View Poll Results: How would you rate Tom DeFalco's first run of Amazing Spider-Man?

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  • A+: Among the all-time best comic book runs.

    3 12.00%
  • A: A great Spider-Man run

    11 44.00%
  • B: A good Spider-Man run.

    11 44.00%
  • C: A pedestrian and unremarkable Spider-Man run.

    0 0%
  • D: A poor Spider-Man run. The material is usually not worth reading.

    0 0%
  • F: Even worse than the above.

    0 0%
  • N/A: Haven't/ Won't Read It

    0 0%
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  1. #1

    Default How would you rate Tom DeFalco's first run of Amazing Spider-Man?

    I asked a similar question on Len Wein's run, but I recently reread Tom DeFalco's first Amazing Spider-Man run, so I'm curious what others think of it.

    To explain the potential scores, as it's possible for one man's B to be another man's C...
    An A+ is the highest score. It's meant to be pretty rare, an indication that this run is up there with the best of the medium (Frank Miller's Daredevil, Byrne/ Claremont X-Men, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, etc.)
    An A is impressive, but not quite on that level. It would be among the best for the character.
    A B indicates that the run is good but not great. The majority of the material is still worth rereading. In terms of quality, it's largely a success.
    A C is pedestrian. It's neither good nor bad, and most of the material is probably not worth rereading.
    A D is poor. It's a flat out failure. Most of the material isn't worth reading in the first place.
    An F is worse.

    DeFalco wrote Amazing Spider-Man #251-252 over Roger Stern's plots, before becoming the main writer. Due to fill-ins, he wrote Amazing Spider-Man #253-261, 263, 265, 268-277. Charles Vess wrote half of Amazing Spider-Man #277. He plotted Amazing Spider-Man #278, and wrote #279-283. Jim Owsley wrote over his plots for Amazing Spider-Man #284-285, so the credits are more difficult than average.

    Frequent artists included Ron Frenz, Rick Leonardi and Brett Breeding.

  2. #2
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    It was potentially great - up to #261 it was pretty close to the standard/tone set by Roger Stern. The Puma/Black Cat/Mary Jane-reveal/red-and-blue return/Hobgoblin sequence is A+ stuff, but then all the fill-in issues and consequent lack of focus lead to a strange period, quite bitty, and it feels like Spider-Man only really got going on again with Kraven's Last Hunt and then the McFarlane/Michelinie era. I would love to have read a solid Defalco run, but it seems like backstage politics got in the way of it. I'll give it a B.

  3. #3
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    B for me as well. There were a few "A" moments, such as the earliest stuff and the later Gang War teaming with Owsley, but most of it is good and not great. Worth reading, for certain.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  4. #4
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    I'll always love this era--the issue with black suit Spidey clutching his arm while being stalked by Puma on the cover was one of the first Spider-Man issues I can remember being handed as a kid.

    As for the run itself, it was usually top quality. I still haven't read all the issues from it yet, but I think based on what I have read, which is most of it, it's one of the best Spider-Man runs.

  5. #5
    Mighty Member oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esskay View Post
    It was potentially great - up to #261 it was pretty close to the standard/tone set by Roger Stern. The Puma/Black Cat/Mary Jane-reveal/red-and-blue return/Hobgoblin sequence is A+ stuff, but then all the fill-in issues and consequent lack of focus lead to a strange period, quite bitty, and it feels like Spider-Man only really got going on again with Kraven's Last Hunt and then the McFarlane/Michelinie era. I would love to have read a solid Defalco run, but it seems like backstage politics got in the way of it. I'll give it a B.
    Totally agreed; I would say B+ if that was an option but totally onboard with all that you said.

  6. #6
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    I rate it at B+/A-, so I rounded up to A.

    It had a lot of great stuff. DeFalco pretty much continued after Stern seamlessly. The continuation of the Hobgoblin plot went well. The fight in issue #261 was a highlight. He had Mary Jane reveal she knew his secret identity, which deepened their relationship and made the marriage possible. He created Silver Sable, Puma, and Black Fox, all great additions to the Spidey mythos.

    The downside of his run were the frequent fill ins and not being able to finish his run, which screwed up the end of the original Hobgoblin story. These weren't really his fault. Jim Owsley/Priest had an essay on his website explaining his regrets when he edited the titles.

    Overall he added a lot a great stories without any stinkers. Which is the sign of a great run.

  7. #7

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    I'll give it a B.

    It started really well, and had a messy middle. The last issues were pretty good, until DeFalco left just as the Gang War storyline was kicking off, which meant that many of the subplots would get a disappointing conclusion.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    My average rating for Amazing Spider-Man #253-261, 263, 265, 268-277 (discarding the part Charles Vess wrote) and 279-283, would be of 4,57692308/10 (I don't know what that equates to, in the poll). Those are the ones fully written by DeFalco and drawn by Frenz, except for four Leonardi issues and one by Sal Buscema.
    Last edited by Ozymandias; 10-14-2015 at 01:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I'll give it a B.

    It started really well, and had a messy middle. The last issues were pretty good, until DeFalco left just as the Gang War storyline was kicking off, which meant that many of the subplots would get a disappointing conclusion.
    I really like #280-281, the Sinister Syndicate issues. Great stuff, my favorite work of DeFalco's. I must have read them a dozen times each.

    I think it's interesting to note that DeFalco's was the first run to have two company-wide mega crossovers (Secret Wars 1 and 2) running and intruding on the run.

  10. #10
    Fantastic Member Turlast's Avatar
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    I also give it a B.

    I really enjoyed the Hobgoblin issue where he kidnapped Mary Jane, the pregnant Liz, and Harry. The Firelord story was pretty fun, too.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member John Ossie's Avatar
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    I'll give it a B.

    A lot of good stuff there but nothing I'd say was A worthy.

  12. #12
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    Objectively, it's probably a B but for nostalgia purposes I give it an A. It's possibly my favorite Spidey era. DeFalco and Frenz made such an ideal Spidey team and their run was just a fun ride. It's just a shame that that got booted before they could a) finish the Gang War plotline as that had the makings of a great story but, in other hands, ended up being mostly a fizzle and b) reveal the Hobgoblin's ID - another storyline that was botched by their successors.

    At least Stern and Romita Jr got to go out on a high point with a great Hobgoblin issue. DeFalco and Frenz, on the other hand, were just suddenly gone with no fanfare and no closure. Had they gotten to end things on their own terms, I suspect their run would be much better remembered. As is, it's a solid run (much like Wein's run, it's always lively and embodies a classic Spidey feel throughout but yet yields no real 'classic' individual stories) that sadly ends far too abruptly.

  13. #13

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    I enjoyed it. I caught his run at its initial back-end, then eventually picked up a number of back issues. The partnership with Frenz cannot be overstated.

    Honorable mention for Mr. Owsley/Priest, who had to juggle different editorial sensibilities and polarizing office politics that reached a crescendo during that era.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    I enjoyed it. I caught his run at its initial back-end, then eventually picked up a number of back issues. The partnership with Frenz cannot be overstated.

    Honorable mention for Mr. Owsley/Priest, who had to juggle different editorial sensibilities and polarizing office politics that reached a crescendo during that era.
    According to some of the people involved, Owsley/Priest was a prime agitator of much of the polarizing office politics so I'm not so sure if he rates an 'honorable mention' in this regard - although I've loved him as a writer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    According to some of the people involved, Owsley/Priest was a prime agitator of much of the polarizing office politics so I'm not so sure if he rates an 'honorable mention' in this regard - although I've loved him as a writer.
    The era of Spider-Man where Owsley/Priest was the Spidey group editor was a great time for the character. All the titles were top-notch, save for the occasional inventory issues (which was Jim Shooter's mandate as EIC, that the books simply could not ship late).

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