Up to this point, I haven't been buying Amazing Spider-Man in its Brand New Day incarnation. That's probably patently obvious to you, the audience, but I wanted to start with that, on the off chance you thought I was buying it and just never discussing it*. It's a combination of distaste over the dissolution of the marriage, though more with the method it was done, plus the sense that money could be spent on books that need the sales more, plus the reviews I was reading didn't suggest that the stories were so awesome that my world was somehow poorer for not reading them. They were solid books, reestablishing a supporting cast for Peter Parker, and pitting him against various villains with different motives and the like. Very old school, and I get that from Amazing Spider-Girl already, so there didn't seem to be a dire need.
Still, there have been times I've considered it. That Zeb Wells/Chris Bachalo story about the snowstorm and the Mayan Death God? That looked interesting, the bits I read sounded more like a Spidey I was accustomed to, and Bachalo's art was more to my liking than the other artists up to that point**, while not nearly as incomprehensible as his work on X-Men had sometimes appeared. The Slott/Marcos Martin Paperdoll story looked good, for Martin's art at the very least. And John Romita Jr. drawing Spider-Man fighting those twits, the Thunderbolts, holds a certain appeal. But thus far, I just haven't felt a burning desire to purchase any of them. At least, not a cover price.
Then the December solicits come along, and Amazing Spider-Man #580 is going to be written by Roger Stern, and if there's one thing I've figured out by going through back issue bins, it's that Roger Stern being listed as writer is a good thing. Plus, and I'm just going to quote the solicit here, 'When a bizarre criminal endangers his Aunt May, Peter Parker is determined to bring him to justice. But who is this strange, faceless, felon? How can Spider-Man stop a foe who can slip through his webbing? And hey, what's Pete's old pal Joe Robertson been up to? New York Times best selling author and veteran Spider-writer Roger Stern and artist Lee Weeks join forces to tell the story we could only call "Fill in the Blank"!'
Do you know what that means?! It's the return of this guy, I just know it!
Oh, I loved that guy. Actually, I loved that entire West Coast Avengers mini-series, but I really enjoyed that guy. He's has this ridiculous device that makes him look like a messed up TV screen, and he just uses it to rob banks. No world domination schemes or revenge plots. Just trying to get a little cash because, as Homer might remind us 'Money can be exchanged for goods and services.' Gotta appreciate the small-time bad guys, they're the bedrock of the superheroic society. Even better, he completely stymied Wonder Man's attempts to capture him, and if there's one thing we should support, it's villains who make Wonder Man look foolish. I don't know why that is, but it seems appropriate somehow.
Jeez, I'm gonna have to give this one some thought.
* But really, I struggle far too often for content to not at least consider discussing things if I bought them.
** I'm not certain what it is, but McNiven and Jimenez both just leave me cold. It's like it's technically sound art, but it lacks feeling. Maybe it's the coloring.