Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death

amazing spider-man matters of life and death cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Like Marcos Martin's art, more traditional Spider-Man

Still not like classic Spider-Man but closer

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 2)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Dan Slott/Fred Van Lente

Artist:  Stefano Caselli/Paulo Siqueira/Ronan Cliquet de Oliveira/Carlos Cuevas/Marcos Martin/Ty Templeton/Nuno Plati/Reilly Brown

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2011

amazing spider-man #654.1 cover venom

Amazing Spider-Man (2) #654.1

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man (2) #652-657 (March 2011-May 2011). Peter Parker’s life might be on track with his new job at Horizon Labs, but it doesn’t mean that the people around him are safe. J. Jonah Jameson’s “monster” the Spider-Slayer returns, Jameson learns that his actions have consequences in a deadly way. One of Peter’s old villains returns, and Spider-Man finds himself in a team-up with the new Power Man to defeat him. Plus, Peter Parker learns the sad truth about his friend Johnny Storm’s fate…and it could mean a new adventure.

Written by Dan Slott with additional stories by Fred Van Lente, Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death follows the events of Spider-Man: Big Time. The collection features art by Stefano Caselli, Paulo Siqueira, Ronan Cliquet de Oliveira, Carlos Cuevas, Marcos Martin, and Reilly Brown and is divided into “Revenge of the Spider-Slayer (Amazing Spider-Man #652-654) and “No One Dies” (Amazing Spider-Man #655-656) with the stand-alone issue “Torch Song” (Amazing Spider-Man #657). The collection also features the introduction of the new Flash Thompson Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #654.1. The issues in the volume were also collected in Spider-Man: Big Time—The Complete Collection Volume 1.

Spider-Man: Big Time presents things going well in Peter’s life while Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death present things going wrong…which is more in line with classic Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s life has been surrounded by death since its induction and Uncle Ben, and Slott adds his own death to the history.

amazing spider-man #657 cover fantastic four

Amazing Spider-Man (2) #657

While in the big picture the death of Marla Jameson isn’t a big character, it does have a big impact on the story. The impact on Spider-Man is possibly a bit more than it should have been, but Jameson’s reaction is more appropriate. There have been multiple times where Jameson’s actions have come back to bite him, but this seems to be the topper which is about time. While Jameson’s hatred of Spider-Man is generally painted as his showboating and his outshining Jameson’s astronaut son John, it has never matched the level of venom toward Spider-Man considering the number of times Spider-Man has saved him…this presents a different Jameson which is nice.

The idea of Spider-Man becoming a member of the Fantastic Four (or Future Foundation) is a fun throwback since Spider-Man tried to join the Fantastic Four in the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man. While I don’t see Spider-Man as a team-player, I do see him much more of a member of the Fantastic Four than an Avenger. While constantly evolving stories, you know it won’t last long, but it is a fun idea to explore.

Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death seems like a step-up from the previous collection and hopefully a bit of a better direction. The stories are a little more self-contained and shorter runs (which I think helps), and there is more of a focus on the traditional stars of Amazing Spider-Man. Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death is followed by Spider-Man: The Fantastic Spider-Man.

Preceded By:

Spider-Man:  Big Time

Followed By:

Spider-Man:  The Fantastic Spider-Man

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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