Just read the Spider-Man Alien Costume Saga Complete Collection vol 1-2, which are out of print but are still floating around there in some places. It comprises of issues 252-262 of Amazing Spider-Man along with the final 10 or so issues of Marvel Team Up and Spectacular Spider-Man 90-100, concluding in Web of Spider-Man #1. I’ve been super sick the last week so just been doing a lot of comic reading while trying my hardest to rest.
I’d read some of the issues in Amazing a long time ago, which was always my first priority in collecting, but didn’t have a lot of those Spectacular books and the Marvel Team Up I’d never read. So a wonderful compilation.
The books hold up WAY better than I expected. Frankly I didn’t want to put it down. The main conflict in Amazing Spider-Man revolves around the Rose trying to gain control of the underworld and working with Hobgoblin to do so. Spectacular, meanwhile, the Black Cat and Spider-Man are working against the Kingpin. Marvel Team Up is all over the map with one off storylines.
Just a ton of action, a lot of fun personal development for Peter and his friends. This really is what I expect out of comics.
They do rely on way too many of the same tropes over and over (peter’s broke, bugle doesn’t want more spider-man photos) as set up devices, but overall I think the whole arcs with the Kingpin and Hobgoblin were some of the finest Spidey moments out there.
The Black Cat relationship rang a little false, though I do love all the surrounding hijinx with her powers. Mary Jane is a much better character at this point (though I know Black Cat develops much better later).
I was surprised for how little a time he actually wore the alien costume. It went for just a handful of issues, and I’d expected it to be a lot longer given how much emphasis is placed on this.
Still, so many iconic moments, the ending in Web of Spidey 1 is brilliant to this day.
Now I just have to debate getting the Roger Stern Omnibus and the Masterworks stuff to fill in the gap between the Original Clone Saga and this. I don’t want to go into hardcover formats but I’m dang tempted…
If you like the 70s-80s Spider-Man, you’re going to love Flying Sparks. Back Volume 2 on Kickstarter now. Nearly funded!