Spider-Man: Chapter One 1 (December 1998)

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It takes Byrne twice as long to tell the Spider-Man origin this issue. Retell, sorry.

I’m trying to think if there’s a single thing he does in the comic worth mentioning. He adds black people, he makes Peter’s classmates really vicious, Liz Allen in particular.

Otherwise, it’s not much different than a padded retelling of the Spider-Man origin one might read in any retelling, without a big Chapter One written across the top, except Doctor Octopus’s new importance.

Byrne’s artwork is boring, the standard Byrne of the nineties, but he does frame the pages with Spider-Man heading over to beat up the robber. Conceptually, it’s a little more interesting, but for all the “advances” in graphic storytelling, Byrne’s story panels are in no way better than Ditko’s. They pad out scenes not needing padding out.

Uncle Ben doesn’t tell Peter the “great power” line here at all.

CREDITS

Bitter Lesson; writer, artist and letterer, John Byrne; colorist, John Kalisz; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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