The Best & Worst Eras of Spider-Man

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Masked Guy
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The Best & Worst Eras of Spider-Man

Post by Masked Guy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 am

As a character that has been around for nearly 60 years, Spider-Man has seen his share of good and bad periods. Some eras have been truly great and character-defining, while others have been very poor and even damaging to some degree. So why not list them?


BEST:

10.) David Michelinie & Todd McFarlane on Amazing (vol. 1 #298-329)
09.) Mark Millar & Terry Dodson on Marvel Knights (vol. 1 #1-12)
08.) Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley on Ultimate (vol. 1 #1-160)
07.) Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz on Amazing (vol. 1 #252-261, 263, 265, 268-271, 273-277, 283)
06.) JMS & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 2 #30-58) (vol. 1 #500-508)
05.) Peter David & various artists on Spectacular (vol. 1 #103, 104-110, 112-113, 115-119, 121-123, 128-129, 134-136)
04.) Roger Stern & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #224-227, 229-251)
03.) J.M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema & Luke Ross on Spectacular (vol. 1 #178-200, 241-258)
02.) Gerry Conway & various artists on Amazing (vol. 1 #112-149)
01.) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko & John Romita Sr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #1-100)

These are the eras that should be held as the gold standard for Spider-Man comics in my opinion.


WORST:

05.) Al Milgrom on Spectacular (vol. 1 #90-100)
04.) Denny O'Neil on Amazing (vol. 1 #207-223)
03.) Dan Slott on Amazing (vol. 3 #1-18) (vol. 4 #1-32)
02.) Terry Kavanagh on Web (vol. 1 #77-79, 97-120, 123-125)
01.) Howard Mackie on Amazing (vol. 2 #1-29) and just about any other title

Admittedly, there is quite a bit of material from Kavanagh and Mackie that I haven't read, but what I have read is more than enough to secure them on my "worst" list.


What are some of your favorite and least favorite Spider-Man eras?
Last edited by Masked Guy on Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cheesedique
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Re: The Best & Worst Eras of Spider-Man

Post by Cheesedique » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am

Masked Guy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 am
BEST:

10.) David Michelinie & Todd McFarlane on Amazing (vol. 1 #298-329)
09.) Mark Millar & Terry Dodson on Marvel Knights (vol. 1 #1-12)
08.) Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley on Ultimate (vol. 1 #1-160)
07.) Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz on Amazing (vol. 1 #252-261, 263, 265, 268-271, 273-277, 283)
06.) JMS & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 2 #30-58) (vol. 1 #500-508)
05.) Peter David & various artists on Spectacular (vol. 1 #103, 104-110, 112-113, 115-119, 121-123, 128-129, 134-136)
04.) J.M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema & Luke Ross on Spectacular (vol. 1 #178-200, 241-258)
03.) Roger Stern & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #224-227, 229-251)
02.) Gerry Conway & various artists on Amazing (vol. 1 #112-149)
01.) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko & John Romita Sr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #1-100)

These are the eras that should be held as the gold standard for Spider-Man comics in my opinion.
Top 5 looks pretty legit.

Yep, I would cosign on all of these, except Bendis & Ultimate. If we were to limit it to just 616-Spider-Man I would probably find a spot somewhere in the top 10 for Mantlo's Spec run or even Wolfman's ASM run.
Masked Guy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 am
WORST:

05.) Al Milgrom on Spectacular (vol. 1 #90-100)
04.) Denny O'Neil on Amazing (vol. 1 #207-223)
03.) Dan Slott on Amazing (vol. 3 #1-18) (vol. 4 #1-32)
02.) Terry Kavanagh on Web (vol. 1 #77-79, 97-120, 123-125)
01.) Howard Mackie on Amazing (vol. 2 #1-29) and just about any other title
I don't remember the Milgrom run being damagingly bad, just silly (he pretty much wrote Black Cat terribly). But hey, he created the Spot in that run, and I kinda love the Spot.

O'Neil--just mind-numbingly bad, the issues I've read.

I think Kavanagh falls in the "mostly-not-damaging-just-dumb" and forgettable category (though he played a big role in the 90's Clone debacle). Mackie's ASM Vol. 2 is the pits (for all the faults in the Mackie / Byrne run, and despite Byrne trying to rewrite history with the Chapter One crap, at least their ASM V2 still read like a Spider-Man comic more often than not), but I would give the top spot to slott in the worst category at this point, because of all the damage he's wrought on the characters over a long, interminable run.

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Re: The Best & Worst Eras of Spider-Man

Post by Masked Guy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:41 pm

Cheesedique wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am
Masked Guy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 am
BEST:

10.) David Michelinie & Todd McFarlane on Amazing (vol. 1 #298-329)
09.) Mark Millar & Terry Dodson on Marvel Knights (vol. 1 #1-12)
08.) Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley on Ultimate (vol. 1 #1-160)
07.) Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz on Amazing (vol. 1 #252-261, 263, 265, 268-271, 273-277, 283)
06.) JMS & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 2 #30-58) (vol. 1 #500-508)
05.) Peter David & various artists on Spectacular (vol. 1 #103, 104-110, 112-113, 115-119, 121-123, 128-129, 134-136)
04.) J.M. DeMatteis, Sal Buscema & Luke Ross on Spectacular (vol. 1 #178-200, 241-258)
03.) Roger Stern & John Romita Jr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #224-227, 229-251)
02.) Gerry Conway & various artists on Amazing (vol. 1 #112-149)
01.) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko & John Romita Sr. on Amazing (vol. 1 #1-100)

These are the eras that should be held as the gold standard for Spider-Man comics in my opinion.
Top 5 looks pretty legit.

Yep, I would cosign on all of these, except Bendis & Ultimate. If we were to limit it to just 616-Spider-Man I would probably find a spot somewhere in the top 10 for Mantlo's Spec run or even Wolfman's ASM run.
Those would probably be honorable mentions on my list. Speaking of which, what is it about Ultimate Spider-Man that you dislike so much?
Cheesedique wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am
Masked Guy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 am
WORST:

05.) Al Milgrom on Spectacular (vol. 1 #90-100)
04.) Denny O'Neil on Amazing (vol. 1 #207-223)
03.) Dan Slott on Amazing (vol. 3 #1-18) (vol. 4 #1-32)
02.) Terry Kavanagh on Web (vol. 1 #77-79, 97-120, 123-125)
01.) Howard Mackie on Amazing (vol. 2 #1-29) and just about any other title
I don't remember the Milgrom run being damagingly bad, just silly (he pretty much wrote Black Cat terribly). But hey, he created the Spot in that run, and I kinda love the Spot.
I primarily included Milgrom because of (as you mentioned) his awful characterization of The Black Cat. His stories were mostly forgettable, but he made Felicia so obnoxious and unlikable that I was relived when Spider-Man finally dumped her in issue #100. In fairness, Bill Mantlo started the steady decline of Felicia's character back in issue #87 when Spidey revealed his identity to her and she freaked out, but Milgrom only ended up making her worse as the series progressed.
Cheesedique wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am
O'Neil--just mind-numbingly bad, the issues I've read.
It's funny because O'Neil's run has all but faded into obscurity with hardly anyone ever speaking of or acknowledging it despite taking place in the main flagship title (Amazing). That just goes to show how dull and unmemorable his stint truly is.
Cheesedique wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am
I think Kavanagh falls in the "mostly-not-damaging-just-dumb" and forgettable category (though he played a big role in the 90's Clone debacle).
Clone Saga aside, I agree that Kavanagh's stories (similar to O'Neil's) were simply poorly-told with no real impact. That and the fact that Web of Spider-Man has never been the character's most popular title are probably the reasons so few people ever talk about him.
Cheesedique wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:35 am
Mackie's ASM Vol. 2 is the pits (for all the faults in the Mackie / Byrne run, and despite Byrne trying to rewrite history with the Chapter One crap, at least their ASM V2 still read like a Spider-Man comic more often than not), but I would give the top spot to slott in the worst category at this point, because of all the damage he's wrought on the characters over a long, interminable run.
Mackie's (or more accurately, Bob Harras's) boneheaded decision to kill Mary Jane Watson-Parker off in a plane crash at the end of Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #13 bothered me so much that I refused to read the rest of his run. It takes a special kind of bad to make me do that, hence me placing Mackie at the bottom spot. As horrible as Slott's run has been, I at least haven't been offended to the point of quitting...yet. Give him time though.

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