A Brief Review of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600

This is going to be a short entry comic book heads, and about as spoiler-free as I can manage. I’m not sure when the next edition of I’M JUST SAYIN’…will be available, because as last week’s experience of my girlfriend’s birthday going from “just a few months away” to “Holy Moses – it’s THIS Sunday?!” taught me, things can sneak up on ya if you’re not paying attention. Wizard World Chicago is coming up in about two weeks, and I have a lot of prepping to do for that, so I may only be around to join Q in the ol’ peanut gallery and throw out a comment here and there for the time being.

Just about the only reason I felt compelled to write about THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600, is because it seems to have been praised greatly on the web, and when I read this comic in the store, I had the same reaction as I did  when Mark Millar’s “The Death of the Invisible Woman” came out: “did we read the same comic?”

But even still, I wanted to take a stab at giving it a fair review, so here we go.

Here’s the story: it’s Aunt May and “Jay” Jonah Jameson Sr.’s wedding day, and everybody’s getting ready. Meanwhile, a certain figure from both hers and Spider-Man’s past, while going through some things of their own (WHO that is probably won’t surprise you, considering one of the variant covers out there) catches wind of this, and sure enough, the world of Peter Parker and the Amazing Spider-Man collide.

That’s really pretty much it, you know. Now, onto the review…

Basically, this doesn’t break from anything you’ve read or heard of Spider-Man in the last year and a half, so I guess this was the kind of anniversary issue that one would expect of post-BND Amazing Spider-Man, because that is what you get here. Marvel remains committed to what they did in ONE MORE DAY, so much like everything else since the magical reboot, it felt like a breath of fresh air to those who support it, and a tired, unnecessary re-tread of days gone by to those who don’t.

As someone who subscribes to the latter camp, thanks to that reboot, the curtain’s been lifted and not even the illusion of change or progression exists anymore. Come to think of it, in that sense THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 represents a very interesting commentary on the state of mainstream superhero comics; not unlike WATCHMEN, KINGDOM COME or THE LIFE & TIMES OF SAVIOR 28, each in their own way. I mean, sure – you can point to J. Jonah Jameson, Jay/Aunt May and Dr. Octopus as examples of change and progression, but the fact is, they’re just part of the illusion. Supporting cast gets to change, but the main character doesn’t – in fact, here more than any other issue do we see Peter Parker as having regressed back to the way he was over twenty years ago…

…and if you go by the final scene, you could say precisely the same thing about his former love interest.

And if you were to disagree with that, I suppose you could say, “well Greg, that was meant to entice you to pick up the next issue. But all I would say to that is, “if you’ve supported this comic since OMD, of course you’re gonna say that. Anybody who hasn’t still isn’t going to care. They’re still going to feel like they’ve been abandoned by the company that they’d invested so much time and money into. In fact, the only person who seems to care about those who feel so disenfranchised is Stan Lee. And his contribution is  how many pages out of a 5-dollar, 104-page comic?”

Or you might say, “Quit carping over the past, Greg. Just get over it already,” to which I only have three words: “Like Quesada did?”

So there you have it. A completely polarizing milestone comic, starring he who has become the John Cena of mainstream superhero comic books. As I mentioned before, the reviews I’ve been reading online thus far have been praising the comic extensively, but I just don’t see it. I haven’t been moved to care any more about Spider-Man now than I have since Mephisto came into the picture. We’ve gone from OMD, to BND, and with ASM 600, we have now arrived at BFD.

Enjoy…if that’s your thing.

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