For me, Spider-Man has an expiration date. From 1962 to sometime in the late 1980s.
These are the magic years for me. The ones covering my initial discovery of the character; the books I read growing up.
By the time this holiday collection of Spidey and his amazing friends and family emerged, I’d ceased to read any of his titles. It wouldn’t be until Brian Michael Bendis created the Ultimate Spider-Man would I return. That was still years away.
After meandering through that lead, I’ll say it’s an okay read. The Holiday Special. Sure, there are some plot devices that baffle me. With little background after five or six years away many things had happened. Especially the Clone Saga that seeped into some of the stories.
Black Cat and Venom’s popularity are in evidence as each star in their own story. Aunt May – who is dead (?) at this point – guides former beau Willie Lumpkin to romance.
But, the shortcomings are forgiven with “Merry Christmas, Mr. Storm.” The final tale told, it’s touching and sweet as the new Spider-Man (?) meets the Human Torch for their annual gift exchange atop the Statue of Liberty Christmas morning.
Sholly Fisch crafted a flashback to stir memories of Spider-Man in his younger days. The sequence is bookended in the current Spider-Man timeline, again, hearkening back to the clone era. Actually, the clone storyline is the basis for the story.
As stated, the remainder of the book is dedicated to some sappy storytelling with “A Matter of Faith,” “The Venom Claus,” “The Cat Who Stole Christmas” and “Companions.”Read More