Do they still count as spoilers when the comics are
three decades old? In any event, those who don’t
know why Peter started dating Mary Jane instead of
Gwen or why Peter doesn’t spend a lot of time with
Harry Osborn anymore probably shouldn’t read on.

General Information

Title: Essential Spider-Man Vol. 6

Credited to: Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, John Romita,
Ross Andru, Gil Kane
and friends.

Original Publication Date: 2004 reprint of material
first published
from 1972-1974

ISBN: 0-7851-1365-7

Cover Price: $16.99 US, $27.25 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

One of the most significant periods in Spider-Man’s
career is
collected, including the deaths of Gwen Stacy and
Norman Osborn, the
introduction of the Punisher and Man-Wolf, the
beginning of the Peter
and Mary Jane romance, and the creation of a new
Green Goblin.

The issues collected include Amazing Spider-Man
#114-137
,
Giant Sized Spider-Man #1, 2, and
Giant-Sized
Super-Heroes #1
.

High Point

The creation of the new Green Goblin. Harry’s little
mindbender was
nicely handled, and his first appearance in the
costume was well
written.

Low Point

The Man-Wolf. Marvel monster comics were good, and
they were popular,
but I don’t think they really mixed with the regular
Marvel characters
very well. The others had their own titles they
could cross-promote,
but the Man-Wolf was created for Spider-Man with a
lousy, meaningless
origin.

The Scores

I give them originality credit for taking
chances. The death
of Gwen Stacy is a big one; at the time, it must have
been almost as
though the Distinguished Competition had killed Lois
Lane. I give it
5 out of 6.

The artwork was well done, although it was
poorly reproduced
in the Giant-Sized Super Heroes issue. Ross Andru
draws (drew?) a
nice Spider-Man, with some fast-paced action, and
some great use of
shadows. This art holds up, even without the colour.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The story had some excellent moments, and
some very forced
and awkward moments. I still don’t get the point of
the
Spider-Mobile. I give it 4 out of 6.



The characterization was very well done.
We’ve got depth for
Mary Jane, some excellent turmoil in the aftermath of
Gwen’s death,
and a very interesting creation of a new villain. I
give it 5 out of
6.

The emotional response produced goes from
very effective
(again, Gwen and Harry) to very bland (Man-Wolf,
Dracula, etc.). I
give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is fairly well done. They still
pack in too much
conversation for the time elapsed in the action
depicted, and some of
the timelines don’t seem to work out, but the story
progression itself
is very well done. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very good collection, and
better than
Essential volumes 4 and 5. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Essential Spider-Man Vol. 6
receives 32 out of 42.