EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 267
album: The Amazing Spider-Man 60th (Panini)
stickers: 192 (1-164, F1-F28) + 60 cards (C1-C60)
starter pack: album + 5 packets 4,90€
box: 24 packets (4 stickers + 1 card per packet) 1,00€ each
“From great power comes great responsibility”. In this case, the great power is being able to make an official Spidey sticker album for his 60th birthday (brought very well!), The great responsibility is to do it well, credible, complete, to satisfy both the occasional audience and the fans, young and old. old, from Marvel Comics. In the knowledge that making everyone happy is impossible.
Did they succeed? No spoilers, to know you have to read all the reviews 🙂 A premise is important, however, whoever writes this review is a long-time comic book enthusiast, impossible to tackle this article without being biased, the heart is not commanded and the glorious Spider-Man is a milestone in world comics, especially if you were children when the legendary books of Editoriale Corno and / or later those of Star Comics then Panini Comics arrived in Italy.
Curious about Panini’s marketing choice, this album recalls Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary, you can read it on the cover but not in the title. Perhaps to bring the younger audience closer to these celebrations. History is still present, indeed, from that “The Amazing Spider-Man”, the famous magazine where our hero was not born (first appearance is on Amazing Fantasy, a similar name, it cannot be a coincidence) but then it is become a legend.
Panini does not only make stickers but also comics, it is the Italian house of Marvel, this certainly allows him to have all the possible and imaginal material to pay the right homage to the character. The album is divided into decades where, as it should be, the first years, those who entered the myth, the so-called “golden age” of Marvel comics, find more space and even some more insight, with important captions to understand the evolution of the character but without undermining the role of the stickers, absolute protagonists.
Another strategic choice by Panini, the various decades of Spidey’s publishing history are interspersed with the “Focus on” pages which, as the term says, focus on a certain aspect of the comic, from great enemies, to great battles, to great alliances with other notes more curious, like the evolution of the costume, even in its most unlikely moments.
First part with the classic (and beautiful) stories of the 60s, 70s and early 80s. With the outside world rapidly changing (Spidey and Marvel comics in general have never been immune to it), in the second half of the 1980s, even comic stories decide to upset the characters. If you have never read “Secret Wars” it is a clear invitation to do so, from there comes the black costume and to follow one of the most beloved anti-heroes of the new millennium, Venom!
This path will be even more exponential in the 90s with the long saga of the clone, even today, 30 years later, there are very conflicting opinions among fans, between those who loved it, those who hated it and those who maybe he rediscovered in adulthood. All these “highlights” are not forgotten by the album, thanks to stickers taken directly from the comic strips.
The Spider-Man saga continues and our little stickers friends do it accordingly.
Another touch of class, grant us the term, is to somehow separate the story of the traditional Spider-Man from that of the multiverses created over the years, even if far from all the variants we have known with the DC Comics Universe. They could not be missing in this album because it would have made it incomplete, but they are apart, in the central pages with a separate numbering.
Openable central poster summarizing the many Spider-Man we have known in the classic universe and in the alternative worlds. Shaped stickers that must be attached with care, to make them match perfectly with the image below. Not easy, but after all we are talking about super heroes, won’t you hold back for so little ?!
If you love comics, you also know how to appreciate the details, almost always nothing is left to chance. The central poster is also the appropriate detachment of the album, between the Marvel of the twentieth century and that of the New Millennium. New characters, new origins to try to approach potential new readers, for a comic that was still reaching 40 years of publishing production. In the second part of the album space for the last 20 years, from our point of view rightly proposed in a more summarizing way than in previous decades.
Grand finale with a comic story to be completed with the shaped stickers but absolutely legible even with an empty album. We did it, with 12 pages available you cannot create too complex scripts, the story is enjoyable, not at the level of the previous one that appeared on the Marvel Versus album but in any case it is good that there is, also because it traces the concept ” super heroes with super problems ”which has allowed us, at times, to be able to identify with a hero in costume.
The format of the stickers mirrors the one already used previously in the Marvel encyclopedic albums, however it seems to us with images that are all different and chosen with a logical and effective care. We are not great lovers of adding cards to the sticker collections, but here they are an added value. 60 cards or the 60 most significant covers in the history of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Another detail that maybe not everyone notices but we do, Panini could fall into the error of inserting covers from other series (Web of Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man, etc.) and instead does not. 60 cover cards don’t even allow you to really have all the fundamentals, but that’s a nice representative number. The problem is to find them all, also given Panini’s choice to send the box of just 24 packets to newsstands. We hope at least, when requesting missing stickers, the rule of only 5 cards that can be ordered will be lightened.
Yes, they succeeded (haven’t you come to read the last line right away?!?), The album is beautiful, a passionate and overwhelming 60-year story of the iconic character of American comics. We appreciated, unlike other previous Panini collections, that the world of cinema has been completely omitted, now subject to a separate one, with a life of its own and more and more often with a different audience.
It’s just a pity that once again the unlikely quality of the paper degrades the great work of graphics and logical preparation of the album a little. Panini is wrong and continues to be wrong on this point, especially on a product of this kind which, more than collectors of stickers, could attract fans of comics, where the quality of the paper is an undisputed value.