Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #439

Background

Not much to know, really. Young Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider... you know the drill.

Story 'There Once Was A Spider..!'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #439
Summary: Futuristic Issue
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Rafael Kayanan
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Cover Art: Rafael Kayanan

In the future, about 1000 years from now, an astonishing artifact is found by two young archaeologists -- a web-shooter belonging to the original Spider-Man! The two reflect on what they know of Peter's life, and speculate on what they don't know. Together they draw some interesting conclusions on such mysteries as the Spider-Cave, Spider-Cycle, etc.

Meanwhile, 1000 years earlier (does that make sense?), Spider-Man is keeping himself busy trying to save the life of a little girl trapped in a flooding sewer tunnel. Searching frantically for her, Spidey manages to locate her, and jumps up to the exit. The manhole, interestingly, opens up to where the search party is stationed, and Peter is suspected of kidnapping the girl himself. It just doesn't get any easier for our hero, does it?

General Comments

Well, if I thought that the last Amazing book was empty filler (and I did, as you know from reading the last review, right?), then how much worse was this book? Much of it doesn't even take place in our time, or have any significance to the web-slinger's adventures. Two stock characters from an uninteresting future discuss Spidey's life. Whoop. And their speculation -- the Spider-Chopper? The Spider-Cave? In New York? Oh, I get it, under the subways and sewers, right?

The other aspect of the book offers nothing better. Spidey makes a pretty routine rescue, and the cops are less than grateful. No supervillains. Where's Doc Ock? What's Mysterio doing until DeMatteis' new story? Is the Chameleon still in the hospital? No wonder they're cutting down on the Spider-books. I guess there just aren't enough good villains or adventures to keep Spider-Man occupied four times a month. And yet, this is the second issue of ASM published this month. Makes you wonder, hmm?

To be fair, the book does have a few highlights. For example, page four features a nifty computer generated rendering of Spidey's web-shooter, and Rafael Kayanan's depiction of Spider-Man is really very good. But, that's because his mask hides the fact that he has no facial expression. No one in the book does, except the Hulk, grinning like an idiot on the cover! What's wrong with a city where a kid trapped in the sewers doesn't even look scared?

The cover of this book asks three questions, and makes no effort to answer any of them. "How is the web-spinner responsible for the age of heroes?" He isn't. "What will be the fate of Mary Jane?" The book makes a point of being vague on this point. "What is the secret of the Spider-Cycle?" There is none. Why should you buy this book? You shouldn't.

Overall Rating

One and a half webs. And I think I'm being generous.