Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Spider-Man': Threat or Menace?

By now you've probably heard about the disastrous Spider-Man musical's preview night, but it's still worth reading all the crazy crap that went wrong. At this point, I'm almost convinced that it's some big meta-joke, a budget-busting show about a character who lives paycheck-to-paycheck, a media disaster about a character who is loathed by the media, a threat to audiences and a menace to actors. I would be completely unsurprised if J. Jonah Jameson himself were bankrolling the project, sitting backstage and shouting "No, no, make him get stuck above the audience! I want him humiliated!" while chomping on a cigar.

Despite that, I've been getting into a Spider-Man mood lately. I picked up "Shattered Dimensions" on Black Friday, and it's gotten me back into watching "Spectacular Spider-Man" on Netflix. But at this point, I'm itching for some good modern Spidey comics, and I'd like to kind of stick to trades. I haven't been reading the Brand New Day era religiously or anything, but I've liked what I have read (BND volumes 1 & 3, "New Ways to Die," and the Mark Waid two-parter with the Shocker). So I'm looking for some recommendations: which current Spider-Man trades should I be picking up? What's the best of the best of the Brand New Day era? What should I avoid?

Incidentally, I'll spend the meantime reading Marvel Masterworks Spider-Man vol. 5, which finally just came out in paperback. I've been waiting for that since I was an undergrad. And I'm kind of shocked to see how Ditko-esque the early Romita style was. Definitely not what I was expecting.

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