It seems that whenever I got to my comic shop, I always walk it with more than I originally planed to get. Last week was no exception.
I had my comic shop hold a copy of the John Romita Jr. 30th Anniversary Special because there weren't many left. JR JR is one of my favorite comic artists. Would you believe I didn't like his art style when I saw it in the Spider-Man books in the '90s? Its true, I just didn't dig the man's pencils at all and thought Mark Bagley and other artists that did Spider-Man were worlds better. My opinion of JR JR changed when I started reading Amazing Spider-Man again in 2002. His art really grew on me and I now hold the opinion that he draws a fantastic Spider-Man. His work from the '70s-'80s looks a lot like his dad's. Of all the men that have emulated John Romita Sr.'s Spidey, I think JR JR is one of the few to really nail it, the other man being John Buscema. As much as I love his older work, I think its great that he's developed his own style. You rock, JR JR!
My comic shop had a single copy of Spider-Man/Kingpin: To The Death. Originally released in 1997, this one-shot graphic novel is penciled by the legendary "Jazzy" John Romita Sr., which was a major factor in my decision to pick it up. I LOVE JR's Spidey art! Even after seeing a plethora of other artists do Spider-Man (and do a terrific job), Romita Sr. still has one of my top favorite takes on the web-head. This book was also written by Stan "The Man Lee, and plotted by Tom DeFalco, who is IMO, one of the best men to ever write Spider-Man. I haven't read it yet, but I've flipped through it a few times and it looks like an interesting tale. Three of my favorite people in comics on Spider-Man? Sounds like a good deal to me.
I'm trying to build up my collection of Spidey titles from the Lee/Romita era, and my 7th book comes in the form of Amazing Spider-Man #59. Silver Age comics have really dropped in price because this baby was only $13.95. Even without my 10% discount, the book cost chump change. There were a number of different issues I could have gotten, but I decided to go with this one because Mary Jane is on the cover. I love MJ. Just look at her on that cover. Is she fine or what? I'd never give that up. To bad Peter did. *coughcoughSISSY-MAMA'S-BOYcoughcough*
And then we've got Amazing Spider-Man Annual #17. This was an issue I'd been wondering about for quiet a while. I thought Roger Stern wrote the story, but he just plotted it. Bill Mantlo is the one who actually wrote it. Roger Stern is another of my fav Spidey writers but Bill Mantlo has also put out some good Spider-Man stories. Mantlo delivered another solid Spidey story and I'll be submitting a review for this one to SpiderFan so the rest of the world can hear of the goods in detail.