Library JournalIn the previous five volumes of his excellent run on this, the original Spider-Man series, Straczynski (Babylon 5) has shaken up Peter Parker's life in many ways: with a new job; revelations about the possible origin and nature of his powers; a reconciliation with his wife, Mary Jane; and the discovery by his Aunt May of his secret identity. This volume features an anniversary story, culminating in the series' 500th issue, in which Spider-Man, while attempting to stem an extradimensional invasion alongside other heroes, is thrown into the far past and must relive selected moments of his life while returning to the present. The endless fighting and tragedy weigh him down, but he recommits himself to the struggle. Many other superhero comics would use this occasion simply as a celebration of the hero, but Straczynski inserts a kernel of darkness, as Spider-Man glimpses a possible tragic future for himself. The art by penciller John Romita Jr. (assisted by his father) and inker Scott Hanna is fluid and dynamic, while Straczynski exhibits irreverence and edginess while remaining unshakably true to the character. This outstanding superhero series is recommended for teens and adults at all libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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