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Issues #30-39

J. Michael Straczynski takes on Amazing Spider-Man and a new era unfolds as he kicks off his run with a story that will forever change the way Peter Parker looks at himself—and his ever-amazing alter ego! JMS took over the writing for Amazing Spider-Man starting with issue #30 (or issue #471 for those keeping track at home). It is one of the hotest comic series out there so don't miss out!

NOTE: Comics are listed by issue number from oldest to newest.

Issue: 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39
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#30 (471): Transformations, Literal & Otherwise
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Apr 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Straczynski takes Peter Parker back to his roots as the everyman with superpowers, introduces an intriguing plot regarding the web-head's origin and sets up an intriguing mystery villain.

OTHER EDITIONS:
I have yet to collect this other edition that was signed by JMS.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I admit that I was skeptical reading these comics for a while. The only reason I bought them was because they had JMS' name on it and I tend to buy everything he touches. You see, I am not a huge comic book fan in general and even less so of the big name ones. They are generally too commercial for my tastes and I didn't think I would be able to follow the story.

Anyway, I opened up this issue reluctantly and I regretted ever putting it off to begin with! I thought it was quite funny (I especially liked the reference about the pockets) and very well drawn. I could tell JMS was setting the mood and story when ... bam! A new and interesting character is introduced (Ezekiel) who appears to share the same powers. He asks Spidey a question that will turn his whole world upside down. Finally, we see a glimpse of a new villain (Morlun) who could spell big trouble for the wall crawler.

JMS AT B5 SAID:
FEB.15.2001
I can tell you one small thing...and it's something I won't be pulling out for a few issues..there's something that nobody's dared to do with the character before, but which fans have been speculating about and wondering about for over thirty years. So suffice to say I have something rather major in mind...

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#31 (472): Coming Home
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: May 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Peter Parker embarks on a new career that will take him back to his roots -- and possibly unearth them! Meanwhile, dark forces rally against our favorite wall-crawler!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
In this issue, Spidey reflects on the question Ezekiel asked him and about certain events in his life. For a new reader, I found this quite helpful but I can see how some people might find it unnecessary. Also, we get to find out a little more about Ezekiel and what his intentions are. Then, we are teased with a little more information about Morlun before Peter starts his new job at his old high school. Again, I can tell that JMS is doing a little more reflection on Spidey as he finishes his first day of work. Not a whole lot going on in this issue but I sense JMS has something up his sleeve.

JMS AT B5 SAID:
FEB.22.2001
[I]t's actually been no more difficult than the Top Cow work because they're letting me do pretty much whatever I want, so it's a great experience so far.

MAY.12.2001
Thanks. [Aunt May's] become a fun character to write. The character has largely been abandoned, just treated as a doddering old woman, but this is someone who's carried great burdens in her life, and kept her strength through it all...she needs to be given better treatment than she's gotten of late.

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#32 (473): The Long, Dark Pizza of the Soul
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Jun 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Head swimming with questions posed by the mysterious Ezekiel, Peter Parker digs into his roots -- searching for a deeper understanding of his powers ... and ultimately, himself. Meanwhile, Morlun prepares to make his move!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
Spider-Man shows off his humor again just before he goes off to his second day of his new job. It doesn't take long for Ezekial to show up and offer to explain who he is and how he knows about Peter's secret identity over pizza. I like how Ezekial explained the powers of super heros and the villians that try to defeat them. JMS has a real talent for getting to the meat of the story and this issue gives you a lot to chew on. The issue ends in a cliff hanger that made me glad I had it right there to read immediately!

JMS AT B5 SAID:
JUN.16.2001
Yeah, that's the one [referring to "Helter Skelter" muzak] ... Ezekiel's response is actually my favorite line in this issue.

JUN.16.2001
It really is kind of a different way of having the characters themselves reacting to the way things have laid out in the Marvel universe. Opens up all kinds of possibilities, and has the effect of uniting something like thirty years of Spidey villains under one metaphorical umbrella.

JUN.17.2001
I've always been weird that way, I go for the details, I like turning things around and looking at them in different ways.

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#33 (474): All Fall Down
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Jul 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Peter digs deeper into his roots searching for a better understanding of his powers after the shocking question posed by Ezekiel. Plus Morlun makes his move!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
Spider-Man is fighting for his life and perhaps, it is for the first time that he has had to fight so hard? The fight scenes are vivid and drawn incredibly well. This issue is non-stop action and it is sure to leave you breathless!

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#34 (475): Meltdown
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Jul 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
It's wall-to-wall action as Spider-Man, armed with new knowledge about himself and his powers, squares off against the enigmatic and lethal Morlun!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
The battle doesn't end here! Spider-Man has just enough time to catch his breath and lick his wounds before the action starts again. Morlun is unrelentless and ruthless. Spidey grills Ezekial about this new menace and tries to figure out how to defeat him. Then, just when you think it is over ... a surprizing end to the fight!

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#35 (476): Coming Out
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Sept 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
If J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr. shocked you before... well, this is the real deal!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
So, now that Spider-Man now has a clue to overcome this new threat to his life, he begins to lay a trap. Another death defying battle ensues and it is great to see how intense it all looks. Spidey spends the rest of the issue dealing with the repercussions of the events that happened in the last few issues. The ending was another cliff-hanger and I cannot believe that it has not come up before.

JMS AT MARVEL SAID:
JUN.17.2001
The morlun story was in a sense a warm up for the larger story, I wanted to jump in with a nice action piece, something to let me focus in on his character, and lay the foundation for the rest of it, so yeah, it's so far going according to the outline.

SEP.12.2001
You may think you've seen the greatest confrontations in Peter Parker's life. You're wrong. Since his debut in AMAZING FANTASY #15, nearly four decades ago, Peter Parker has been running from the one, singular confrontation that will change his life. The one he has feared, and dreaded, since he assumed the role of Spider-Man. He has now run out of room to run. This is a confrontation 40 years in the making. No hype. No bombast... but no clues. We can't even give you any names, because that would ruin the surprise. But starting with issue #35 - and climaxing in issue #37 - the biggest question asked by fans for decades will finally become a reality. This is the Big One. The one that will have you talking for the next year. Honest.

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#36 (477): Unititled
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Nov 2001 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
How does a comic book hero deal with devastation as real and immense as the World Trade Center attacks? Readers will find out soon, as J. Michael Straczynski has Spidey deal with the painful subject in an upcoming issue of Amazing Spider-Man.

OTHER EDITIONS:
I have yet to collect these other editions ... one signed by JMS and another signed and remarked (signed by JMS and remarked by artist Scott Hanna).

MONICA'S REVIEW:
This issue deals with Spidey's home town of New York and how it dealt with the aftermath of 9.11.2001. It really should be read by anyone and everyone no matter if you like comics, JMS, SciFi or whatever. There are really no words that can decribe it but I will do my best.

It was very powerful and just blew me away. Everyone that I have gotten to read it has come away stunned. I cried so much the first time that I had to read it again immediately after to make sure I didn't miss anything. On the third reading, I finally noticed that there was advertising! JMS and everyone involved with making this issue have outdone themselves. I really admire what JMS says and how he says it ... it really puts the whole tragedy in a whole new light. I will end this review with two quotes that I found very moving:

What do we tell the children? Do we tell them evil is a foreign face? No, the evil is the thought behind the face, and it can look just like yours.

They knocked down two tall towers. Graft now their echo onto your spine. Become girders and glass, stone and steel, so that when the world sees you, it sees them. And stand tall. Stand tall.

JMS AT B5 SAID:
JUN.17.2001
Issue 36 is a total stand-alone, of necessity, since to tie it in to any kind of comic story would, I think, diminish the real life story involved.

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#37 (478): Interlude
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Jan 2002 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
The most dreaded 'what-if?' question asked by fans for decades will finally become a reality! This is the Big One for Peter Parker. The one that will have you talking for the next year!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I am undecided on what my feelings are on this issue. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I just finished reading Midnight Nation #9 since that title has had me on the edge of my seat for the last few issues. Still, I know ASM is a different cup of tea and that is why I am uncertain how I feel about ASM #37.

Now, I don't want to spoil what the big "what-if?" question is but suffice it to say that it has gone unanswered. I guess we will get the answer in issue #38 ... argh! However, I did like the sub-plot (which really was the main focus of this issue) and I think we will be seeing more about it in future issues. Overall, my impression was that this was more of an introspective look into Peter Parker's life. He now is starting to realize that there are other things that are just as important as fighting super villians. I can only conclude that this must be JMS' way of bringing the story of Peter up to date and dealing with matters we care about in the "real world". Again, I sense some real doosies ahead here as only JMS can deliver them.

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#38 (479): The Conversation
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Feb 2002 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
It was bound to happen. And it has. Now Peter Parker's life will never be the same! The wall-crawler continues to reel in the aftermath of the startling revelations in issue #35!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I have yet to read this comic ...

JMS AT B5 SAID:
JAN.14.2001
#38 is the big talk between Peter and [...]. And it's pretty intense. #39, after their conversation, is the silent issue.

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#39 (480): Meanwhile...
Author: J. Michael Straczynski -- Published: Mar 2002 -- Format: Single Comic
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
'Nuff Said! Okay, so we all know that J. Michael Straczynski can tell an awesome story... but can he do it without words?! Time for John Romita, Jr. to cut loose!

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I have yet to read this comic ...

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Issue: 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39
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Amazing Spider-Man TPB
Amazing Spider-Man TPB
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Additional Info

Individual issues of the comics cannot be purchased through the normal book retailers like Amazon.com®. Instead, you can order the individual comics from our recommended and reliable internet retailers.

Also, many thanks goes to JMS Comics for being a great resource! (Note: They are getting a bit outdated)

Finally, a lot of work has gone into the B5 Spoiler Junkies site. It is an informative site but be warned ... it contains LOTS of spoilers!

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