Book Review: The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Newspaper Comics Collection Volume 5 1985-1986

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Newspaper Comics Collection Volume 5 1985-1986The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Newspaper Comics Collection Volume 5 1985-1986 by Stan Lee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book collects every Spider-man newspaper strip from 1985-86.

It starts off by resolving the terrorism plot the last volume ended with. It was okay.

Then, to raise some money Spidey decides to sell an interview to the Bugle with Peter pitching the idea. He's interviewed by a writer named J.S. (who to Peter's shock) turns out to be a woman (which happened with another character in 1973). However, Jenny is probably one of the best comic strip girlfriends created for Peter and unlike all the others, she does actually like him. She's a widower with a little girl who is showing some troubling signs.

Aunt May guesses that the girl has been molested. The book deserves credit for taking on the issue and bringing it out into the light. The book even bravely makes Peter a survivor of sexual abuse. However, there are problems. For one thing, it's suggested at the start of the story that Spidersense can detect child molestors in progress as evidenced by the fact that Spider-man spidersense goes off when he's over the school before even meeting Jody. In addition, the story is drug out by some silly interlude.

Next, we get the return of Mary Jane, Peter's decision to propose, and to reveal that he's Spider-man. Unlike in the comic books where she always knew. She's genuinely shocked and says she can't marry Peter, first because she wants him to stop being Spider-man and then she changes to saying she couldn't deal with a kid having Spider powers.

There's a somewhat dull and obvious story about ATM robbery and then Spidey tries to help out Mary Jane's Uncle (who's a judge) who is also being pressured by a political figure to let a mob boss with dirt on the political figure off. This is an okay crime story.

Mary Jane leaves town towards the end of the book just as Jonah begins to receive a mysterious phone calls to sell the Bugle and the Bugle is firebombed. The year (and the book) ends before Spidey can get to the bottom of it.

Overall, this is probably the weakest volume in the entire series. In two years worth of strips, we get three full storylines (plus the soap opera stuff) and parts of two others that aren't horrible, but also aren't that great. No member of Spidey's rogue's gallery puts in an appearance. Probably the best that can be said is the art is good and the strip was unafraid to tackle some tough issues (even if it's efforts were a bit clumsy.)

The only reason to read this is if you're a completist or want to make sure the rest of the series gets published. The Spidey strips did have better moments than this, but in 1985-86, the comic books had far better Spider-man stories than you'll read hear.



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Published on June 25, 2019 17:02 Tags: newspaper-strip, spider-man
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Christians and Superheroes

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

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