Spider-Man: Chapter One 6 (April 1999)

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This issue, with Byrne eschewing most of Electro’s origin, not to mention the Lee and Dikto issue featuring him, is maybe more what all of Chapter One should have been. It’s got Byrne’s fingerprints all over it, versus a more direct “retelling.” For example, Byrne adds a huge Human Torch fight sequence this issue–the Torch thinks Spider-Man is Electro and is wants to bring him in–it’s just awful.

After opening without resolving the previous issue’s Lizard cliffhanger (instead, Byrne resolves that cliffhanger in a flashback, one Peter narrates–and it’s heavily edited from the original), the issue just goes further and further downhill. When Norman Osborn shows up–he’s after Spider-Man and is engineering all the supervillain attacks, apparently–it’s just icing on the cake.

I wish I had some more energy for vitriol, but the comic’s too dumb to get anything but an eye roll.

CREDITS

Clash; writer, artist and letterer, John Byrne; colorist, Christie Scheele; editors, Matt Hicks and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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