The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 1

The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 1

by Stan Lee

In 1962, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko gave birth to one of the most-enduring icons in American popular media: the one and only Amazing Spider-Man! Turning the concept of a super hero on its head, they imbued the young, guilt-ridden Peter Parker with the fantastic powers of an arachnid and the fantastic pressures of an everyday teenager. The combination was pure magic during the course of 40 issues of web-slinging, wisecracking wonderment Lee and Ditko built the foundation for 45 years of Spidey spectaculars - girl trouble; bill trouble; bully trouble; the Daily Bugle; and a cast friends, family and, of course, supervillains unlike any other!Collecting: Amazing Fantasy 15; Amazing Spider-Man 1-38, Annual 1-2; Fantastic Four Annual 1; Strange Tales Annual 2

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I say, "almost," but then upon further consideration you would understand the difference between Ditko's clean, efficient storytelling, dynamic renderings, and extraordinary layouts, and those of the comic artists working (for the most part) in the superhero trenches today.

This represents the entire Stan Lee/Steve Ditko run - a watershed of popular culture and arguably the most important development of "heroes in tights" since Superman's debut in 1938's Action Comics #1. First of all the stories are great - a unique mix of action and soap opera pathos. Now don't get me wrong - just because this run represents Spider-Man's best era doesn't mean he's not shone elsewhere. In fact it is really hard to compare the two since Romita's art is much different though very beautiful in its own right.

Yet, one of my greatest shames was the fact that I would buy the Spider-Man comics but never read them; I was one of those kids who kept his comics sealed at all times thinking they were going to increase in value in a few years...boy was I wrong. The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 1 collects a several dozen of the original issues of comics as well as Spider-Man's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15. Of course, no character is more of a fan-favorite than Peter Parker Spider-Man himself. Stan Lee wrote Amazing Fantasy #15 in August of 1962, starring the Amazing Spider-Man for the first time ever; that same year, Steve Ditko designed the iconic Spider-Man costume that has remained a staple of his character to this day. The reason why Spider-Man never faltered in popularity or importance, neither as a character nor as a symbol, is all thanks to the dynamic duo of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Were it not for Lee's relatable writing of Peter Parker, Ditko's fun and intense action sequencing, their vast imagination for character creation, and their love for the fans, it is fair to assume that the Spider-Man many of us know and love would never have come into existence. To envision a pop cultural landscape without the influences of comic books' greatest visionary tag-team in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko is a depressing notion, indeed, for their scope of influence has reached numerous generations of fans young and old, of all backgrounds, who all discovered through Lee's writing and Ditko's art that even someone as super as Spider-Man can face the same plights as the average boy or girl and still remain just as human as any one of us. If you are looking for your fix of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko at their best, you need not look any further than The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 1, a collection of storied comic books which pioneered the entirety of the modern-day superhero industry and defined the greatest superhero of all-time for generations to come.

Great fun watching Spider-Man develop and transform in these early issues.

Lee gives Spider-Man the witty quips we've come to expect, while Ditko's art is fundamental in showing how these great characters move and interact.

It's always nice to be able to travel back to the beginning of a long running series.