The Amazing Stephen Colbert

by Alan Rapp on October 23, 2008

in Comics

  • Title: The Amazing Spider-Man #573
  • Comic Vine: link

“Hey, aren’t you TV’s Stephen Colbert?  You look more liberal in person.”

Marvel has screwed the pooch so utterly on Spidey’s continuity it’s hard for me to get a bearing in this issue.  The story begins with Spidey and Anti-Venom breaking into Norman Osborn‘s base to take down some baddies.

The story includes appearances by Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin, Harry Osborn, a Venom-ized Scorpion, Songbird, Radioactive Man, Aunt May, and Harry’s new squeeze Lily (who seems to have a thing for Peter – that should turn out well).

Let’s start with the fact that Norman, Harry, and, to a lesser extent May, all play important roles in this issue and all are supposed to be dead.  In the old Marvel Universe when someone died they stayed dead, now it’s filled with the resurrected.  There’s less walking dead in an Evil Dead flick!  What’s next, you gonna’ dig up Uncle Ben?

And why does no one seem to know Peter Parker is Spider-Man?  Aside from the fact that both Norman and Harry learned Peter’s secret years ago, didn’t Spidey out himself to the entire Marvel Universe during Civil War?  Come to think of it, why isn’t Peter, and not just Spider-Man, a fugitive?

And then there’s the character of Lily in a desperate attempt to recreate the Peter/Harry/MJ love triangle from years back without Mary Jane – whose spark is seriously missing here.

But this issue isn’t a totally bummer as it does slightly redeem itself with an additional Stephen Colbert tale which includes a great take on “Spider-Man No More” and Stephen stepping up to help Spidey against the Grizzly (a perfect villain!).  The two Web-heads I’m giving the comic both come from this story.

The only reason to pick up this issue is the short Colbert story tacked on at the end.  Although quite humorous (Colbert “helping” Spidey is a lot of fun) it doesn’t save the issue from being a real downer.  Marvel has garbled and complicated Spidey’s world to such an extent he is the only recognizable character in it, and only just barely.  How about scrapping the Brand New Day garbage and going back to the drawing board and fixing Spidey from the ground up?  All these patches, returned characters, and continuity issues, are starting to wear thin.

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