quickly that Spider-man and the reader barely have time to react. That's effective, and it doesn't quite feel rushed, especially since Spidey spends the rest of the volume dealing, as well as he can, with the aftermath. The other stories, while done well enough, don't show too much inspiration. There's J. Jonah Jameson's son turning into some space werewolf, a situation that's resolved too easily. The return of the Vulture is pretty much an old creature-feature story. Spidey and the Human Torch team up to build a street buggy for some reason (I imagine projected toy sales were involved). And things get pretty ridiculous in the last arc, where it turns out Aunt May inherited a uranium mine and breeder reaction on an island in Canada (!) that Dr. Octopus and Hammerhead fight over. Spider-man doesn't even need to be part of that story, and it doesn't give him much to do aside from hanging onto a plane for hours at a time. On the non-superhero side of things, Peter Parker isn't the most pleasant person. He's dealing with what happened to Gwen, sure, but throughout the series he's always dealt with anger issues and a lack of impulse control, and that's present here as well. Mary Jane rightfully calls him out. By all rights he should be bottoming out in his personal life, but he just seems to be hanging on, which is a little unrealistic as well. We'll see how long that lasts. Ultimately, these comics are decent, but the creative team has developed a formula, and they seem to be struggling a bit with how to move outside it. If these comics came out today, there'd be a lot of eye-rolling. Read digital issues--except ASM 129, which isn't online for some reason.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This book begins with the infamous death of Gwen Stacy. Most of the rest of the stories is Spiderman coming to terms with this, and trying to escape a murder charge. There's some good character stuff here, and some decent cameos from other super heroes including Luke Cage and ~Human Torch. This is one book that most Spiderman fans should read just because its a major game changer, and has effects for years to come. A very good read. This book begins with the infamous death of Gwen Stacy. Most of the rest of the stories is Spiderman coming to terms with this, and trying to escape a murder charge. There's some good character stuff here, and some decent cameos from other super heroes including Luke Cage and ~Human Torch. This is one book that most Spiderman fans should read just because its a major game changer, and has effects for years to come. A very good read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    The Marvel Masterworks volumes are fantastic reprints of the early years of Marvel comics. A fantastic resource to allow these hard to find issues to be read by everyone. Very recommended to everyone and Highly recommended to any comic fan.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Howell

  13. 5 out of 5

    General Zodd

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sam Sills

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Ricard

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shinto Wink

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paulius

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Wasiluk

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Craft

  22. 5 out of 5

    Norbert Balogh

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ani

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt Hensler

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gombert

  27. 4 out of 5

    Louis Ghanem

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob Alex

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben

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