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'Amazing Fantasy' #1000 uses Spider-Man to hit you in the feels
Marvel

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‘Amazing Fantasy’ #1000 uses Spider-Man to hit you in the feels

‘Amazing Fantasy’ #1000 features 9 stories from some of the most excellent comics creators working today.

It’s Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary this year, and there’s no better way to celebrate the character than with an extra-sized Amazing Fantasy #1000 issue. Spidey’s first appearance was in Amazing Fantasy #15, so Marvel is fudging the numbers a bit, jumping ahead to the 1,000th issue and featuring some of comics’ greatest creators. Dan Slott also returns to write the webhead, along with Jonathan Hickman, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Michael Cho, and Kurt Busiek, to name a few. The question is, is this anthology truly a celebration of Spider-Man you should pick up, or a celebration that misses the mark?

This is a slightly unconventional anthology as far as anniversary comics go, particularly because some stories do surprising things with the character. There are tales here that celebrate what makes Spider-Man great, of course, but there are also unconventional tales like Slott’s story showing us Spider-Man in the far future or Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel focusing on Peter’s photography. That mixes things up, making many of the stories in this collection quite personal.

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The most personal tale might be Neil Gaiman and Steve McNiven’s story, which features Gaiman himself as the main character. The story details Gaiman’s love of Spider-Man at an early age and later shows him as an adult meeting Steve Ditko for the first time. It’s a story that reminds us characters like Spider-Man stick with us, inspire us, and are truly important to our growth as people. Richard Isanove colors with McNiven, giving the story a grounded, realistic feel. McNiven’s pencils are detailed with a hand-drawn feel, capping off the story with an excellent full-page splash of Spider-Man. This tale will stick with you.

Marvel Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

A page from Gaiman and McNiven’s story.
Credit: Marvel

Anthony Falcone and Michael Cho get to tell the first tale focused on a tracksuit-wearing criminal who always seems to be caught by Spider-Man. Utilizing the fantastical events of Marvel as a backdrop, the creators show that Spider-Man has tasked himself with taking down the smallest of criminals, regardless of if there’s an alien invasion or worse. The sentiment that Spider-Man webs up baddies not because they deserve it but because he wants folks to do better is an endearing reason for why Spider-Man stops criminals of all types.

Dan Slott and Jim Cheung follow that tale with a story set when Peter Parker is 60. He’s still fighting villains, but we soon learn he can’t move as quickly as he used to. This tale is primarily set in a hospital, and the message is loud and clear:  New Yorkers know how important Spider-Man is and will do anything to keep him – and his identity – safe. Capping off the story is an excellent double-page splash of various villains Spider-Man has fought over the years. This montage ties into an exciting idea Slott explores involving how Spider-Man might die in the wrong hands. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers!

Armando Iannucci and Ryan Stegman team up for a quick story involving fake news and altering headlines via a unique villain. It’s a clever concept rendered incredibly well by Stegman with inks by J.P. Mayer and colors by Sonia Oback. If given the chance, I could see this being an excellent three or five-issue story arc.

Next up, Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel give us a story about Spider-Man’s photography. Opening with him eating ice cream, things go wrong quickly, but soon he’s snapping photos of everyday people of New York. It’s a touching idea, which of course, J.J. Jameson hates. Coipel’s character acting is incredible–if only he drew a Spider-Man series–and Matt Wilson’s colors add a cheerful warmth to the tale. It’s a nice homage to the days when Peter was making a living snapping photos. Ariana Maher’s letters play around with word balloons, dancing around each other and helping convey Jameson’s rage at Peter.

Marvel Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

A page from Busiek and Dodson’s story.
Credit: Marvel

Ho Che Anderson and Giuseppe Camuncoli are up next with a wild sci-fi tale focused on a woman who is hospitalized for thinking there are spiders inside her. The tale is one of the more obtuse looks at Spider-Man in this collection, eventually finding the main character running into Spider-Man. It ends well, though, showing Spidey cares for everyone.

If you dig throwback stories, you’ll love Kurt Busiek and the Dodson’s next story, which ties directly to Amazing Fantasy #15. It’s an entertaining tale leaning into the whole point of the Amazing Fantasy series–much more than most stories in this anthology–utilizing an Egyptian villain cleverly. Terry and Rachel Dodson’s art style is on point here, with a warmth to the colors and many great action shots of Spider-Man.

Following this is Hickman and Marco Checcheto’s tale, which utilizes the council of Spider-Man. Spider-Man of the 616 is conversing with them and pointing out he has the worst luck, and everything seems to go wrong. They reveal their lives are actually great… or are they? Fundamentally, this story shows Hickman understands its Spider-Man’s sacrifices that make him the hero he is, not the webs or even the costume. Checheccheto’s art is gorgeous with incredible color by Frank Martin that makes these various alternate reality Spider-Man characters look out-of-this-world good.

Ending the book is a surprising story by the late Mike Pasciullo with art by Todd Nauck and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg. This story explains that Marvel marketing guru Pasciullo wrote a five-issue story arc that never got printed, but a portion of it gets printed here. It’s an excellent way to honor Pasciullo while offering a tale that shows Spider-Man as a mentor to a young hero.

At $8, Amazing Fantasy #1000 is a steal. Its unconventional nature of doing all sorts of Spider-Man stories is refreshing, with tales focusing on personal anecdotes, Spider-Man at 60 years old, and various facets of what makes Spider-Man great. Plus, the creative lineup on this extra-sized issue is downright historic. What else could you ask for?

'Amazing Fantasy' #1000 uses Spider-Man to hit you in the feels
‘Amazing Fantasy’ #1000 uses Spider-Man to hit you in the feels
Amazing Fantasy #1000
At $8, Amazing Fantasy #1000 is a steal. Its unconventional nature of doing all sorts of Spider-Man stories is refreshing, with tales focusing on personal anecdotes, Spider-Man at 60 years old, and various facets of what makes Spider-Man great. Plus, the creative lineup on this extra-sized issue is downright historic. What else could you ask for?
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A great mix of stories exploring Spider-Man in different ways or even making it personal like in Gaiman's
Impressive lineup of artists on this one
An anthology filled with sentimental moments ends with a nice farewell to Mike Pasciullo
One tale didn't work for me and took too long to get to its point
9.5
Great
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