Sunday, December 14, 2014


Even though they were published over a decade after Stern left AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, I consider the entirety of HOBGOBLIN LIVES and the subsequent "Goblins At the Gate" storyline in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN to be an essential coda to Stern's original run with the character, tying up, as they do, the biggest loose end mystery from those previous stories. Stern did a bit more work for the Spider-Man office around this time, but nothing as integral as those stories, and therefore the remaining contemporaneous issues aren't anything I consider necessary in order to get the full "Roger Stern on Spider-Man" experience. The real meat is the original SPECTACULAR/AMAZING run, after all; the subsequent Hobgoblin stories are, as noted, merely an epilogue.

However, about ten more years later, in 2009, Stern returned to Marvel again, accepting a few odd Spider-Man assignments once more. And while the majority of these stories are fun reads, once again very few relate in any major way to Stern's previous time with the wall-crawler... with the exception of two. First up is a short story from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #7, picking up a stray thought from Aunt May in AMAZING #238, and explaining its context. The second tale is a sequel to one of Stern's best remembered Spider-Man adventures, as the wall-crawler learns that "Something Can Stop the Juggernaut" in AMAZING issues 627 - 629.

Since both these stories relate, in some way, to Stern's original Spider-Man run, I've made the eleventh hour decision to include them in my review series after all. I won't go as in-depth as I did previously with regards to categories like "Also On Sale This Month", and I won't delve into the letter columns or provide copious continuity notes -- but I figure these stories are worth at least touching upon.

So, originally my plan was to provide a sort of "Afterword" to my Stern review series this Wednesday. But instead I'm going to save that for a couple weeks. Meaning, after tomorrow's "Goblins at the Gate" conclusion, we'll continue with Stern's Spider-Man through the holidays and up to the end of the year, devoting some time to a few of Stern's final issues to date starring the wondrous web-slinger, which tie back to his original run on AMAZING all those years ago.

Then, on New Year's Eve, the afore-mentioned Afterword will make its appearance to cap off the entire series.

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