Amazing Spider-Man Annual #37 was a great read. Annuals can be hit-or-miss, especially with the later Spider-Man annuals in the 2000s, but this just hearkens back to the solid and quality storytelling of the old days, the first 100 or 200 issues of ASM that gave significant character focus and development.
I love this highlight on Peter's feelings about the Star-Spangled Avenger. It sums up everything I love about their relationship, how Peter admires Cap's incorruptible moral center and how Cap is an inspiration to him. It's stories like this that makes the MCU portrayal that much more disappointing, where Pete's only relationship with him was that he's a criminal that needs to be arrested, and his whole "idol worship" was replaced with Tony Stark instead. Just another reason why I hated MCU's Golden Avenger.
And Cap's feelings about the web-slinger here makes for an interesting read too. Cap's presence in this annual doesn't really overshadow Spidey in his own book, so I don't mind. I love that he's one of the few people who really trusts and understands Spidey for the responsible and self-sacrificing hero he is. When Captain America, the god's righteous man, the hero whose moral compass is the most ideal kind of moral there is, trusts you and approves you as a worthy hero, that's a big freaking deal, which is yet another reason why I loved the relationship of these two.
Let's hope that future MCU films could at least reflect some aspects of the relationship here, maybe showing their mutual respect for each other's extraordinary morality. But with Chris Evans' contract coming to an end after A4, that dream might not come to pass. Oh well.
The second story for this annual was a fun little tale as well. I thought it's going to go all meta like the "Spider-Man meets Stan Lee" episode in the '90s animated series, which would have been more fun, but I'll take what I can get. This tale follows an in-universe version of Stan Lee offering a comic book deal to Spidey. I do feel like this second story is a little more by-the-numbers as it focused more on the consequences of Spidey getting his own comic book deal. I kinda wish they showed more of the motivation why Stan wanted to write a book about him in the first place (which didn't get highlighted till the very end), because that's the kind of stuff I would want to read about in a "Stan Lee meets Spider-Man" story. It does weaken the annual a little bit since it feels like filler material, but it's always fun to see Stan Lee in a comic book, so I'll give it a pass.
Overall Rating: 4/5