Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers … – AIPT











Even at its most ’90s, these stories feel timeless.
By
on
The year is 1993, and the comics industry is feeling early tremors of a massive seismic shift. The decade hasn’t fully come into its own identity—it has not reached full neon-soaked, spikes n’ chains extremes, but it has shaken off some of the grit and pathos of the preceding decade. Spider-Man has just celebrated his 30th anniversary the year previous, he’s got a cartoon dropping the year following, and he will soon add a fifth ongoing title to his stable of books in preparation for the upcoming, soon-to-be iconic Maximum Carnage crossover.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
On the move.
Marvel Comics


With those four ongoing titles–and Amazing occasionally being published bi-monthly–Spidey’s corner of the Marvel Universe had space to explore the supporting characters, to establish the soap-opera melodrama for everyone in Peter’s life; they are as just as important as the superheroic antics.

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This is a time before symbiote saturation and clone confusion. The most concerning domestic trouble between Peter Parker and Mary Jane in their near-decade-long marriage is that MJ has taken up smoking to soothe her nerves. Nothing in the classic Spidey discourse has broken; he still sells pictures of himself to the Daily Bugle, he still quips while fighting primarily animal-themed villains, and while Peter’s parents have mysteriously returned, Aunt May is still his point of contact for parentage.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
Symbiote saturation, no. . . Symbiote *fashion*, yes.
Marvel Comics


The Amazing Spider-Man of 1993 is a classic title at the most stable—if not static—place it will be for years to come. Few story beats in Invasion of the Spider-Slayers look to upset the smooth sailing of one of Marvel’s flagship titles. Nothing here upsets the status quo; nowhere is the brooding, the whining, the dark. Nothing here is meant to advance any character arcs or complicate any relationship. For all the shifting of the industry’s tectonic plates, not a single aftershock has touched this book. This is the calm before a storm.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
Marvel Comics


These issues feel like a golden age for these characters—each issue featuring a greatest-hit villain like Scorpion or Electro, layering that action overtop the simple intrigue of Spider-Slayer robots. Peter is forever on the go, bounding around the pages as if to say that he is kinetic and energetic even when the plotlines are not. These issues feel classic, if forgettable.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
Peter is never without momentum.
Marvel Comics

A lot of that, of course, comes from Mark Bagley’s iconic take on the character; it was true in 1993 and it remains true today that few artists have ever accomplished such iconic and defining style for Spider-Man, placing Bagley alongside luminaries like the Romitas and Steve Ditko as a definitive artist for the character. Every panel feels rendered from the very source of Spider-Man, a sort of engraving of how Spidey should look.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
Felicia’s look, however. . .
Marvel Comics


These stories capture a similar energy to the earliest Spidey stories, jumping from incident to incident (even if those incidents only tangentially relate to the primary narrative), all while slowly stewing personal drama bubbles beneath it. Even at its most ’90s—robo-chaired bug-men, cancer-based mercenaries, Cardiacs and Wild Packs—these stories feel timeless, a part of the machinery that supports bigger, more foundational epics.
Nothing in Invasion of the Spider-Slayers is game-changing or more than middle-line exciting, and yet all of it feels prototypical, hitting at the heart of what Amazing should be at its most reliable: the status quo that must be deviated from to break any ground.  

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
‘Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers’ features an iconic, if static, era
Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection – Invasion of the Spider-Slayers
Calm, comforting, and cozy, Invasion of the Spider-Slayers never deviates from Spidey’s status quo or alters the trajectory of its character but manages to feel important.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Beautiful, master-class Mark Bagley work.
Chock-full of charm and character.
Checks in on supporting cast.
Ambling, mostly unimpactful stories.
7.5

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