Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #38

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Aunt May has discovered that Peter has secretly been Spider-Man and now after a bit of soul searching wants to confront him with the truth.

In Detail...

"The Conversation"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #38
Feb 2002 : SMURF 000.500 : SM Title
Summary: (#479) Aunt May Confronts Peter
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  Kaare Andrews
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #9
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #2
Articles: Aunt May Parker

We open with Pete waiting fro Aunt May to arrive. He knows she's upset with him somehow, but doesn't know why. He dwells on what could be wrong, but when she opens the door she's holding his battered Spidey costume. Pete tries to make some excuse, but May rebukes him and says "I know your secret. I know you're Spider-Man."

What follows is a touching conversation, where Pete and May lay it all out on the table. They don't exactly agree or understand all the time, but they tell the truth to each other. They find common ground in guilt over Uncle Ben's death and promise to not lie to each other anymore. To not let lies separate them any longer.

The issue finishes with May going home and Pete swinging out as Spidey. You get the feeling that not everything is resolved. May is still upset and doesn't really agree with Pete being Spidey. But, they've crossed a bridge and Pete feels relieved that he doesn't have to lie probably the closest person to him.

In General...

Well, first up I was wrong last month. I thought this was to be the "nuff said" month silent issue, but it wasn't. But, it turns out that's NEXT month. All the better I say, because I don't see how they could've produced such an awesome issue as this one without words.

I think that this issue is one of the most important Spidey issues written in the last 4-5 years. And defintely a classic even while the ink was still drying on the page. Why you may ask? This issue shows the first real (as long as they don't retcon or forget it) development in the character of Peter Parker and Aunt May in a long time. Probably the first real development in the case of Aunt May since Amazing Fantasy #15! And what's better is that this has been a long time coming (40 years almost) and has been done so well.

I could go on identify points and sub-points of what I thought made this good. The art's great and the script's great, etc. But, really I have been really liking JMS's run so far and this is the best issue in many ways that he has written, which is saying a lot.

The other big thing that this issue does for me is go some way to repairing the absolute mess that John Byrne, Howard Mackie and whoever else made of Spidey and Aunt May with that Final Chapter crap. They made a big error in bringing May back after Amazing Spider-Man v1 #400 and in such a pathetic way. And worse, since bringing her back they showed that they really didn't have a point in returning her except to give her a new haircut and rehash 30 year old story lines! So, a story like this eases some of the pain...

If I was picky, I could point out the Uncle Ben leaving the house bit and say it doesn't gel that well. But, in the scheme of things it doesn't matter so much to me.

Overall Rating...

Instant classic in mind. Easily in my top 10 Spidey stories of all time.