The thing about Spider-Man is that I will almost always like Spider-Man. Between the tension of school (graduate studies in this case), work (spurning the Daily Bugle for the Daily Globe in this case), ailing with his personal life (in this case,Deb Whitman hitting on him as he reels from breaking up with Mary Jane in this case), it makes him the most likable most worldly superhero in the business.
That being said, a lot of the action in this volume is flat. Bill Mantlo was writing B-horror Marvel comics poorly and then took over one of the Spider-Man mags for no reason. It kind of shows. It often feels like "Spider-Man for dummies", showing up and beating up on whomever.
Roger Stern takes over, and it gets much better. The villains get more interesting (Mysterio, The Terrible Tinkerer) the sense of humor and surprises are MUCH better. Belladonna's war on fashion was way better than it should've been.
Great art by Jim Mooney and MArie Severin, but this generally is a solid if uneven/uninspired return to the neurotic teen comedian/wall crawler that I like so much.
Tags: download, bill mantlo, ebook, pdf, essential peter parker, the spectacular spider-man, vol. 2
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