22 May 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 2 (Stan Lee/Steve Ditko)

My intermittent attempts to read more of the superhero-comics canon has featured some early Marvel lately. I only lasted a couple of issues into Essential Classic X-Men Volume 1, because SHEESH, Jean Grey, you have massively powerful telekinetic powers, stop putting up with these boys treating you like a rare and delicate flower. (I should read the Claremont run instead, right?)

Thoroughly enjoyed this Spider-Man collection, though, featuring issues 11-19 and Annual No. 1, all from 1964. Honestly, I feel a little silly weighing in on heavyweights like Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, dabbler that I am--but here goes anyway: Lee's writing is sooooo fun here! So blinkin' punchy and breathless, and I downright love the braggadocio of the covers. From #16's, for instance: "Warning! If you don't say this is one of the greatest issues you've ever read, we may never talk to you again!" Hyperbole at its most charming.

And I have actual things to say about Ditko's art! I mean, obviously his human figures aren't naturalistic, and everybody's heads are alarmingly rectangular. But he's great with action and acrobatics, and varies viewing angles and framing distances, so that even conversations have a cinematic sense of movement. And I generally found it easy to follow the direction to take between speech/thought balloons in a panel, not always my strong suit.

Also, who would win in a whining fight: Peter Parker or Luke Skywalker?

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