Amazing Spider-Man Stories: Marvel Comics That Shaped My Fandom

Here's a look at some of my favorite Spider-Man stories over the years. This isn't a "best of" list, and it isn't a list of books that are critically acclaimed. This is a personal list of Spidey stories that I love and that have had a positive impact on my fandom over the years.

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  1. Disney (Uncle Scrooge) got me into comics, but Spider-man really got me into Superheroes and Marvel in particular. Kraven's Last Hunt was the start of that for me although today I recognize that as part of the grim and gritty 80's it maybe doesn't represent the humorous aspects of the character too well. Those covers though, especially part 4 with Spider-man (in the black costume at the time) coming up out of the dirt from his own grave was just striking though. I got one of the issues as a giveaway from a fast food chain called Arctic Circle and after that was constantly talking my mom into going into any comic book store I could find so I could try to track down the other issues. The subject matter was way too mature for me to fully appreciate at the time but I grew to love it more as I got older.

    When you brought up Maximum Carnage, it made me think about the Clone Saga a bit as it took that "we want to make a ton of money" mentality to the breaking point. If you've never read The Life of Reilly, it's an amazing 35 part breakdown of the entire Clone Saga with some insider information on what was going on behind the scenes that lead to such a disaster. It's a fascinating look at the short-term thinking that almost killed Marvel in the 90's. There were apparently plans to publish it as a book with additional insider commentary but a decade later those plans seem to have evaporated, but the original 35 part column can still be found online.

  2. Hey, man! Kraven's Last Hunt is fantastic, and was on an early version of this list, but I cut it to focus on stuff that doesn't get talked about as much. I suspect I'll definitely be talking about it if I do another one of these, which is the plan. I just remember being blown away that Kraven's Last Hunt was written by J.M. DeMatteis, the same guy who wrote the "bwahaha" Justice League International stuff at DC. Two completely different tones.

    I haven't read the Clone Saga in its entirety, but I think it's interesting that the whole thing has recently (2016) been collected in both omnibuses and large paperbacks and seems to have been legitimized over the last few years. I guess if you wait long enough, everything becomes respectable eventually. I'll have to check out The Life of Reilly! Thanks for putting it on my radar and thanks for commenting!


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