Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman. The only new villain is a robot creator, who is kind of lame. Kurt Conners returns not as the Lizard but as a reformed scientist that owes Spiderman a favor for discovering the antidote that cured him. The stories are mostly connected taking 3 and 2 issues to complete the arc. This was good fun, web slinging action, with a lot of heart and some heartbreak.
The Plots: Aunt May is sick and in the hospital on Peter’s first day of college. He’s not really there and most believe his stuck up because he won the science grant and is ignoring everyone. Aunt May is sick with a radioactive isotope is May’s blood. Peter blames himself as he donated blood to save her life a little while ago, now his radioactive blood is killing her. He searches for KurtConners who owes him a favor, he agrees to help Spiderman, and orders a rare chemical that is needed, but another bad guy needs it for a power source. The bad guy steals the chemical, they fight, Spiderman is pinned with the chemical just out of hands reach, as the ocean water seeps in (the picture on the cover is that moment). he must take everything he has to save himself and Aunt May. Kaven is determined to beat Spiderman once and for all. The Green Goblin comes up with a plan to take away Spiderman’s Spider Sense so he can watch him unaware, which he does and knows his secret identity.
What I Liked: I loved when Peter Parker is captured by the Green Goblin, he tries to use his web slingers that aren’t there because he is Peter Parker. I liked the Peter Betty drama and how hard it is to me Spiderman. The pulling the machine off his body and gathering the internal strength to keep going after his muscles are almost gone from the fatigue, and just using will power. I liked seeing Curt Conners back on the side of good. I liked the Green Goblin reveal and the backstory behind it. Molten Man really surprised Spiderman, and his story was fun. J Jonah Jamison dealing with all the secretaries that quit because of his bad behaviors that Betty could put up with. The long stories were good and add the anticipation, that made them flow over a couple of issues.
What I Disliked: There’s only two new villains the Meteor and a jailed robot maker, both were really lame.
Recommendation: This was my favorite volume since the first. I totally recommend you read this awesome volume, that steps up the long form storytelling, ratchets up the emotions, and maintains the excitement. This volume is not as funny as the last couple but makes up is serious more mature storytelling. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee 5 out of 5 stars.