The Amazing Spider-man #646

As seems to be the way with Marvel Comics these days, Amazing Spider-man issue #646 came in 3 different covers. Nowaday's I've overcome the obsessiveness, so only feel the urge to buy one copy of a comic I like. I plumped for the vampire variant cover. Marvel comics, like everyone else, is trying to make a fast buck on the Twilight bandwagon, and has vampires running wild all over the Marvel Universe. The X-Men are currently having a big bust up with Dracula no less, and this cover is promoting that storyline.

The last time comic book publishers went into overdrive with variant covers was in the early to mid 90s when many shops shut, Marvel went bankrupt, creativity went out the window, replaced by 1 comic book with 5 spangly different covers, usually one with a hologram. Speculators snapped these up as investments which they soon realised would not mature, and walked away from buying comics. Chaos and the market collapsed. You can read more about this here, but it's really not an especially good read - lots of numbers crunching.

Anyway I think the publishers have learned their lesson, and are a bit more measured with the marketing gimmicks, but it's creeping back into the market...not a good thing.

This cover is a pretty straightforward homage (rip off) to Amazing Fantasy 15, and looks quite nice. It's by Mike Mayhew who I don't know too well - he seems to be doing some pretty regular comic book cover work - nothing too top-selling, so getting a Spidey cover is a pretty good gig for him I'd say.

The issue itself is pretty standard fare - part 5 of "Origin of The Species" where Spiderman has been trying to get the infant goblin baby before the bad guys get to it. A different Spidey villain pops up every other few pages. I did like Tombstone appearing - was always a fan - but he doesn't look as good when not pencilled by Sal Buscema. The colours have been dark and muddy and the inks heavy and unsubtle - all a bit rushed looking. Written by Mark Waid more well known for his work on DC, this storyline is rumbling along to an end - I think the sooner it get's there the better. 6 issues could have been done in 3. It's all fairly predictable stuff.

Roll on issue 648 with new creative team, change of direction and hopefully the cobwebs of recent months will be blown off.



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