REVIEW: Spidey #9 – Heart Of Spidey

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Spidey #9
Written By: Robbie Thompson
Art By: Nathan Stockman
Colors By: Jim Campbell
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 08/03/16
Rating: Rated T
Price: $3.99

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You think you know all there is to know about your favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Think again! Take a trip back to classic Marvel when Peter Parker was a mere high school student who is bitten by a radioactive spider and learns that with great power must also come great responsibility after he the crook he chooses not to stop kills his Uncle Ben. To help his widowed Aunt May pay bills, Peter gets a job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures of himself as Spider-Man in action fighting Doc Ock, Sandman, The Lizard, The Vulture, Green Goblin and more!

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Plot: It’s Aunt May’s birthday and Peter is trying everything he can to earn enough money to buy the most important woman in the world something really nice, but the Park Luck strikes again! Kraven The Hunter has returned and is faster and stronger than ever and he wants to add Spidey to his collection. But who is behind it all?

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Story: Every issue of Spidey is like a love letter to longtime fans. This is the Spider-Man a lot of us fell in love with. Each story takes us back to high school with Peter and the gang, walking through the halls dodging Flash Thompson,  worrying about dates and trying to get enough money to pay the rent. These are the things that endeared Spider-Man to fans for over 50 years, and this issue is a perfect example of it.

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At first glance this may appear to be a mere throwaway story, a filler issue, but it isn’t. To me a filler issue is something that isn’t needed, and is just there to take up space until a story they would rather tell, this issue may be a simple story but it adds a lot to the heart and core of what makes Spider-Man so endearing. Some may read this and see a cool fight scene with Kraven and Spidey, whiich was awesome to see, and that will be their take-away, but for me it was the B-Story, it was Peter trying to find that present for Aunt May, worrying about buying her something then finding something that costs him nothing but may be the best present she has ever gotten.

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Tying this story to that small moment is what makes this book the best Spider-Book, Man, Girl, Gwen, Woman, Amazing, 2099, Silk, etc. I have read Spider-Man my whole life and adding this small nugget about his first night with Aunt May and Uncle Ben hits you right in the heart and makes you want the next issue to find out even more.

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But the action in this book is amazing as well. I loved how they handled Kraven here, making him work with Doc Ock to take down Spider-Man. This is like the early days of the SInister Six, that name always sounded cool, but felt off as there never seemed to be anything sinister about them, but now with this book, it does, and I love it.

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Art: The art on this title is a bit less consistent than the story has been, but this issue has it back on an upswing. While the story captures the feel and heart of classic spidey, the art compliments it with a modern retro style that balances the classic style with the modern flair. The fight between Kraven and Spidey is one that I have seen countless times in the pages of various Adjective Spider-Man titles over the years, but this one was done with great flair, using great paneling and every bit of page to show how fluid the fight is and makes it feel as if it was animated.

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While the paneling and style is very modern, the characters and surroundings scream classic Spidey. From Aunt May and Peter, to J.Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle is all classic. This clearly allows those like me who are big continuity buffs to easily visually accept that these are untold stories that take place during this period.

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Verdict: Overall I loved this issue. If you are like me and have felt a major disconnect from Spider-Man in recent years, this series will renew your love in the character.

 

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