Spider-Man: Chapter One 3 (January 1999)

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It’s somewhat interesting to see how Byrne adapts the originals–for example, he sets up a cliffhanger on something from the middle of an original (Spidey’s initial defeat at Doctor Octopus’s hands). But interesting isn’t good. Or worthwhile.

Here, Byrne introduces a previously unknown Superman and Jimmy Olsen relationship between Spidey and Flash Thompson. Byrne continues his boycott of any real moments for Peter and just rehashing of Spidey scenes. There’s something very particular about turning your bully into your sidekick, but Byrne doesn’t do anything with it. He turns it into a “Flash is a moron” scene.

Worse, Byrne totally changes the Tinkerer story (they aren’t aliens anymore, no Tinkerer mask). It’s some addle-brained overarching plot thing he’s got going and it ruins any sense of organic narrative–and organic narrative is what he did on Man of Steel, so it’s not too much to ask. Or expect.

CREDITS

First Fall; writer, artist and letterer, John Byrne; colorist, Joe Andreani; editor, Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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