Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Early Adventures

Spider-Man Saga #1 (Marvel, November 1991, $2.95)
Written: Glenn Herdling, Colored: Renee Witterstaetter, Cover: Steve Lightle.

Herdling's the guy to write this summary comic, for sure. Even though he was more of a Hulk fan than a Spider-Man reader, he first encountered Spidey in Marvel Team-Up #27—and later served as Jim Salicrup's assistant on the Spider-Man books. As such, he researched all of the character's early adventures in Marvel Tales and Marvel Masterworks, as well as via the Official Marvel Index to the Amazing Spider-Man.

This issue, the first of four, covers the history of the comic up to #100. More similar to The Marvel Saga series' design and layout than Secret Invasion Saga, the comic combines summary text and exposition with panel reproductions. The art draws on work done by Steve Ditko, John Romita, John Buscema, Don Heck, Fred Hembeck, and others.

Overall, it's an easy read. While slow and patchy in parts—not all years of a comic's run will be important or interesting years, and not all runs have key issues—the panel reproductions are particularly worthwhile. My one recommendation for future Saga projects is that panel art be credited with issue number references. Comics like this could inspire back issue sales, as well as digital comic sales.

I don't think a comic like this would work today, however; such information is more freely available. But as a way to catch up on a character's history, as a way to dive right in, this is a wonderful resource. Regardless, I'd rather read the actual comics.

Availability: This comic has not been collected. We recommend Amazing Spider-Man: Official Index to the Marvel Universe.

No comments: