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on 8 September 2013
Possibly repeating what has already been said but this is an an incredible piece of work. I've never been a fan of the term 'graphic novel' as comics have generally been bought by children and teenagers and 'grahic novel' seemed to be a rebranding exercise to make it acceptable for, mainly, men to not be embarassed to be seen buying or reading comics. But Spider-Man: Blue changes everthing - this is simply superb story-telling, excellent artwork, top quality writing, action, emotion and pace all delivered on good quality paper that makes it a pleasure and joy to hold and to read. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have taken a fictional character and a fantasy and made it seem very real. Blue reads like a novel and obviously there are illustrations so in this case graphic novel is a fair description. This is something, however it is described, that can be read whether you are young or old, male or female. Jeph and Tim have expanded on the original story and delivered something very special in a timeless classic. This is the standard that every single comic issue should aspire to.
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on 30 March 2013
Anyone who thinks comics cannot convey true depth of emotion needs to read this. The story harks back to the 'classic' era of Spider-man flawlessly, and weaves an action-packed, very funny yet darkly tinged story which is a genuine page-turner. The artwork somehow manages to do the writing credit, and the result is simply one of the best Spider-man stories I have ever read - and I've been a fan for a good couple of decades.

If you're wondering whether to buy this one or not... do it. I sincerely doubt you would regret it.
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on 23 March 2017
A beautiful, tragic love letter to the characters of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacey, Mary Jane Watson, and to John Romita Sr. and Stan Lee who brought this tale to life. Excellent work from both Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb who never disappoint!
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on 8 August 2006
Spider-man:Blue is a love letter from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale to the classic tales of Stan Lee and John Romita's wallcrawler from the 1960's. The story harks back to a simpler time, before gimmicks, over the top plots, and awful writing became the common thing it is today.

The writing is fantastic, catching the very essence of not only Peter Parker, but his supporting cast; these are characters you can care about, and Jeph Loeb makes them live and breathe. Tim Sale's artwork is simply stunning,some of the two page spreads are unbelievably gorgeous, and the covers have a simplistic beauty I have rarely seen.Don't get me started on how fantastic Gwen and MJ look!!

This is without doubt one of the best comics ever published; it perfectly marries great storytelling, great artwork,and great characterisation, all from creators who clearly care deeply.

If you want to read Spider-Man as he should be, read this; if you love the comic book art form, read this. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, we are not worthy............
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on 2 November 2003
To put it bluntly, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sales "Spider-man : Blue" is one of the best Spider-man books ever written. For those of you already familiar with the work of Jeph Loeb on "Batman : Hush" and "Batman : Dark Victory" and Tim Sales art in "Batman : Dark Victory" you will not be dissapointed; the story aims to retell significant events in Spider-man history (The first appearance of Mary Jane watson is a high point of the book)and does this extremely well but the focus is on the beginning of Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy, his first love.
For fans of the Spider-man history, this is a must have book with an excpetional balance between action, romance and subtle nods to the days of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and
John Romita Snr (the "amazing fantasy" gag works without being cheesy)for those only slightly familiar with Spider-man it has everything you need to get to know both sides of the character.
Overall, one of the finest accomplishments in Spider-man history and if you don't cry at the last three pages, you have no soul and shall die cold and lonely.
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on 15 May 2014
Jeph Loeb – the man who made having no ideas into a decades-long career in comics – brings his bafflingly successful approach to Batman over to Spider-Man. His approach? Tell stories that have already been told! With Batman, it was the fall of Harvey Dent in The Long Halloween, and Robin becoming his sidekick in Dark Victory; with Spider-Man Blue, it’s tangentially about the death of Gwen Stacy – but crucially, Gwen doesn’t die in this book. She’s also barely in the book. So wait… what the hell is this about?! Absolutely nothing.

The setup is: Peter’s feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day and decides to talk to the long-deceased Gwen via a tape recorder about the good ol’ days (even though MJ, his wife, is elsewhere in the house). That’s it. There’s no story. There’s really no point either. There’s a half-hearted story about some shadowy villain hunting Spider-Man but it’s little more than a reason for Loeb to shoehorn in some boring superhero fights between the, ahem, “romance” (plus the “mastermind” villain reveal is totally arbitrary and idiotic).

Peter fights the Rhino, the Vulture, and the Lizard (this is another Loeb staple: throw the hero’s rogues gallery at him in stages for no reason). He meets MJ. He moves into his first flat with Harry. Gwen’s in the background some of the time. Flash joins the military. Peter and Gwen hook up. That’s it.

That’s it?! Yeah. Because Loeb doesn’t know how to tell stories, he just throws characters together aimlessly and hopes that somehow a plot will emerge – and, what a surprise, it doesn’t. No, Spider-Man Blue is just a cheap excuse to shamelessly wallow in sentiment. Spider-Man’s “blue”, get it? ...

So that must mean this book really pushes the Peter/Gwen angle hard so the reader gets a strong sense of why Peter feels so pained about her absence? Nope! Gwen is barely in this book even though she is the reason for its existence; she and Peter are rarely alone and never share any meaningful moments. Their first meeting, their relationship, her death – it’s all missing. If anything, this book’s about Peter and MJ’s early days - there are actually more scenes between Peter and MJ than there are Peter and Gwen!

What is the point of having a book where Peter moons over Gwen’s death if we get no sense of their relationship? None. Because Loeb already knows the reader knows Gwen was important to Peter going into the book, he doesn’t bother doing any work here to portray why even though that’s the most important thing – the only thing really – he needed to write about.

The only idea we get as readers that Peter and Gwen were important to one another is the scene at the end when they smooch for the first time. If all you knew going into this book was that Peter and Gwen were once in love but now she’s dead, you leave the book knowing exactly the same as you did going in. No more, no less – that’s how lazily written this book is!

What Loeb gives us instead is a few glimpses of Peter staring at Gwen going “wow” before MJ shows up and he says “wow” to her (seriously, that’s an actual scene!). Because even though the book supposedly reveals how and why Peter and Gwen fell in love, based on what we see, they “fell” for one another because they’re both attractive young people and their entire “romance” is purely superficial and based on looks. Doomed, star-crossed lovers? Nah, just a pair of horny, good-looking young people! How “tragic” that they don’t get to bone each other anymore!

It’s not even a fun read – it’s the most generic, bland Spider-Man book you could ever come across. The superhero fights are dull and meaningless, the soap opera is played out, beat for beat, the same way that it has for the last 50+ years. It’s a totally irrelevant, horribly overlong Spider-Man book that offers nothing insightful or substantial to the reader.

I kinda liked Tim Sale’s art which is drawn in homage to early Spider-Man comics by Steve Ditko and John Romita. It’s the only plus about the book, but it’s not enough to make reading this worthwhile.

Spider-Man Blue blows!
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on 3 December 2015
Long after ‘The Epic Event’ Spiderman narrates into a tape recorder his relationship and feelings towards Gwen Stacey, how they first met and trying to be with her while villains interfere and the biggest obstacle to their relationship: Mary Jane Watson. Beautiful artwork, modern, colourful and with the ladies in gorgeous 60s fashion, a nice roster of villains in fun battles and a conspiracy to bring down the Spiderman but really that isn’t important. This comic is all about love and relationships, not new to comics but it is so beautifully deep and moving. Using a flashback narrative, this is him looking back, it’s reflective, it’s thinking back on her but with the knowledge of what happened to her. It’s about being in love, guilt, being genuinely in love with two people at once, being truly happy with the person you’re currently with but that person from your past still having a permanent place in your heart. That’s advanced comic book writing, hell, that’s complex writing in any medium. Best part, it doesn’t even show ‘The Event’, we also don’t learn much about Gwen’s past or life because it’s not the focus: this is Peter’s story, Peter’s feelings towards her and memories. I’m biased as I have my own Gwen and MJ in my past (though it didn’t end quite as dramatically) and I love writer Jeph loeb but this is by far his best work, it’s perfect, a classic and cutting edge. You do need to know the basics of what happens to Gwen but it is a must read.
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on 25 August 2016
I have to give this 5 stars. Loeb and Sale combine, as always, to deliver a truly emotive retrospective analysis of a key period in Spidey history: his ultimately doomed relationship with Gwen Stacy. The vasic plot involves Peter Parker reminiscing about his earliest interactions with Gwen and their gang of friends and how his feelings for her developed, with the added distraction of Mary Jane bursting into his life at that same time. What stands out is just how well this works emotionally as we see a man currently in a happy marriage, but who understandably cannot help mourning the loss of his first love and a life that could have been but was tragically ripped away from him. It's powerful stuff, which is a little unexpected when reading a Spider Man story.

The art on show is also worth mentioning; Sale does a great job of depicting both Gwen and MJ as beautiful women and it's easy to see why Peter can hardly stop thinking about them. Everything is well drawn and matches well with how Romita originally drew this era of events at the time.

Overall, a great read for fans of Spider Man, and anyone wondering why the heck Gwen Stacy was such a big deal to him. This one made me give my wife a big hug after finishing it.
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on 22 October 2013
With a small handful of cassettes and a tape recorder Peter Parker sits down to record messages to someone, on the anniversary of their death. After laying a rose at the Golden Gate Bridge Peter recalls the tale of how first met a girl named Gwen Stacey and how eventually she became his first true love.
The flashback starts from when the Green Goblin first learnt Spidey's identity only to loose it to amnesia and returning to being Norman Osborn. What follows next are moments in both Spiderman and Peter's lives which led him down the path to finally getting with Gwen. Such obstacles include the arrival of one Mary Jane Watson, attacks by Rhino, Lizard, Two Vultures, Moving into a apartment with Harry Osborn only to have his roomie later kidnapped by Kraven, all this leading to Gwen asking one question 'Will you Be My Valentine?'
Spiderman: Blue is secretly the book that made me a Spidey Fan again, at the time I was put off the Wall Crawler following the disaster that was One More Day but this book restored my love of the character. Gwen Stacey was a important character in the books given she was the first love and sadly one of the great tragedies in Peter's life. This story takes us back to the Good Old Days of Spiderman with Art that recalls it to boot. To see these tales brought to life again in a slightly new light is fantastic. For newer fans it was a chance to get a history lesson which was enjoyable from the get go. Praised by fans everywhere I can see why, Spiderman: Blue is an essential book for any fan with a touching ending. Go and read it now, you wont be disappointed.
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on 8 May 2014
I first read Daredevil yellow which was fantastic so i thought i would give this a go.

There is a two page review from John Romita at the beginning saying how the story will touch you etc. and i thought blah blah blah, but reading the story from start to finish made me think otherwise.

The story straight away grips you, but i couldn't help thinking while half way through it that the story really was Blue. Peter parker is constantly having regrets throughout the book and it can kind of make you think that it is a negative story and put you off, but when you get to the last page.....I was just blown away or "Touched" as Mr. Romita would put it. It really puts everything in perspective, a great little story with fanstatic characters and a lot that has been squashed in.

Highly recommend.
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