Spider-Man turned 60 years old this month, with a history of many stand-out stories: his origin in Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Mary Jane Watson, the first appearance of The Punisher, the black costume origin of Venom, the break-up of the marriage in One More Day. Left off this list are stories that were groundbreaking not only for the character, but for the comic book industry as a whole. These stories – in their purest, unaltered form – are included in the new IDW softcover book, Gil Kane’s Amazing Spider-Man Artisan Edition.
Gil Kane is a Spider-Man legend. Having taken over from John Romita at the end of Stan Lee’s historic run, Kane drew the adventures of Peter Parker on and off from 1970 to 1996. Drawing the title during this time of transition for the character, the series, and the industry meant that the stories had weight to them. Those tales are all included here.
Few people reading comics today were reading Amazing Spider-Man when these stories were first published (In fact, many of today’s readers hadn’t even been born yet,); however every Spider-Man fan (and fans of comic book history) knows them: the infamous drug issues that ran without Comics Code approval; the hundredth issue in which Spidey sprouted four extra arms, leading into the origin of Morbius (now a character in a major motion picture!); and the biggest event of all time – the Death of Gwen Stacy. These tales and others, as well as covers extending past the run – are all included in the Artisan Edition.
The artwork is phenomenal. Ninety-five percent of the pages were scanned from the original artwork; the rest were added from a different, more refined source and are in place in order to complete the stories. These stories were inked by John Romita (among others) and were written by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Gerry Conway.
Gil Kane’s Amazing Spider-Man Artisan Edition is fantastic. There is not another collection of comics in their original form with as many groundbreaking issues. Truly, this is must-have for anyone who studies and loves the art and history of comics.
Highly Recommended – 4 out of 4 stars
Creative Team: Gil Kane, John Romita, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Click here to purchase.