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Spider-Man: The Death of Jean DeWolff (Spider-Man (Marvel)) Hardcover – 20 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: MARVEL - US (20 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785157212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785157212
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.9 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,042,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I read a library copy of the paperback.
Early excellence here from Peter David writer, but middle of the road artwork keeps it from being hailed as too high profile a classic.
The follow-up issues are included here to round out the collection but the trendsetting is all in the title story.
Almost a police procedural tale than a super-heroic one, later series such as Gotham Central and the like owe much to ground being broken here.
David creates interest and drive onto the reader marking this as a little more emotionally lasting than the average Spidey-fest.
There is also a watershed moment between Spidey and Daredevil worthy of collecting.
Whilst I think the love and affection lavished on the dead memory of Captain DeWolff is deeper and stronger than it has a right to be I accept that it helps to make the point here – bad things happen to good people.
Intelligent and grown up this is an example of how comicbooks can and probably should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul McNamee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was many years before I started noticing comic writers' names as often as I did pencillers', but one of the first I was aware of as someone whose dialogue and stories I really enjoyed was Peter David on Spider-Man 2099. Since then I've enjoyed his work on many other titles and he ranks high on my list of guys to look forward to reading, though it's taken me this long to get round to reading this particularly famous Spider-Man four-parter in which, as the less than cryptic title screams, a certain Jean DeWolff is strikingly unfortunate.

The story unfolds as something of a whodunnit, though chances are if you're at least a little well versed in Marvel history post-1990 you'll be aware of who the culprit is (though reading Venom: Sinner Takes All at a young age threw a bit of a spanner in the works as far as that was concerned, personally speaking.) Still, it's less in the tale than in the telling, and the specifics of why what happens to poor Captain DeWolff happens unfold in a sort of callous, anticlimactic way that's an awful lot more like a police procedural than you'd expect from a Spider-Man story (and isn't unlike the excellent Gotham Central, which I'd certainly recommend if you read and enjoy this). David toys with a few different narratives but manages a strict cohesion throughout and the way things develop is at least a little surprising (though fans of this sort of affair may see the final revelation coming from a mile off.) It's worth, maybe, noting that this story comes from what I occasionally refer to as The Darkening that followed the British Invasion of DC and Frank Miller's works in the 1980s but unlike a lot of "our character can be dark too" efforts from Marvel, The Death Of Jean DeWolff fits the character and never feels like a desperate attempt at anything.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Peter David's breakout stories at Marvel Comics. 23 Aug 2011
By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Peter David has been a mainstay of Marvel (and, in the mid-1990s, DC) Comics since the early 1980s, bringing a mix of intelligent humour and serious drama that few writers can equal (he's especially adept at shifting tones from comedic to dramatic and back without seeming forced). His breakthrough moment came in October of 1985, when he got a shot at writing "The Spectacular Spider-Man" for four issues (#107-110). This hardcover collection, the first time the story has been collected in nearly 21 years, is long overdue, and includes for the first time both the original story and its three-issue followup written some time later (issues #134-136 of the same series), also by David, with art by Rich Buckler and Sal Buscema. This is one of the essential Spider-Man stories, and could be considered David's best work, though there is plenty of competition for that honour. Spoilers follow.

"The Death of Jean DeWolff", the initial four-parter, was a significant story at the time of its release, and to this day is considered one of the most effective 'dark' Spider-Man stories. NYPD Captain Jean DeWolff was a recurring castmember in Spider-Man's world from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, largely within the "Marvel Team-Up" title that regularly featured Spider-Man; this story opens with a brief recap of her life history (rarely a good sign for a character), before arriving at the titular death. The rest of the story is a distraught Spider-Man's quest to apprehend her killer, the so-called Sin-Eater, who is on a rampage of purifying vengeance throughout New York City. Also involved is Daredevil, and his relationship with Spider-Man arrives at a major turning point in these pages, as they at last exchange civilian identities (or, rather, Murdock lets Peter know who he is and that he already knows Peter's ID due to his own powers). Everything about the story works, and several members of Spider-Man's longtime supporting cast (such as J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson) also have notable moments.

Less heralded than the first story but in some ways more complex and more tragic is "The Return of The Sin-Eater", published a bit more than two years later, when (somewhat implausibly) the apprehended Sin-Eater (I'll refrain from giving his real identity in this review) is released from psychiatric care into the world again. Physically maimed from his encounter with Spider-Man, he is repentant and struggles with the attempts by his psyche to reassert his Sin-Eater persona. Spider-Man, meanwhile, does not take his release well, and does not believe that he is really attempting to turn a new leaf; at the same time, Electro is at large and poses a new challenge to Spider-Man. This three-issue story is in many ways not Peter's story, but the Sin-Eater's, and its conclusion is remarkably affecting.

Some of Spider-Man's best stories, and highly recommended for fans of comics.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Arguably The Closest Spidey has Come To A Deconstruction 19 Oct 2012
By Jonathan Balofsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Produced in the 80's around the time of watchmen and the dark knight returns, the Death Of Jean Dewolff was something completely different for spider-man. The death mentioned in the title, referring to spider-man's ally police captain Jean Dewolff is murdered in her home. Not a heroic death, in fact a subversion of what people might expect. The story then takes several twists and turns and explores such things as moral relativism vs. moral absolutism and the failures of the justice system. While not a full deconstruction of spider-man and superhero comics, it does come close, particularly in the second story in which we see the reality of what would happen if someone with spider-man's strength were to unload their anger on someone. This was Peter David's first professional comic work but you can be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Everything is so well thought out and well written that one may think he wrote this well into his career.
Spider-Man gone Berserk 31 Aug 2014
By Kevin Roman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent read. Basically, Jean gets killed and Spider-Man and Daredevil have to figure out who Sin-Eater is, and he's a villain with good intentions, killing anyone who does harm. For someone with no powers, he is quite formidable though he puts Spider-Man in such a berserk rage that he fights Daredevil. Electro also makes an appearance and robs someone with a toy gun just to shoot them in a hilarious scene as he keeps a low profile.
Surprisingly Dark; A Solid Collection 28 Dec 2013
By John DeFoor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These seven issues are darker than most comics, with a touch of social commentary. There is not a bad issue here as they all tie to the Sin Eater. If you collect Spider-Man, this is definitely a trade worth owning.
Classic Spider-man in a simple package 4 Dec 2013
By Reid Sherman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another in a line of classic Marvel stories reprinted in trade paperback.

Story:
This is often placed among the top 10 Spider-man stories, and it deserves its place. In the paperback are actually two stories that are closely linked, the first four issues being Spider-man vs. the Sin-eater, and the final three being a story a year or two afterwards that is closely linked.
Jean DeWolff is a pretty minor character in the first story, and though it is implied that she played an important role in Spidey's life in the years leading up to the story, it's not important to know who she is. It plays kind of like a mystery story, with the villain's true identity and motives only gradually revealed. It's a modestly clever plot, but what makes the comic is the inner life of both Spider-man and Daredevil, who plays a very large role in the story. They both must face failure and tragedy, but draw different conclusions about justice, vengeance, and revenge. Peter David is known for examining the psychology and motivations of the superheroes he writes about, and he does it well here while keeping up a fast-moving crime story.
In the second story, Spider-man must face the consequences of his actions in the first, and make a judgement of how much good his beating up bad guys really do. He has to juggle the Sin-Eater, who may or may not be trying to overcome his criminal past, with Electro, who is openly trying to take the next step in supervillainy. Another really well-done and focused story.

Art:
This is classic mid-1980's comic book art. It has pretty regimented panels and straightforward style and coloring, but it's done well. Rick Buckler does a good job with the facial expressions and body language in the first story, and Sal Buscema in the second story goes a little bit more abstract and exaggerated, but perhaps because of when I started reading Spidey as a kid, his art is ingrained in my head as the ideal Spider-man.

Printing:
The quality of the paper is good and the art is printed at good size with clear coloring, with enough border around for page numberings and no art lost in the spine. Because there are no double-splash pages, the spine border is appreciated. There are no introductions or extras, which might have been nice, but the comics speak for themselves, and the original cover art is included with the issues.

Overall it's not a groundbreaking superhero comic, but is a real quality story for Spider-man or Daredevil fans.
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