View Poll Results: What grade would give Len Wein/ Ross Andru's Amazing Spider-Man?

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

    2 4.76%
  • A: A great Spider-Man run

    12 28.57%
  • B: A good Spider-Man run.

    18 42.86%
  • C: A pedestrian and unremarkable Spider-Man run.

    9 21.43%
  • 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,

    1 2.38%
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  1. #1

    Default How would you rate Len Wein/ Ross Andru's run of Amazing Spider-Man?

    Amazing Spider-Man #151-180 is a significant Spider-Man run that isn't discussed a whole lot, so I'm curious as to what the opinions are. Len Wein was the third major writer on Spider-Man, and he had a distinctive run that built to a five-issue final arc.

    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.

    Sal Buscuma illustrated Amazing Spider-Man #154-155. Wein didn't write the Spider-Man annuals at the time, so I'm not counting those as part of the run. Wein had an earlier run of Marvel Team-Up although that had been over for an year by the time he came to Amazing Spider-Man.

  2. #2
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    The art gets a solid A, maybe A+. Writing gets a B.

    As a run, its worth re-reading. Nothing game-changing or epic about it, just solid and entertaining storytelling with great art that was heavily laced with New York set pieces. When I think of MJ, its usually Andru's MJ that comes to mind.
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  3. #3
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    I should mention that now Amazing 169-180 are being collected in the latest Marvel Masterworks for Spider-Man this coming August, so anybody who either wants to relive those great memories or discover a hidden gem in the long and storied run of Spider-Man . . .
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  4. #4
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    I've only read the Shocker two-parter that opens the run (which I very much liked), and the Green Goblin III five-parter that closes the run (which I thought was pretty good). So I refrained from voting. Really looking forward to reading this era for this first time, but I haven't read all of the Conway run before it (which I think I should read first).

  5. #5
    Mighty Member oldschool's Avatar
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    A very good run; somewhere between a B and A for me; Ross Andru's art never looked better and there are at least 2 classic stories here: the Ock/Hammerhead war and the 5-part Green Goblin III arc that closes his run. The 2-part Shocker story that opened his run was also quite good though not classic. In between, though, there were some fairly pedestrian stories such as The Hitman, Tinkerer and Kingpin tales but, all in all, a very solid run. It probably suffers from following directly two writers named Stan Lee and Gerry Conway.

  6. #6

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    I'll give it a B.

    It's a good run, and starts out really strong with the best Shocker story until Unscheduled Stop, and a great standalone about the people affected by Spidey. The art's incredible, a reminder that Ross Andru is one of the best Spider-Man artists ever (and I've heard some arguments for getting rid of the "one of" qualifier.) I recommend the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast where Len Wein is one of the hosts, and often talks about what he was trying to do with the series. He built up subplots pretty well, tied almost everything up in the end, and incorporated specific New York landmarks rather nicely into the narrative.

    I think the series suffered from the page count restrictions. Peter's private life took a hit. This was a series where his supporting cast had more interesting adventures, especially Harry. It's the first run where nothing changed for Peter. The villains were also a mixed bag, with the A-plots either silly or kinda bland. But man, the art was nice.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I'll give it a B.

    It's a good run, and starts out really strong with the best Shocker story until Unscheduled Stop, and a great standalone about the people affected by Spidey. The art's incredible, a reminder that Ross Andru is one of the best Spider-Man artists ever (and I've heard some arguments for getting rid of the "one of" qualifier.) I recommend the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast where Len Wein is one of the hosts, and often talks about what he was trying to do with the series. He built up subplots pretty well, tied almost everything up in the end, and incorporated specific New York landmarks rather nicely into the narrative.

    I think the series suffered from the page count restrictions. Peter's private life took a hit. This was a series where his supporting cast had more interesting adventures, especially Harry. It's the first run where nothing changed for Peter. The villains were also a mixed bag, with the A-plots either silly or kinda bland. But man, the art was nice.
    2 quick points:

    1) It wasn't just the page count restrictions that took the focus off of Peter's civilian life; it was the launch---during this exact period (right around ASM #160 or so)---of the PP:SSM title that was executed so that there would be another title that would focus more on that. IIRC, the early days of the PP:SSM title focused heavily on Peter's life at ESU.

    2) And yes; it was around this time that Peter's life slowed down dramatically in terms of change and growth. I would say from roughly ASM #151 straight through the wedding ( a solid decade), there was little real change and that was clearly an editorial change and not something that could be pinned on any writer or writers.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    2 quick points:

    1) It wasn't just the page count restrictions that took the focus off of Peter's civilian life; it was the launch---during this exact period (right around ASM #160 or so)---of the PP:SSM title that was executed so that there would be another title that would focus more on that. IIRC, the early days of the PP:SSM title focused heavily on Peter's life at ESU.

    2) And yes; it was around this time that Peter's life slowed down dramatically in terms of change and growth. I would say from roughly ASM #151 straight through the wedding ( a solid decade), there was little real change and that was clearly an editorial change and not something that could be pinned on any writer or writers.
    It's a fair point that Spectacular was supposed to have the focus on Peter's civilian life. I don't think it was very successful for the majority of Wein's run, partly because Spectacular didn't have a consistent writer for some time, which made it difficult to have the necessary subplots. The first twleve issues had five writers. Mantlo became the main writer around the 9th issue, although there were occassional fill-ins, likely to get rid of inventory issues by Maggin and Claremont. It also took a while for Mantlo to get going with his first two issues a clumsy take on campus radicalism, followed by the four part return of Sha Shan that made one list of the dumbest non-clone saga stories.

    Wein's run was one in which there wasn't even the attempt at the illusion of change for Peter. Everything stayed the same for him, with the same girlfriend, job and school, in the beginning and the end.

    Wolfman shook up the status quo, by moving Peter to grad school, where his supporting cast changed, and breaking him up with MJ.

    Peter was at the Daily Globe during O'Neil's run.

    Stern had Peter quit school to focus on his photography.

    Defalco had a supporting character discover Peter's secret.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    This is the quintessential "OK" for me. Out of 28 issues, 24 were exactly 5 out of 10, one was 5.5 and two were 4.5, only the Nova crossover really tanked. Such regularity is very rare.

  10. #10
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I'll give it a B.

    It's a good run, and starts out really strong with the best Shocker story until Unscheduled Stop, and a great standalone about the people affected by Spidey. The art's incredible, a reminder that Ross Andru is one of the best Spider-Man artists ever (and I've heard some arguments for getting rid of the "one of" qualifier.) I recommend the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast where Len Wein is one of the hosts, and often talks about what he was trying to do with the series. He built up subplots pretty well, tied almost everything up in the end, and incorporated specific New York landmarks rather nicely into the narrative.

    I think the series suffered from the page count restrictions. Peter's private life took a hit. This was a series where his supporting cast had more interesting adventures, especially Harry. It's the first run where nothing changed for Peter. The villains were also a mixed bag, with the A-plots either silly or kinda bland. But man, the art was nice.
    I voted B, but I really mean B+. This is a good summary of the pros and cons of the run. Following Stan & Conway was a tough shoe to fill, and I'm sure that plays at a part in the disappointment.
    Thank you AMericA for votinG for chAnge.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Tuck's Avatar
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    This gets into the area where I start to get blurry on where exactly the creative teams started and ended and which specific stories were in there. I know I was enjoying the stories in this period though.

    Was the one about the former football prospect who ran across the field to save his daughter in this run? (Feels like the right period of time.)

    There's something so glorious in it's ridiculousness about Razorback. I love that guy.

    They could bring him back as someone who speaks in internet lingo all day.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Wolfman shook up the status quo, by moving Peter to grad school, where his supporting cast changed, and breaking him up with MJ.

    Peter was at the Daily Globe during O'Neil's run.
    It was Mantlo, who introduced Morris Sloan, Marcy Kane, Debra Whitman, Steve Hopkins, Chip Martin… he also reintroduced Philip Chang as a teachers assistant. In general, The Bugle was left for ASM and Empire State University for PPSSM, I always thought this was a good arrangement.

    The Daily Globe era ended just as O'Neil's run started, it was entirely a Wolfman's thing. It began in FF #207, actually.
    Last edited by Ozymandias; 05-21-2015 at 08:57 AM.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
    Was the one about the former football prospect who ran across the field to save his daughter in this run? (Feels like the right period of time.)
    Yes, ASM #153.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuck View Post
    This gets into the area where I start to get blurry on where exactly the creative teams started and ended and which specific stories were in there. I know I was enjoying the stories in this period though.

    Was the one about the former football prospect who ran across the field to save his daughter in this run? (Feels like the right period of time.)



    Yes, that was ASM #153 ("The Longest Yard"); one of the very best one-and-done issues from that era.

  15. #15
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    The fact that this run did not have major changes to Peter was a plus for me. Writers get too wrapped up sometimes in doing something noteworthy and they often make it feel forced or are obviously doing it just for the sake of making their run memorable. There is nothing wrong with picking up a good Spider-Man story and enjoying it. He doesn't have to have a big change in his life every five minutes.

    Besides, we all know that the "changes" are illusion of change anyway so who's fooling who here?
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

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