R.I.P. Web-Spinners

So that's it. Eighteen issues and it's over. I guess I'm now one of the few people in the history of the world to have reviewed every single issue of a Spider-Man comic (Granted, that would be saying a lot more if I was talking about reviewing Amazing Spider-Man, but I'll take what I can get!) With the lamentable exception of Howard Mackie's Negative Zone story arc, this book has been the most consistently good Spider title on the market since the relaunch in 1998. Now instead of a monthly book, we'll get a regular flow of Spider-Man limited series much like Venom's run a few years ago. I can't say that I see the point.

If Marvel determined that Webspinners wasn't cost effective, I don't see how the "unlimited-limited-series" format will be a better fix. And if it's just to raise interest by giving people lots of #1 issues to buy, then that's just plain pathetic. Bottom line: Marvel pulled the plug too early on this title, IMHO. I can't help but be amused at the fact that a book designed highlight the 38-year-old history of Spider-Man can't last more than 18 issues without somebody tinkering. And one more fun fact: with those thirty-eight years to work with, Webspinners spent more than one-third of its run telling stories set in the present continuity (7 out of 18 issues, 3 out of 7 storylines). I was hoping for a little more variety than that.

Oh well, it has been a fun (if brief) ride. Joe Kelly's story "The Bridge" gets my vote for Best Spider-Man Story of 1999. Rurik Tyler's Vulture was delightfully creepy. The Chameleon signed off in a particularly poignant manner (please don't bring him back and ruin that story!) and we got to see several not-so-familiar writers and artists and experience their takes on Spidey. Not bad for a book that didn't last long enough to rate an anniversary issue. And just what the doctor ordered to help ease the pain of a less-than-stellar relaunch.

Webspinners: November 1998-April 2000

Will Harrison"