“The Best of Spider-Man, Volume 1” by J Michael Straczynski
“The Best of Spider-Man, Volume 1” includes the ‘Coming Home’ storyline (Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 #30-35), the award winning Amazing Spider-Man #36, a Kingpin Story, Flowers for Rhino Story and Ultimate Marvel Team-Up featuring Punisher, Daredevil and Spider-Man.
It’s a nice collection of story through Spider-Man’s lengthy history but I felt for a first volume there were better stories to be told. The first half featuring Amazing Spider-Man Volume #30-36 are an amazing read and gives major insight to Spider-Man, his motivation, and an interesting look at his powers and his enemies. For fans of the character I think they will find this section very interesting and the shocking revelation at the end is worth a read for those uninformed of historical event.
The middle section though really didn’t connect with me. It didn’t fit together with the rest of the stories told in this ‘best of Spider-Man’. The main characters of the middle section were Kingpin, Rhino, and private detective who life is to find out who Spider-Man is. They were interesting stories in their own right but this is a “Best of Spider-Man.”
The third arc of this graphic novel included was a story from the Marvel Ultimate Universe featuring Punisher, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. It was more of a Punisher story featuring Daredevil and Spider-Man. The Punisher breaks out of jail to avenge the deaths of his family and runs into Daredevil, who’s client he kills, and Spider-Man bumbles into the story by helping the bad guy get away.
The editors and my definitions for best of Spider-Man is different. Being “The Best of Spider-Man” means spider-man is at the first and not a background character. Overall its an interesting read and will appeal to a casual reader. Givers the readers a great glimpse into the world of Spider-Man nad the complicated machinations that he must deal with throughout his life.