Characters Appearing: Buzz, Desiree Winthrop, Human Torch, J. Jonah Jameson, Jessie Carradine, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Mysterio, Sandman, Scarlet Spider, Seward Trainer, Shirley Washington Lewis, Silver Sable
Amazing Spider-Man #407
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #407
Tom DeFalco is writing (a change from J.M. DeMatteis, although DeFalco plotted - but didn't script - the Scarlet - issues) and Mark Bagley is drawing. And the tone and feel of the book is very classic 80s, to me (and of course for my example of this, i just had to pick a sequence where they're making a Hootie and the Blowfish reference; ignore that!).
It probably helps that i have the cheaper "newstand" version of this issue, on the classic newsprint paper. But Bagley's art is always nice in a way that reminds me of the pre-90s art style - densely paneled, good flow - and DeFalco's scripting is at his best here. The plot is basically a settling in with Ben as the new Spider-Man; it involves the Human Torch trying to establish relations with him and Ben getting into a Misunderstanding Fight with the Sandman since as far as Ben remembers, he was a villain. DeFalco also uses Silver Sable (one of his better creations), who offers Ben an opportunity to make money working for her. It's something that Peter Parker generally declined but it's an intriguing possibility that the fresh start with Ben allows.
We also have a powered-up Mysterio lurking in the background.
There's also a good introduction to some supporting characters, although i'm a little annoyed to learn that they - as well as the start of the Mysterio storyline - began in the "0th" issue of a new Spider-Man series, Sensational Spider-Man (which really just replaces Web of Spider-Man). If the series were of this quality level and standalone, i might be tempted to pick up some more of it, despite the Clone taint. But i'm not particularly interested in piecing this stuff together between various books of varying quality.
The sales figures listed in this issue, while higher than most of the Marvel line, are at a historic low for this series.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 234,290. Single issue closest to filing date = 253,936.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: See notes in the references. The MCP has the Human Torch here before Fantastic Four #403.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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