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Review: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37

Flashback stories you'll want to read.

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Annuals are either really good or really bad. We get an oversized issue and often the stories can feel like throw-away ones. Nothing really major happens. Telling new "flashback" stories can be tricky as well. We're supposed to believe that these stories really happened, yet, there's never been any mention of these events in the character's histories (because they were just recently written). How will these two Spider-Man tales stack up?

The Good

The first story tells the first meeting between Spider-Man and Captain America. Let's think about that, two of my favorite Marvel characters. The writing by Karl Kesel and art by Paulo Siqueira are a treat. This is early in Spidey's career. While reading the first few pages I wondered when this was supposed to take place. You know what they did here? They actually put in a footnote indicating that this story took place a few days after Avengers #11.
Spider-Man really geeks out inside when he first talks to Captain America. Mentioning (to himself) how Uncle Ben used to go on and on about him was a nice touch. It was also great seeing Spider-Man be able to use his brilliant mind to help out the super-brilliant Rogue Scholars. Too often Spidey's intelligence is overlooked due to his "witty puns."
The second story brought a big smile on my face since it brought back the original team of creators for Untold Tales of Spider-Man ( Kurt Busiek & Pat Olliffe). If you haven't and are able to, you have to read that series from 1995. Again, it's new "old" Spider-Man stories. They were written in a way that fits in perfectly with the old existing stories. I really feel like digging out my old collection of those issues.

The Bad

There wasn't a lot of "bad" here. Of course you have the fact that these stories won't really have a huge impact on Spidey's future. Normally that bothers me a little but these stories were simply fun that it's not a big deal. The only other thing that bothered me was the first story was updated to fit in with current times. It makes sense to do but if the story took place after Avengers #11 in 1964, it felt weird hearing Cap talk about computers and looking up information on Wikipedia.

The Verdict - 5/5

If you're a Spider-Man fan, there's no question whether or not you'll enjoy this. This is what comics should be about. Fun well written stories with stellar artwork. Don't let this issue pass you buy if you don't normally buy Annuals. The funny thing was, in between reading and getting ready to write this review, I was hesitant to look at the price. I feared that with today's prices, this would really be steep. If you look, it's only $3.99. That right there is...amazing. Buy this comic.