Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #252

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

A select group of heroes and villains have been whisked away to an alien planet by a being known as The Beyonder. His goal is to see which side would ultimately win; good or evil. Missing for well over a week, their absence is felt around the city in the worst way. However, that's about to change.

In Detail...

"Where Are They?!? Still No Word ON Missing Heroes"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #252
May 1984 : SMURF 252.500 : SMURF 252.525 : SMURF 252.550 : SM Title
Summary: Spidey Returns from Secret Wars (Black Costume)
Editor:  Danny Fingeroth
Plot:  Roger Stern
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Ron Frenz
Inker:  Brett Breeding
Cover Art:  Ron Frenz
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Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #266
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Classic #1
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Family; The Black Costume, Spider-Clan, Spider-Man 2099 (Story 4)
 Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man #252 (Niagara Reprint)
 Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man #252 (Origins DVD Promo)
 Partially Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man #252 (Wal*Mart SM3 DVD Mini-Comic)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: Saga of The Alien Costume (TPB)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility #6
 Reprinted In: ToyBiz: Spider-Man Classics Series 1 #3
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Black Cat, Jameson, J. Jonah, Lizard, Nathan Lubensky, Robertson, Joe "Robbie", The Wasp

In Central Park, the mysterious gateway that had transported all the heroes to the Beyonder's world had disappeared shortly after, but to be safe, the police have kept the area cordoned off. Suddenly, it reappears allowing Spidey in his new black costume and Dr. Curt Connors to leap through. There is some confusion over Spidey's identity with the police due to his new duds, but fortunately attention is soon taken off of them by the reappearance of the Avengers through the gate.

Whisking Connors away before they remember them and before anyone can get a look at his face and publicize it, Spidey takes him back home where he reunites with his worried family. Spidey then returns to his own home, his costume responding to his thoughts and putting him into civvies. Realizing his own family hadn't heard from him in just as long, he calls his Aunt May and is relieved when he learns she wasn't overly worried about him like she would used to be. He tries to contact Black Cat next, but gets no answer. Lost in though about what kind of troubles Cat might be having, Peter heads out to eat just as Cat enters his apartment and finds it still empty. She takes off in search of him again so that they could talk about the situations she's gotten herself into.

Peter soon returns home and realizes he needs to sell some photos to pay the quickly approaching rent. His costume pops out his camera for him, and he develops the pictures he took on the Beyonder's planet. Unfortunately, he finds the pictures too strange to be believable and realizes that Reed Richards was right in suggesting they tell no one about their strange adventure. He turns in for the night but sleep doesn't come. He decides to go web-slinging, and his costume moves by itself from his chair to his body to accommodate him. Peter gets a little weirded out by his new suit, but he's got other things on his mind. He can always swing by the Fantastic Four's HQ to have Reed look at it whenever.

Spidey heads into the night and foils a robbery, terrifying the person he saved worse than the mugger did. Attributing it to his new look, Spidey forgets about it and enjoys the night air until he comes across an arguing couple. Citing that their lives are trash because the city isn't all that great, Spidey takes them both for a ride to show them his view of the city and to show them that for all it's bad, there's a lot of good things to be found in where they live. They just need to be receptive to see it is all. Returning them to the ground, Spidey swings off, even happier than before. He's alive, he's home, and he's just happy to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

In General...

Not much happens in terms of progression this issue. It's just a transition between the Secret Wars mini-series (which was still running alongside this book, by the way) and a set-up for the currently open plot-lines to be addressed down the road and the after-effects of the Secret Wars on Spidey's life. More so, this issue was dedicated to debuting Spidey's new costume to the world and maybe garner more interest in picking up the future issues of the Secret Wars mini.

It was a short, but good story that reminds the readers of what Spidey left behind for a week. You also get the added mystery of Spidey's costume and what it would ultimately mean for Spidey and his world. Basically, it was one of the rare moments we get to see Spidey being happy about his life and who he is. A moment where we get to enjoy being Spider-Man along with him, and a shining testament to the eternal optimism that keeps him fighting the good fight no matter what's thrown at him.

Overall, the issue was handled nicely and makes for a good read.

Overall Rating...

Five webs. It was a good story and a nice transition between the two titles to get back into the swing (no pun intended) of things. As long as you understand it's just a set-up issue going in and don't expect too much out of it, you shouldn't walk away disappointed.