Friday, July 24, 2009

The Amazing Spider-Man #600

I've been pretty harsh on this comic for a while, mostly because I think the quality of the title has really suffered with the three-times-a-month publishing schedule.

However, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

It's easy to see why. The issue is packed with a terrific opening story, featuring the return of Spidey's greatest villain, Dr. Octopus, with a new and stunning twist. The story is loaded with guest stars, a strong story by Dan Slott, and outstanding art by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson.

The issue also features lots of fun side stories - some quite good, some just silly, and some just so-so - but it all adds up to a fun package and a nifty anniversary package.

The big question I've been wrestling with is, should I continue to buy this comic? I've been following it since issue #15, after all. If this issue had been the same lackluster storytelling we've been getting for months now, I decided it would be the last regular issue for me.

Since this issue was fun, and ends on something of a cliffhanger, I think I'm going to stick around for another issue or two. I'm not saying I'm ready to stop reading the comic forever, but I can't support near-weekly issues by second-rate creators (no offense).

So from this point forward, instead of being the automatic purchase it's been for decades, each issue of Spider-Man gets judged on its individual merits. It'll be tough to break the string - but it's time.

It's been a long, good run, but I can't justify spending so much for what has been, for more than a year now, a (mostly) half-hearted comic.

This issue, though - good stuff.

Grade: A-

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