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Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 6
Regular Edition Cover

Vol. 33: Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks
Variant Edition Cover

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Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6

Reprints: Amazing Spider-Man #51-61, Annual #4

(Vol. 33 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

Most Recent Print Edition: First Print
Original Release Date: 4/27/05


REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1362-2 • List Price: $49.99
VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1453-X • List Price: $54.99

304 Pages

Scripted by Stan Lee

Pencilled and Co-Plotted by John Romita, Sr.

Additional pencils by Don Heck and Larry Lieber

Foreword by John Romita, Sr.


If you like the Kingpin, Dock Ock, and Larry Lieber then you're gonna love this Masterworks volume!

Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 6, the 33rd volume in the library, marks the first of the new Masterworks produced under the regime of Masterworks editor Cory Sedlmeier. It's absolutely stuffed to the gills with comic reading pleasure, reprinting a full eleven issues of Amazing Spider-Man with an Annual to boot! Not content to end the Masterworks volume with the cliffhanger ending of ASM #60, Marvel kindly stretched the contents to include ASM #61, the last of a three-part story (and what a story!) This book picks up right where the classic "Spider-Man No More" story of ASM #50 left off, with Peter Parker reestablishing his identity as the crime-fighting wall-crawler everybody loves to hate! Along the way, he gets tangled up with the Kingpin - a Marvel villain yet to establish his legend - in addition to the already legendary Doctor Octopus!

Larry Lieber and Don Heck are on hand to help flesh out the artistic proceedings. In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4, Larry Lieber does a good job standing in for John Romita by pencilling a 41-page team-up with the Human Torch. Heck does finishes the pencils to Romita's layouts in the final five stories reprinted in this book, and does an excellent job! Heck is an acquired taste for many, but his work with Romita produces some fine panels, and especially cute renderings of Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson!

And now, for a brief rundown of the stories told within:

ASM #51-52: After his brief appearance in ASM #50, the Kingpin is given a chance to bust out and show what he's made of. And as we now know all too well, he's not the big tub of goo he appears to be - he's a man mountain of muscle! Many folks understand the Kingpin to be Daredevil's biggest foe, but in these early issues, it's made quite clear that Spider-Man was the first costumed hero to stand up to the big guy, and boy, would he pay for that! These issues also reveal the final fate of longtime Spidey supporting cast-member Fredrick Foswell, as well as a "buddy issue" featuring an unlikely team-up between J. Jonah Jameson and the hero he despises!

ANNUAL #4: While not the greatest Spidey story ever put into print, this annual has got a pretty fab two-page splash, the sundering footsteps of a giant Marvel Monster, and some of the funniest backup features of the era! (Just read the hilarious copy attached to the "Spider-Man's Greatest Talent" strip!) Larry Lieber, Stan's brother in the bullpen, provided pencils, and ya know what? They're not bad! Special bonus points go to the page where Spidey had to pry the Torch from the paw of the giant monkey robot. To read that scene approached with such drama was a total hoot, making it almost worth the price of the book itself!

ASM #53-56: This four-part series has to stand near the top of the pantheon of great Spider-Man stories. Beyond simply telling the story of a grand battle between Spidey and Doc Ock, we get to see a major supporting turn from Col. John Jameson. His high-profile appearance as the city council's military liasion has him play a part in defending against an Octopus plot so diabolical, it calls for a US Army operation on American soil to shut it down! This happens in ASM #56, the closing issue of this four-part run, and it's an all-out classic.

And amidst all the tumult and trials, the relationship between Peter and Gwen Stacy comes into much sharper focus. If you're a mushy guy like me, you'll eat up all the fantastic drawings of Gwen, and her further character development as the grounded girl in Peter's life (opposite the always-in-the-clouds Mary Jane). It is all the more heartbreaking when we're introduced to her father, Capt. George Stacy, who we know by now is just as doomed as his daughter in the years to come.

ASM #57-58: This two-parter follows J. Jonah Jameson and his continued attempts to stop Spider-Man by whatever means possible. First, he employs Ka-Zar to hunt down the wall-crawler, then he engages in another wacky scheme with Spencer Smythe to redesign the Spider-Slayer robot. Dig the scene in ASM #57 where Ka-Zar and Zabu rip up the city in front of an especially understanding police force! And it's classic comix nuttiness when Spidey cracks the case against the Spider-Slayer by....Awww, heck! Why tell ya and blow the zany surprise!?!?!

ASM #59-61: The final storyline in this Masterworks volume deals with the mystery behind the Brainwasher, a villain biding his time in the shadows while his minions throw out a net of crime wide enough to pull in Spider-Man and those closest to him. Just who is this new Spidey foe bent on gaining power over the powerful? Well, that's a secret revealed in the last panel of issue #59, an exceptionally visceral display of violent confrontation!

Of special note is the excellent character development of Captain Stacy, Gwen's beloved father. Stan Lee wrote some incisive dialogue for the pages of ASM #59 that revealed Capt. Stacy to have the keen awareness of a seasoned policeman, with highly developed observational skills. The dynamic between Gwen, her father, and Peter Parker is started in these pages, and it would have long-ranging effects on Spider-Man that persist to this very day!

And I know you're gonna eat up Mary Jane's foray into employment with the Gloom Room A-Go-Go! Panel after panel of the ever-lovin' MJ shakin' it gets me a go-go-in'...just check out that cover to ASM #59! This is a heavy dose of '60s-style kitsch, something you're not gonna wanna miss!

So don't miss it, man! The power is yours! Get that book off your shelf and read it, and if you don't yet own it, well, you know what to do!

-- by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Amazing Spider-Man #51-61, Annual #4

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


ASM #51

ASM #52

Ann. #4

ASM #53

ASM #54

ASM #55

ASM #56

ASM #57

ASM #58

ASM #59

ASM #60

ASM #61


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