Comics : Amazing Fantasy #17

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Thirty-odd years ago, Spidey debuted in the pages of the failing anthology comic "Amazing Fantasy" to overwhelming praise. The book was canceled after this very issue (#15, August, 1962) but Marvel Comics readers liked the character so much that the company started up "The Amazing Spider-Man" just months later in March of 1963. This series fills the gap between these two titanic issues, showing how a young Peter Parker adjusted to the changes life had dealt him, preparing him for the challenges to come in the aftermath of his learning of the dogma "With great power comes great responsibility".

In Detail...

"Amazing Adventures"
Amazing Fantasy #17
Jan 1996 : SMURF 000.500 : SMURF 000.650 : SM Title
Summary: Story occurs after AF #16 and before ASM #1
Editor:  Sarra Mossoff
Writer:  Kurt Busiek
Cover Art:  Paul Lee
Painter:  Alexi Taylor, Greg Loudon, Ken Meyer, Jr., Paul Lee, Terese Nielsen
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Articles: Aunt May Parker (FB), Aunt May Parker, Flash Thompson, Kingpin, Elizabeth (Allan) Osborn (FB), Maxie Shiffman, Sally Avril

Spidey remembers what it was like when he was younger, with all his friends, meanwhile saving a construction worker. He runs into Maxie again, and leaves him. Peter and May watch "It's Amazing" where a young Cyclops is shown. Peter knows just how he feels with his newfound powers.

Spidey runs into a teenage girl who has super-powers. Her name is Joey, and they talk about everything, traversing the city, and Peter relaxes for possibly the first time since Uncle Ben died. When, days later, Spidey suggests that they go after whoever has been endangering the building of a luxury office tower, Joey goes nuts, endangering people's lives which Spidey must save. She admits to having done the damage to the building in the first place, furthermore saying that her employer has a big job planned, and she leaves, with Spidey questioning what he has done, with his "moralizing."

Peter goes to school, thinking about whether he has saved enough lives to pay for Uncle Ben's death, and tries fitting in by playing a game of football until Flash Thompson arrives. Thereafter he dresses up as Spidey and overhears a few men talking about the building, and decides to investigate. He finds Joey there, who with a man in a business suit threatens to kill another man if he will not go into partnership with their employer. Spidey saves the man and is nearly killed by Joey. Despite a crisis of conscience, he punches Joey, and keeps her until the police apprehend her. She does not disclose the name of her employer, who turns out to be Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. Spidey once again tries to convince himself that he has done the right thing.

In General...

Kurt Busiek is writing a great tale, with some wonderful new characters. While there was a little artistic discontinuity in this issue, Paul Lee did stellar work on this title, showing his potential.

Overall Rating...

All the elements of this miniseries are coming together perfectly. Five webs as we head into part three.