I could not wait for August 6th to get here because Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 was released. So I walk into my comic shop on Wednesday and there it is... with the frickin' Brand New Day logo splashed across the top. Ugh. I already know ASMF has BND content in there, the last thing I need to see is the blasted BND logo. Enough, Marvel, we get the dumb point. You're proud of your botched attempt to fix Spidey.
Annnnyway, the ASMF's first story kicks off with a trip to the past where we see Peter dealing with the death of uncle Ben and learning the ropes as hero. Yes, the beginning of Spidey's career has been milked to death over the last few years, but this is still a good story, done by Spidey veteran JM DeMatties. The art has a retro feel to it and from the way everyone's dressed, it evokes the look and tone of the Lee/Ditko era. Being new to the hero gig, Peter naturally makes a few mistakes his first two nights out as Spidey. These screw ups don't feel forced and these are really the kind mistakes you'd expect a 15-16 year old hero to make, not like the constant rookie blunders you see in BND. First story in ASMF and we've already got the goods. Towards the end of SMF's life, the opening stories were disappointing so I'd love for ASMF's openers too keep this excellent moment that ASMF #1 has started.
There's a Marvel Monkey's short with Spider-Monkey lifting the big weight off his shoulders a la the Master Planner Trilogy in ASM #33. Uh, what to say here... NEXT!
Mr. and Mrs. Spider-Man. I'd hope these stories would be more than 12 pages, but I'll take what I can get. If you want to read stories about a married Spider-Man, you need to buy ASMF. These stories will serve as the prequel to the Spider-Girl series. Aunt May? Still dead and buried 6 feet under ever since ASM #400. And baby Mayday is just so cuuuuuuute! Since Peter has a family he struggles with the burden he puts on MJ and Mayday. During his fight with the Lizard, Peter thinks of what his family would do if he was killed in battle. If that's not an everyday, realistic, I-can-relate-to-that-guy hero, I don't know what is. I personally didn't think it was a spectacular story, but it wasn't bad either. It worked for me and I'll be back for the next story in ASMF #2.
Next story is some cow dung from BND about aunt May. Sucky as it was, I miss Spider-Man J. NEEEEEEXT!
A reprint of ASM #300, Spidey's first battle with Venom. Even if Brock's reasons for hating Spidey have never made sense, I still enjoy Spidey & Venom's first battle. A good choice to reprint.
The King Size Spider-Man Summer Special (man, that is one loooong title) features a few different Spider-Man stories and not a lick of them have anything to do with BND. Nice.
I've always wanted a girls night out story with MJ and I got just that with the opener. Unfortunately it wasn't everything I was hoping for. Basically MJ teams up with other Marvel heroines to stop Enchantress. There were a number of laugh out loud moments but I felt the story was merely OK.
Story two is a two page short where Spidey breaks Modok's chair and helps him find a new. Cute.
Story three has Spidey teaming up with the Falcon. Lots of witty banter between the two. Good stuff..
Finally, there's a Mini Marvels story that isn't just a single page. No, sir, this story is roughly the size of a regular 22 page comic! About time! I've always wanted a Mini Marvels story that was more than one page. Spidey and Venom have difficulty delivering a paper to the Green Goblin (because he always tries to kill them) on their own so Jameson makes them deliver the paper as a team. Spidey and Venom put their differences aside and get the job done in the end. Along with the rivalry between Spidey and Venom, I really got a kick out of seeing Norman actually give a rat's butt ox about Harry. When was the last time you actually saw that?