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The Amazing Spider-Man #300
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September 22nd, 2017 by Rusty

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The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #300 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #300

Date: May 1988
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.50
2017 Price Range: $9 – $160
Stats: 40 color pages plus ads and house columns
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Todd McFarlane, Rick Parker and Bob Sharen
Notable Notes: First full appearance of Venom!

New Costume or an Alien?

I was a young, comic reading teenager in the mid 1980s, and I remember when Spider-man got his new black costume. I got caught up in the first, original Secret Wars series and thought Spidey’s new costume was pretty cool – especially given how it could read his thoughts and transform itself into different types of clothing. But then I became “too grown up” to read comic books, and so fell away for about a decade. When I came back, however, I was really surprised to see that his black costume was now a separate villain know as Venom. It took me a long while to piece together what had really happened (remember, this was back before Wikipedia!) and when I finally did I had mixed feelings about Venom. Anyway, I recently decided to go back and read this classic comic book and see the beginning of the villain known as Venom.

Synopsis:

Peter and Mary Jane got married relatively recently in The Amazing Spider-man Annual #21. This issue takes place not long after that, and it starts with Peter finding MJ in a very distressed mood after she was harassed by someone who looked like Spider-man. She is so shaken up that she insists they move out of their current apartment into glitzy Bedford Towers. Peter has a good idea that his old suit is behind all of this, and so arms himself with a sonic blaster and goes hunting for the alien costume. He finally catches up to Venom, which he discovers is a symbiote of his old costume/alien and a former reporter, named Eddie Brock, who is angry at Spider-man for making him lose his job. After some flash-back scenes, the two duke it out in a bell tower where Spidey prevails only after figuring out that Venom can only make so much webbing before needing to regenerate. With Venom safely in custody at the Fantastic Four’s plaza, Peter returns to his new diggs and MJ convinces him to get rid of his black costume and go back to the classic red and blue one.

How I Rate This Issue:

  • Story: 5 stars – I really liked all the classic elements in this book: Peter and MJ’s relationship, a new villain with lots of potential, good old fashioned fighting and some clever maneuvering!
  • Art: 4 stars – For the most part Todd McFarlane’s art was great – especially Mary Jane! Spidey and Peter both looked good, but The Thing looked terrible with his giant, dinosaur shaped head! McFarlane’s art is distinct, but can sometimes be a bit of an acquired taste.
  • Fun Factor: 5 stars – The combination of the great art, the multiple fun plot threads, and the introduction of a classic villain make for one really fun book to read! I was not disappointed!

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