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Book Review: Spider-Man: The Complete Alien Costume Saga, Book 1

Spider-Man: The Complete Alien Costume Saga, Book 1Spider-Man: The Complete Alien Costume Saga, Book 1 by Tom DeFalco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book collects about six months worth of Spider-man comics across three titles when he returned from the Secret Wars saga with an alien costume.

The actual costume is in all three books but doesn't play as major a role as you would expect, particularly if you grew up on Spider-man stories where the Black costume enhanced his powers. None of that is represented here. The suit is there, but the real twist doesn't come up until the last two issues of Amazing in the book and a little in the last Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-man story. Since the storyline didn't cross much, the best way to look at by is according to the particular magazine:

Amazing Spider-man #252-#258: It begins with Spidey's triumphant return from the Secret War, where all those returning have agreed not to tell the rest of humanity what happened but to tease it at lot so the readers would go out and buy Secret Wars. #258 is a great start to Tom DeFalco's full-fledged on Amazing. However, the book follows with more seeming random villain of the month stuff as Spidey encounters a Football tempted to go crooked in #253, battles the Jack-o-Lantern #254, and faces off against the Red Ghost in #255. There is some connection between these and the ongoing which begins to emerge with #256 when the new Supervillain the Rose hires the Puma to assassinate Spider-man which conflicts with what Kingpin's doing in Petar Parker, the Spectacular Spider-man. We also see Mary Jane re-asserting herself and get a shocking revelation from here. The real core of addressing the costume itself, comes in about half of Issue #258, though that does have some iconic art and it also features the disturbing image of the costume taking Spider-man's body out webslinging without his knowledge.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-man (#90-#95); To me, this is the most interesting magazine in the book. The key point is that in order to pull her wait as part of a team with Spider-man, Black Cat acquired superpowers and she got them from the Kingpin. Her powers allow her to change the luck of anyone who attacks her. However, she's keeping a secret from her erstwhile lover Spider-man. The Kingpin is really working a plan, though we don't get to see how it all plays out in this book, but he's manipulating so many figures and is aided by the Answer, a guy who makes a superb henchman known as the Answer. Cloak and Dagger become involved and we leave with the story not quite resolved.

Marvel Team-Up (#141-145 and Annual #7): The Spider-man team-up book is the weak link. Not only doesn't the title address the costume much, it's clear that this team-up title has become obligatory more than anything else. That's not to say the stories are all bad, but qualitywise, it's a bit of a crapshoot. There's a pretty good team up with Daredevil, though it seems to be continuing from previous stories. There's a decent two-parter between Spider-man and Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) and Star Fox to save the World and then save an Avenger. Then, there's a fair team-up with Moon Knight. The last Annual with Alpha Flight is a bit dull and tedious, and the final team-up between Spider-man and Jim Rhones which is actually a story to make us feel bad for wailed villain Whiplash is painful to read.

Overall, though the goodness of Amazing and Spectacular covers for the lackluster team up and this is a very solid era for Spidey comics even if the Alien costume seems tenuous at best.

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Published on April 05, 2019 20:13 Tags: 1980s, alien-costume, spider-man

Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

On this blog, we'll take a look at:

1) Superhero stories
2) Issues of faith in relation to Superhero stories
3) Writing Superhe
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