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November 10, 2010

The "Classic" Pull List by James West

In this column/article/what have you, I’ll be reviewing the comics of yesteryear. These ones aren’t current, but they’re just as great, and most of the times, better. Without further ado, the first Classic review…

Amazing Spider-Man #248 - “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man”


Synopsis: The story begins with Spidey waking up Tim, a boy around the age of 11, in his bedroom. Tim is obviously amazed, and is in a state of disbelief, so Spider-Man does whatever a spider can and convinces Tim he’s the real deal. The two start to have a conversation: you see, Tim is Spider-Man’s biggest fan. He has tons of memorabilia, including a retraction printed by J. Jonah Jameson in the Daily Bugle. As their conversation goes on, Tim’s proclivity as a Spider-fan is revealed through a series of newspaper clippings interspersed throughout the story, revealing other memorabilia he’s collected, how long he’s been following Spidey, etc. Then, things take a turn for the unexpected. Tim asks Spidey how he got his powers…and he tells ‘em! He goes through the whole thing (which includes panel by panel recreations of Amazing Fantasy #15, Spidey’s first appearance), even revealing to Tim that he actually can’t shoot webs, but that he has to build his own web shooters. Soon, it’s time for Spidey to go. Tim should be getting to bed and there are scenes of a crime that Spider-Man needs to arrive at. However, before he goes Tim asks for one favor: he asks Spider-Man who he really is. Spidey resists at first, but when Tim says “I’ll never tell another soul for as long as I live”…Spider-Man takes off his mask, and reveals that he is Peter Parker. Tim is overjoyed that this knowledge was shared with him (and the reader is most definitely shocked as well!) Tim proclaims that he and Pete will be buddies til’ the end, and Peter agrees…buddies til the end. A tear drops down his cheek as the two share a goodbye hug. Spider-Man remasks and swings out of Tim’s room. He stands on what appears to be a brick wall, holding his head in his hands. The panels pan out, and on the wall, it is revealed that Tim is in a cancer clinic. The articles that have been interspersed throughout finish on the bottom of the page: Tim has leukemia, and he only has a few weeks to live. His last wish is to the good talk to Spider-Man: if only for a few minutes.


Analysis: This is, without a doubt, one of the best comic books ever written, and my personal favorite. Ask anyone who has read it and they’ll surely agree. Wizard ranked it as one of the Top 10 Spider-Man stories of all time, and it’s just loved all around. In only a few pages (This particular story isn’t even the main one, it’s a back up), writer Roger Stern hits more emotional notes, and gets the core and essence of Spider-Man, as well as what it means to be a hero. I cannot name another story, comic book, book, or otherwise, that hits quite the inspirational depths as this one. And I can tell you now, this is not hyperbole. It’s that good. I’m close to tearing up right now just thinking about it. 10/10.


  1. Everyone wants to do a superhero story like this one but it's a subject that can go wrong so easily. This is one of my all time favorite tales also. Everything is just perfect and the writer has taken everything he has read and knows about Peter Parker and created a great stand alone story. And it IS more a Peter story than a Spider-Man one. Peter has everything to lose by revealing who he is to this kid and we can all agree that it's Peter's greatest fear and greatest burden. To share that secret with anyone, especially a stranger who is dying is huge and tells you everything you ever need to know about the character. Awesome choice for this feature.

  2. Good one!

    I think maybe I'll just give up the idea of getting back into reading comics and just have James tell me about the good ones.

  3. Thats my cuz!!! See James... we want more JAMES WEST FEATURES!!!!!

  4. Then I must give the people what they want! With this new Classic review list idea I think the material will be coming in much more often...