Rave : 1999 : Chapter One Revisited
Hey there. I was just cruising your page and noticed that you're not much of a fan of Spider-Man chapter one. Now, I'm a Spidey fan, have been as long as I can remember, but I never read those original issues, I don't have a spidey collection dating way back and my knowledge of Spidey was mostly gleened from Cartoons and the comics I would pick up when I could. I had read a lot of bad things about Chapter One before I picked it up, Dark Hugh's den was especially anti Chapter One. That's what got me curious about the series, otherwise I probably never would have tried it.
So, I picked it up fully aware of everyones misgivings about John Byrne and his alleged ego problems (I know nothing of the man so I can't say anything). I was suprised to find that I really liked the series. I went back and read the originals, but to be honest, I like these better. Some people (like yourself) may enjoy the dated feeling those old comics bring, but for me I just found them ridiculous and they took away from Spidey for me. The idea of radiation experiments in the open air with an audience of high-school students was absurd, even for the 60's.
I think Spider-Man: Chapter One fulfilled it's purpose (for me at least, and my girlfriend who is now a Spidey fan) in that it drew me into the mythos. In updating the story lines they've made it more accessible to the modern reader. Lots of comic readers don't remember spidey before the McFarlane era (I feel old when I draw Spidey with the small eyes and some kid tells me I got it wrong). For the average comic reader today, Spidey just isn't as accessible as he should be, and this series solved that problem.
So, while it may seem like a pointless exercise to those who are familiar with the stories, for those of us without the time or money to hunt down back issues it was a welcome retelling and update. The stories have changed very little, they just don't seem as ridiculous now, not as naive. Anyways, that's my take on it.