Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #36

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

On Sepetember 11, 2001 something happened in America that shook the whole world. The events that happened that day had a profound impact on our world and this issue is Marvel comics response to those events.

In Detail...

"September 11"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #36
Dec 2001 : SM Title
Summary: (#477) Reflection on The Real-Life Events of 9/11/2001
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
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 Reprinted In: Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus #1
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #7
 Reprinted In: Marvel Visionaries, John Romita, Jr.
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #2
Articles: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)

We all know what happened in New York on September 11. The terrible, unthinkable tradgedy that unfolded there. This issue explores how Spider-man and other heros would react. It starts with a double page spread of the devastation and of Spidey holding his head in pain/anguish/disbelief, his only word "...God..." The issue continues as Spidey swings down to help in the aftermath. Joining with other heroes in the rescue efforts. Spidey explores the wreckage and the broken hearts and his thoughts drive on, thinking thru it all. Though at some point his thoughts become JMS's and JMS's reflections and response. The script journey's from horror, pain and loss to end on strength.

In General...

When I first heard about this comic I thought it was a pretty ballsy thing to do. I mean it's such a loaded topic, especially only 2 months after the event. Would it be an unforgiveable comercial cash in? Would it be a meaningful story? I think if I was JMS that I would never have accepted the assignment! But thankfully I'm not and he accepted. Because what we have instead, is an awesome comic. You can tell that the creators of this comic really put themselves into it. Romita Jr's art is the best it has ever been and then JMS script is obviously very personal. In fact not just the creative team went all the way but production, marketing etc, and it shows in the paper quality and the overall product. In fact this comic approaches everything it just about all the right ways.

I particularly like the way the Marvel heroes are portrayed and Spidey's reaction in particular. It was all very real. By that I mean, I could relate very closely to Spidey's response. The way that the heroes all just got in there, forgetting their differences, working with the rescue workers seemed very real to me. In that sort of situation I'd imagine that you would put aside all differences (i.e. being a mutant, vigilante, etc) and get in there to help.

It's hard to really pick at this comic, it is obviously very personal to the creators and it sorta seems wrong to critique it. But, there's not really much bad. It continues the strength that this title has had lately, though in a totally different way. And there's only really two minor things that sorta bothered me. Firstly, towards the end JMS gets a bit too preachy and it goes right away from being Spidey's inner monologue or even a Spidey book and being just JMS. This is okay, but I think it would have been better if what was Spidey's thoughts were separated a bit more clearly. Because it's a little out of character. The other thing is about charcter too. There's a page that features a couple of villains surveying everything and being distraught in their way. I thought this was a little out of character for them too, especially Magneto and Juggernaut. But, I guess it all depends on how JMS meant the reader to approach this. Anyway, they're minor and I think can be easily forgiven for the otherwise stellar job on a hard to approach topic.

Overall Rating...

It's a great comic, very touching and personal.