Book Review: Spider-Man: The Gathering of Five

Spider-Man: The Gathering of Five Spider-Man: The Gathering of Five by John Byrne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Gathering of Five collects two separate storylines that brought to an end all of the current Spider-man books and would set the stage for a late 1990s relaunch of Spider-man. The book is helped having read some of the other post-Clone War storylines including things like Spider-hunt and Identity Crisis. Those stories give you a flavor of the sort of hell that Norman Osborne was putting Peter through and all the manipulations going on.

As a climax to that arc, I think this mostly works. The idea of bringing five people together with three promised three gifts while one gets death and the other gets madness is really chilling. The confrontations between Peter and the Green Goblin are good. The decisions and the struggle with Mary Jane is fine and works well. There's a lot of solid surprises and turns, and the art is decent.

The last issue did leave me with a lot of mixed feelings. First, I think the last issue should have been in Amazing Spider-man rather than Peter Parker, Spider-man. Second, it kind of used a big cheat to escape the consequences of the cliffhanger at the end of the previous issue. The issue does end with Peter ending his time as Spider-man and the reason for that is not very well-founded. It's part of a precedent that Marvel would follow in years to come with characters acting how the writers need them to act rather than in ways that are consistent with who they have been stablished to be. Still, that's to read this story through later ones which isn't wise.

This one works pretty well. There are some very nice payoffs and resolutions, great characters, some good plot twists and plenty of excitement. Overall, a decent enough conclusion for nearly 40 years of Spidey history even if stuck the landing a little.




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Published on October 21, 2020 21:50 Tags: 1990s, 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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