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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Amazing Spider-Man" gets to a great issue #500, 27 Jun. 2004
By 
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Staring with issue #30 of Volume II of "The Amazing Spider-Man" Marvel started providing a smaller issue number reflecting what issue this would have been if it were still Volume I. The reason for this rather odd numbering became clear when lo and behold instead of issue #59 there was simple issue #500 of "The Amazing Spider-Man." That is why this trade paperback of "Amazing Spider-Man: Happy Birthday" contains issues #48-49 and #500-02. It only sounds confusing.
The first three issues comprise the "Happy Birthday" story by J. Michael Stracynski, artist John Romita, Jr. and inker Scott Hanna, with a touching epilogue by John Romita, Sr., who was the artist on "Spider-Man" when I bought my first issue (#62) way back when. It is Peter Parker's birthday and it is not off to a good start at school, but when he gets home Aunt May has some words of wisdom and Mary Jane has a different sort of comfort to offer. But then there are flashes of red lightning and that is never a good sign. When Spider-Man arrives in Time Square it is something of an understatement to say that all hell has broken lose.
Then things get worse.
Suffice it to say that Spider-Man plays a pivotal role in what is to happen and we get to learn about Shroedinger's Cat becomes unstuck in time. That is because when we get to an issue number with double zeroes at the end we must touch on key moments in the history of our hero, both past and future. Thus Spider-Man gets to consider both his moment of creation and the death that may well await him. Stracynski and Romita come up with a conceit that allows Spider-Man to fight pretty much every super villain he ever faced in an act of affirmation that allow for the changes necessary for a happy ending.
And because it is his birthday Spider-Man is given a gift. A special gift for what is a very special day.
Well, the epilogue to issue #500, drawn by Romita Sr., made me cry, but there is a sense in which #501, "Saturday in the Park with May," is also something of an epilogue to those first 500 issues, as Aunt May describes what a day is like for her now that she knows that Peter is also Spider-Man. Issue #502, "You Want Pants With That," is an offbeat little story about Leo Zelinsky, a tailor who has a nice little shop down on 23rd Street (near Eight). Five or six years earlier he had a walk in customer, namely Ben Grimm who suddenly needed something in a seventy waist. Word got around and the next thing you know Leo has a very interesting clientel and this leads to a problem for which he needs the help of "Mr. Bug Man." A cut idea (where do Captain America and Dr. Doom go to when their costumes get ripped to shreads?) and a nice lull before the storms that are coming in the next couple of "Amazing Spider-Man" trade paperbacks. This one is worth it just for the main story line, but the
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Amazing Spiderman: "Revelations" and "Until the Stars Turn Cold"
Amazing Spiderman: "Revelations" and "Until the Stars Turn Cold" by Michael J. Straczynski (Paperback - 10 Dec. 2002)
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