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Spider-Man: Blue (Spider-Man Graphic Novels

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Author: Jeph Loeb

Published: July 27th 2011 by Marvel (first published April 7th 2004)

Format: Kindle Edition , 168 pages

Isbn: null

Language: English


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Collects Spider-Man: Blue (2002) #1-6. "It's about remembering someone so important to me I was going to spend the rest of my life with her." What Peter Parker didn't know was that meant Gwen Stacy would only get to spend the rest of her life with him. This is the story of how they fell in love. Or more appropriately, how they almost didn't fall in love. Welcome to Spider- Collects Spider-Man: Blue (2002) #1-6. "It's about remembering someone so important to me I was going to spend the rest of my life with her." What Peter Parker didn't know was that meant Gwen Stacy would only get to spend the rest of her life with him. This is the story of how they fell in love. Or more appropriately, how they almost didn't fall in love. Welcome to Spider-Man's life. Bad before good. It's kind of amazing. So to get the girl of his dreams, he'll have to run the gauntlet of the Green Goblin, the Rhino, two Vultures and a mysterious man in the shadows controlling it all. Join the Eisner Award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale in the story about Peter Parker's first love, Gwen Stacy. Highlighted by the introduction of Mary Jane Watson, it is a critical moment in Spider-Man's life when everything was just coming together - only to fall apart.

30 review for Spider-Man: Blue (Spider-Man Graphic Novels

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Jeph Loeb – the man who made having no ideas into a decades-long career in comics – brings his bafflingly successful approach to Batman over to Spider-Man. His approach? Tell stories that have already been told! With Batman, it was the fall of Harvey Dent in The Long Halloween, and Robin becoming his sidekick in Dark Victory; with Spider-Man Blue, it’s tangentially about the death of Gwen Stacy – but crucially, Gwen doesn’t die in this book. She’s also barely in the book. So wait… what the hell Jeph Loeb – the man who made having no ideas into a decades-long career in comics – brings his bafflingly successful approach to Batman over to Spider-Man. His approach? Tell stories that have already been told! With Batman, it was the fall of Harvey Dent in The Long Halloween, and Robin becoming his sidekick in Dark Victory; with Spider-Man Blue, it’s tangentially about the death of Gwen Stacy – but crucially, Gwen doesn’t die in this book. She’s also barely in the book. So wait… what the hell is this about?! Absolutely nothing. The setup is: Peter’s feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day and decides to talk to the long-deceased Gwen via a tape recorder about the good ol’ days (even though MJ, his wife, is elsewhere in the house). That’s it. There’s no story. There’s really no point either. There’s a half-assed story about some shadowy villain hunting Spider-Man but it’s little more than a reason for Loeb to shoehorn in some boring superhero fights between the, ahem, “romance” (plus the “mastermind” villain reveal is totally arbitrary and idiotic). Peter fights the Rhino, the Vulture, and the Lizard (this is another Loeb staple: throw the hero’s rogues gallery at him in stages for no reason). He meets MJ. He moves into his first flat with Harry. Gwen’s in the background some of the time. Flash joins the military. Peter and Gwen hook up. That’s it. That’s it?! Yeah. Because Loeb doesn’t know how to tell stories, he just throws characters together aimlessly and hopes that somehow a plot will emerge – and, what a surprise, it doesn’t. No, Spider-Man Blue is just a cheap excuse to shamelessly wallow in sentiment. Spider-Man’s “blue”, get it? ... So that must mean this book really pushes the Peter/Gwen angle hard so the reader gets a strong sense of why Peter feels so pained about her absence? Nope! Gwen is barely in this book even though she is the reason for its existence; she and Peter are rarely alone and never share any meaningful moments. Their first meeting, their relationship, her death – it’s all missing. If anything, this book’s about Peter and MJ’s early days - there are actually more scenes between Peter and MJ than there are Peter and Gwen! What is the point of having a book where Peter moons over Gwen’s death if we get no sense of their relationship? None. Because Loeb already knows the reader knows Gwen was important to Peter going into the book, he doesn’t bother doing any work here to portray why even though that’s the most important thing – the only thing really – he needed to write about. The only idea we get as readers that Peter and Gwen were important to one another is the scene at the end when they smooch for the first time. If all you knew going into this book was that Peter and Gwen were once in love but now she’s dead, you leave the book knowing exactly the same as you did going in. No more, no less – that’s how lazily written this book is! What Loeb gives us instead is a few glimpses of Peter staring at Gwen going “wow” before MJ shows up and he says “wow” to her (seriously, that’s an actual scene!). Because even though the book supposedly reveals how and why Peter and Gwen fell in love, based on what we see, they “fell” for one another because they’re both attractive young people and their entire “romance” is purely superficial and based on looks. Doomed, star-crossed lovers? Nah, just a pair of horny, good-looking young people! How “tragic” that they don’t get to bone each other anymore! It’s not even a fun read – it’s the most generic, bland Spider-Man book you could ever come across. The superhero fights are dull and meaningless, the soap opera is played out, beat for beat, the same way that it has for the last 50+ years. It’s a totally irrelevant, horribly overlong Spider-Man book that offers nothing insightful or substantial to the reader. I kinda liked Tim Sale’s art which is drawn in homage to early Spider-Man comics by Steve Ditko and John Romita. It’s the only plus about the book, but it’s not enough to make reading this worthwhile. Spider-Man Blue blows!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Spider-Man: Blue is a sort of flashback/retelling of how Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey originally met and fell in love. With MJ thrown into the mix and Peter moving into the city with Harry Osbourne, the plot mirrors parts of Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man film. The story is narrated by Peter as he records the story into an old tape recorder that was previously owned by his Uncle Ben. He remembers these early years when he took to the streets of New York, stopping some of the strongest and devious su Spider-Man: Blue is a sort of flashback/retelling of how Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey originally met and fell in love. With MJ thrown into the mix and Peter moving into the city with Harry Osbourne, the plot mirrors parts of Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man film. The story is narrated by Peter as he records the story into an old tape recorder that was previously owned by his Uncle Ben. He remembers these early years when he took to the streets of New York, stopping some of the strongest and devious super-villains around. I was a huge fan of what Sale and Loeb did with what is probably my favorite graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween. I really liked the two follow ups (Batman: Dark Victory and Batman: Haunted Knight) and more or less appreciated their run with Hush. I've only read a few Spidey graphic novels and was looking forward to exploring what they did with another superhero, especially one so different from Batman. The problem I had was not with Sale's exceptional art - which he delivered on yet again - but with the overall story. While it was cool seeing a few of the villains that Loeb used here, the backdrop of Peter pining over Gwen really did nothing for me. Especially since Loeb gave Gwen any real reason for Peter to fall in love with her other than being gorgeous. I suppose I was just bored and found my focus constantly drifting away. Also, I found the ending kind of creepy. In fact, the whole idea seemed sort of strange, really. I will say that I certainly enjoyed that they didn't (view spoiler)[ explain her death from her fall from the Brooklyn Bridge after a battle with The Goblin (hide spoiler)] . That seemed a little refreshing and gave the book a different feel that I didn't quite expect. I guess after reading such great work from their run on Batman, I expected a lot. I'm still going to seek out their take on Daredevil Legends, Vol. 1: Yellow and Wolverine, hopefully there a lot more satisfying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈

    Re-read. This is still the best of the color series. What makes this story work so well is Peter Parker's narrative. We have the context of Gwen Stacy's death and this retells part of that iconic story but this would be an average book without Peter Parker's voice. He is funny, charismatic and typically full of charm. So, when you combine that with the weight of his grief over Gwen Stacy and the wistful tone of his good memories of her, it makes for a very compelling story. Everyone knows how Gw Re-read. This is still the best of the color series. What makes this story work so well is Peter Parker's narrative. We have the context of Gwen Stacy's death and this retells part of that iconic story but this would be an average book without Peter Parker's voice. He is funny, charismatic and typically full of charm. So, when you combine that with the weight of his grief over Gwen Stacy and the wistful tone of his good memories of her, it makes for a very compelling story. Everyone knows how Gwen Stacy died and that Peter later ends up with MJ. Even without that context, this book leaves you with enough to gather that she dies and Peter was heartbroken. The way Loeb chose to tell this story, with Peter recording a message for her on Valentine's Day, was so effective because it allowed for clever ways to convey how he struggles to tell this story. The book starts with Peter stumbling over his words as he tries to begin his story. Loeb tells us that it's been years but Peter still leaves flowers for her on Valentines Day every year and that he still remembers little things about her, even now. Peter intends to tell the story of how they almost didn't fall in love and we get into the plot outside of his relationship with Gwen. This starts with Green Goblin attacking Spider-Man, finding out his secret identity and then losing his memory. In efforts to keep an eye on Norman Osborn, Peter drops by the hospital often and eventually befriends Harry Osborn. Peter sees Gwen for the first time when she comes with Flash to see Harry at the hospital. Sale's art really, really works for this book here. The first close up shot of Gwen is perfect. From here, Peter endeavors to get Gwen's attention and when it appears as though he may succeed, MJ shows up. A huge part of this book is MJ and Gwen pursuing Peter at the same time. It does a pretty good job at conveying that, while he's flattered because hello, MJ is gorgeous, he never intended to choose her over Gwen. It does an even better job at emphasizing what MJ and Gwen see in Peter, as well. If these relationships aren't believable, then this book wouldn't work. This book has a time line that's incredibly easy to follow but on a second read, I noticed the lead up to Green Goblin's attack in the conclusion of Gwen's story a lot more! There are several points throughout where Peter talks about "If I'd stopped Osborn then" or "If he'd died during this attack", then Gwen would still be alive. Of course, Peter isn't the Punisher of Black Widow and he would never be okay with something like that, but he thinks about it. It's an added layer to his grief because you know it's a hard thing for him to think about. Several times throughout retelling this story, Peter struggles to continue. The click of the tape recorder was a clever way to convey that this is difficult for Peter to get through. The art and the colors in this book work extremely well when we get to see Peter recording the message. It's a dark blue, he's hunched over in the shadows and everything about this scene works for the story. MJ comes across Peter as he's leaving this message and however we expect her to react, she asks that Peter say "Hi" to Gwen for her. It's a simple way to say that Gwen's impact is acknowledged by people outside of Peter. The only times we get darker books like this for Peter Parker are books that deal with the death of an important person in his life. Loeb explains the reasoning behind the title in the last lines of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    If you want your emotions trampled on it's always a good bet to pick up a Loeb & Sale trade because they're the best, the story and the artwork always work so well together. I'm not the biggest Peter Parker fan, i rarely pick up anything to do with him, (plus Miles is the best spider-man so y'know jog on Parker.) So i did just pick this up purely because it's done by Loeb & Sale and again i was not disappointed, i'm emotionally ruined now so thanks. It is quite short though and i do think Loeb h If you want your emotions trampled on it's always a good bet to pick up a Loeb & Sale trade because they're the best, the story and the artwork always work so well together. I'm not the biggest Peter Parker fan, i rarely pick up anything to do with him, (plus Miles is the best spider-man so y'know jog on Parker.) So i did just pick this up purely because it's done by Loeb & Sale and again i was not disappointed, i'm emotionally ruined now so thanks. It is quite short though and i do think Loeb has a habit of building and building this story and then it just ends abruptly just when you think all hell is about to break lose but nah son they ain't about that. Definitely worth picking up, especially for spider-man fans, i'm still not that bothered about Parker but it was a nice try.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gordon

    Spider-Man: Blue is not a typical superhero graphic novel; it is something much more human. This is not that typical collection of action sequences and shallow story arcs that you can find in a lot of comic books. In Spider-Man: Blue, we see a much more vulnerable side of our titular crime-fighter, a side that nearly all of us can relate to. In a rare moment of reflection, we delve deep into the pain and loss that Spider-Man carries with him day-in and day-out, and we get an intimate look at how Spider-Man: Blue is not a typical superhero graphic novel; it is something much more human. This is not that typical collection of action sequences and shallow story arcs that you can find in a lot of comic books. In Spider-Man: Blue, we see a much more vulnerable side of our titular crime-fighter, a side that nearly all of us can relate to. In a rare moment of reflection, we delve deep into the pain and loss that Spider-Man carries with him day-in and day-out, and we get an intimate look at how the loss of his first love, Gwen Stacy, affected his entire life thereafter. Spider-Man: Blue goes back in time to recount the days when Gwen Stacy was still alive, still the apple of Peter's eye. Yet, it does not retread old comic storylines in their entirety, but rather shows bits and pieces of several major moments in Spider-Man's life right before he tragically lost Gwen Stacy. This graphic novel does a great job at giving the reader new perspectives on old scenarios, focusing heavily on Peter's more personal thoughts on Gwen and Mary Jane Watson during his earlier days as a web-slinger. This could have easily been messed up by reprinting old panels from decades-old comics and mixing them all together with new additions to tell this story, which would have cheapened the experience. Thankfully, each moment of Spider-Man: Blue is a new retelling of the old stories that most Spidey fans know fondly, adding in substantive details that the older comics failed to touch upon so long ago. These additions make the characters feel more three-dimensional and real, and ultimately adds another layer of depth to the Spider-Man mythos. The tone of this graphic novel was appropriately melancholy throughout, though not without its sprinkling of Spider-Man's world famous witticisms. The manner in which Peter reminisces about Gwen was heartbreakingly intimate, allowing him to reveal details about these past events that otherwise may not have ever appeared in a speech or thought bubble. The only time things might get a little muddled is when the Spider-Man moments pop up, and by that I mean those pesky parts where there is action and crime-fighting (how dare they put such things in a comic!). Though some of my favorite Spidey comics are composed almost entirely of these kinds of action oriented moments (see Maximum Carnage), I highly preferred the parts that focused on Peter and his interactions with his friends and love interests over the fist flailing moments that I can get anywhere else. After all, the point of this graphic novel was to elaborate more on the relationship he had with Gwen and Mary Jane, not to bring up his fights with the Rhino and Vulture. I know these fights were relevant to the stories being told, but I feel they would have been better relegated to a single page or two, just to get it out of the way without breaking the flow of the narrative. Besides these few moments interrupting the true story at hand, I found Spider-Man: Blue to be well written and executed quite nicely for a superhero love story. One complaint I had with this graphic novel was its inconsistent artwork. I know it may be blasphemous to criticize the highly revered Tim Sale and his work, but I felt it was lacking in some places. One moment, you would see a beautifully illustrated Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson. In the next, you will see obvious flaws in their features. These incongruities were not solely relegated to Gwen and MJ, for I also found Harry Osborn to look awful most times. The only consistent standout was Spider-Man in costume, and even then he was nothing special to gawk at. The artwork should have excelled in this graphic novel because of how emotional and intimate its story was, so to have less-than stellar artwork breaking that immersion and connection to the story was a real let down for me. I personally think this work would have greatly benefited from a more traditional style of artwork for the characters, allowing readers to focus more on the substance of the story and less on that hideous nose they threw on Harry Osborn, among other artistic flaws. Sale can be great (look at Batman: The Long Halloween) but he was not at his best this time around. A pity. Overall, I was really impressed by Spider-Man: Blue. Nowadays, it seems that far too many graphic novels and comic book story arcs place their time and attention on these massive events in which I could not possibly have any interest. Sure, a story about the end of the universe can be cool once in a while, but all the time? I get sick of that real quick (that's why I abandoned most superhero movies coming out as of late). How am I supposed to find anything relatable in these massive event comics when they barely touch upon anyhting based in reality? That is why I breathed a sigh of relief when I sat down and read Spider-Man: Blue. This graphic novel does not try to be a groundbreaker by any means, nor does it try to redefine the characters or established norms of the Spider-Man universe. Instead, this graphic novel just tells a story about a guy looking back at the days before he lost his first true love. Simple. Effective. Touching. No need for the epic battle sequences and time-bending, canon-altering consequences for which Marvel seems to have an affinity these days. As far as I am concerned, Spider-Man: Blue is far more effective at telling an engaging story than those aforementioned massive works because this story lacks the grandiose additions that would otherwise tarnish and distract from a perfectly good story about the more human side of our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. You can keep you Infinity Gauntlet, I'm much more content with Peter's tape recorder to Gwen Stacy. I highly recommend reading this one if you want a break from the chaotic messes and confusing catastrophes plaguing modern comics today. I would also recommend reading it for Valentine's Day due to its touching subject matter and the fact that part of it takes place on Valentine's Day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jacobi

    Up until last night I would not have considered myself an active fan on Tim Sale's art. I recognized that his work was definitely quality, but he was never a "favorite" artist of mine. Just a guy who's work was pleasing when he drew something I wanted to read. Holy hell did that just change when I read Spider-man Blue for the first time. I was blown away. I don't think I've seen sexier women in comics than the way Sale drew MJ and Gwen. I hate to belittle another artist to bolster another, but Ed Up until last night I would not have considered myself an active fan on Tim Sale's art. I recognized that his work was definitely quality, but he was never a "favorite" artist of mine. Just a guy who's work was pleasing when he drew something I wanted to read. Holy hell did that just change when I read Spider-man Blue for the first time. I was blown away. I don't think I've seen sexier women in comics than the way Sale drew MJ and Gwen. I hate to belittle another artist to bolster another, but Ed Benes is a good example of how you can try and draw "sexy" and completely miss the mark. Benes' cheesecake is obvious and egregious. Ass shots and poses that would make a contortionist proud are all well and good (in its place), but sexy it is not. What Sale did in Blue though was to get across what it is to find a woman so completely captivating that you can't help but not look away. And this might be starting to sound creepy, but I just want to give Sale so much credit for getting that across because it made sense considering what the story was about. If someone else drew this you might not have got why it was that Peter was so instantly smitten by both Gwen and MJ. Through his art, Sale put the reader right in Peter's shoes. On top of that, Sale draws an INCREDIBLE Spider-man and rogues gallery. Every time there was an introduction of a Spidey bad guy, I was just pleased as punch at Sale's rendition of these tried and true characters. Sale also does great Spidey action because his art is so full of motion. My jaw was figuratively falling on the floor every time I turned the page. But more than the action, it was the moments when the gang were together that Sale's art really shown through for me. For lack of a better term, Sale is good at infusing the gang with emotion and having the characters "act" is a way that draws you in the story. The story didn't feel staged or rigid, but the panels of the gang felt like a natural gathering of real friends. It might seem silly (and a bit toolish) to say it, but I didn't feel like I was reading a comic, but instead was peaking into these characters lives. I think the reason Sale was so great on this book (and why Marcos Martin is doing something similar on Amazing currently) is that they put there unique spins on the John Romita style. I'm no Romita aficionado, but it's kind of hard to not be familiar with his style. I could see that in this book without Sale being a slave to it. It was just a really great reading experience. I've read and really enjoyed Superman For All Seasons and The Long Halloween, but Spider-man: Blue (while not as good a story on it's own, but still a pretty good one) really showed me another side to one of my new favorite artists.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I happened to read this one at the perfect time, just after The Night Gwen Stacy Died, and then Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 4. By the end of that volume, Peter and Gwen start to become friends and I believe it ends only a few issues before Mary Jane Watson appears. This book shows how Peter, MJ, and Gwen met and interacted during the period up until Pete and Gwen finally got together, punctuated with Pete's collisions with the Green Goblin, the old and new Vultures, the Rhin I happened to read this one at the perfect time, just after The Night Gwen Stacy Died, and then Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 4. By the end of that volume, Peter and Gwen start to become friends and I believe it ends only a few issues before Mary Jane Watson appears. This book shows how Peter, MJ, and Gwen met and interacted during the period up until Pete and Gwen finally got together, punctuated with Pete's collisions with the Green Goblin, the old and new Vultures, the Rhino, the Lizard, and (view spoiler)[Kraven (hide spoiler)] . Much like other Loeb/Sale collaborations I've read (Superman: For All Seasons, Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory), I found this to be an excellent distillation of a, if not the, prime period in Spider-Man's fictional life. Sale's art is classic and dramatic without being cluttered; in some ways he improves upon the original character designs by compressing fifty years of history and capturing their nostalgic essences. Told in flashback after Pete's marriage to Mary Jane, it comes across as tender, mournful, and bittersweet, though admittedly the story probably would lose most of its impact on a reader who hadn't just read about the death of one of its two female leads. Gwen is mysterious and aloof while MJ is in Pete's face, confounding and exciting him; Loeb's depictions of the girls makes it clear why a college kid who gets regular adrenaline rushes from swinging around NYC and punching out supervillains would take an interest in each of them. I caught a review that found it distasteful that Peter would be "cheating on his wife with a memory", but it's clear that the three of them were always friends and MJ was also profoundly changed by Gwen's death. In the end, MJ understands Peter's desire to capture his memories and joins him. Remembering a lost love and friend the way they do here hardly seems to be a bad thing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    RATING: 3.5 STARS To be honest, I don't read much of Spiderman, so I can't really compare this to any other Spiderman stuff. Spiderman: Blue was highly recommended by a friend who I share some comic book faves with so I decided to give this a go. I liked this. I just wasn't completely blown away by it. However, there is one thing about this that caught me off guard - the emotions. And if you know me, I love reading about stuff that has a lot of heart in it, and this one definitely has it. In Spide RATING: 3.5 STARS To be honest, I don't read much of Spiderman, so I can't really compare this to any other Spiderman stuff. Spiderman: Blue was highly recommended by a friend who I share some comic book faves with so I decided to give this a go. I liked this. I just wasn't completely blown away by it. However, there is one thing about this that caught me off guard - the emotions. And if you know me, I love reading about stuff that has a lot of heart in it, and this one definitely has it. In Spiderman: Blue, you see this side of Peter that I haven't seen yet. You see his vulnerability and his weakness. Sure, you do get his spunky and funny side of him too, but the way his emotions were exposed on this was one thing that I really likes. One of my qualms about this was how I didn't get to know Gwen Stacey as much as I would have liked. Yes, this has Gwen and MJ in it, but mostly it's supposed to have focused on Gwen, her being the main love interest here. Unfortunately, that wasn't how it felt like to me. Tim Sale's art impeccable as always.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sumit Singla

    I've never been a great fan of Spiderman, because I find his personal life to be a little too sappy. The movie franchise has made him even worse as far as I'm concerned because Tobey Maguire just doesn't fit into my mental picture of Spiderman at all. However, Tim Sale's art in this one is really, really good! The story isn't great. The overall premise is that Spidey is narrating the tale of his love for Gwen Stacy and her untimely death into an old tape recorder. Not a great thing to do, conside I've never been a great fan of Spiderman, because I find his personal life to be a little too sappy. The movie franchise has made him even worse as far as I'm concerned because Tobey Maguire just doesn't fit into my mental picture of Spiderman at all. However, Tim Sale's art in this one is really, really good! The story isn't great. The overall premise is that Spidey is narrating the tale of his love for Gwen Stacy and her untimely death into an old tape recorder. Not a great thing to do, considering his current wife, MJ is asleep downstairs. There are far too many villains who appear, get beaten up, and disappear. The fight situations are a little underwhelming, therefore. And the other issue is that Gwen Stacy doesn't actually die in the book. She's dead, but the how/why isn't explained. However, read it for Sale's lovely art, if nothing else. Perhaps 3 stars is a bit harsh, but then one surely expects better and more coherent storytelling from someone of Jeph Loeb's class.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Spider-Man: Blue felt a little like a love letter of sorts to long-time fans of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. In another sense it really IS a love letter - Peter Parker pours out his feelings regarding long-lost first love Gwen Stacy in first-person narration throughout the six-part story. The artwork is fantastic, resembling and/or capturing the spirit of the mid-60's style from the original 'Amazing' series, and a major line-up of original villains take turns making appearances. Lastly Spider-Man: Blue felt a little like a love letter of sorts to long-time fans of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. In another sense it really IS a love letter - Peter Parker pours out his feelings regarding long-lost first love Gwen Stacy in first-person narration throughout the six-part story. The artwork is fantastic, resembling and/or capturing the spirit of the mid-60's style from the original 'Amazing' series, and a major line-up of original villains take turns making appearances. Lastly, the plot engine is focused more on Parker's personal life (though there are sufficient super-heroics), instead of a generic crime story, which make his memories and mourning more effective.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Very good storytelling but 3 stars cause its nothing new. Peter Parker records the story about how he met Gwen and how he is still missing her

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    For better or worse, history can define a person and how certain moments in life can shape your actions and will forever carry you in the future. That in a nutshell, can perfectly describe Peter Parker, a kid who got bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives powers that he initially uses for profit, only for that selfish act brings the death of Uncle Ben. Without that tragedy, Peter wouldn't become Spider-Man and as much as he will try and do good, there will always be consequences in living t For better or worse, history can define a person and how certain moments in life can shape your actions and will forever carry you in the future. That in a nutshell, can perfectly describe Peter Parker, a kid who got bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives powers that he initially uses for profit, only for that selfish act brings the death of Uncle Ben. Without that tragedy, Peter wouldn't become Spider-Man and as much as he will try and do good, there will always be consequences in living that double life. Published in 2002, Spider-Man: Blue is part of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's series of comics that chronicle particular Marvel Comics characters in their formative years, including Daredevil and Hulk. It is Valentine's Day, and Peter feels "blue" over one of his true loves, Gwen Stacy, who died a while ago. so he recounts into a tape recorder about how Gwen and he fell in love. Recounting the events from The Amazing Spider-Man #40–48 and #63, one can perceive that the creators are doing a love-letter to the John Romita Sr. run, as evidenced in Tim Sale's illustrations evoking Romita's approach of all his characters are incredibly handsome, whilst Spidey himself is all muscle and not the skinny figure from his inception. Personally, I've always preferred the ugly and claustrophobic surroundings from co-creator Steve Ditko, but Sale plays a nice tribute to one of the quintessential Spider-Man artists. Despite the interesting premise of Peter looks back at his romance with Gwen and how that informs his present marriage with Mary Jane, due to literally retreading old ground and really giving us nothing new, it perfectly sums up that Jeph Loeb has no original ideas. It also doesn't help that he can't write women as there is no clear distinction between MJ and Gwen, apart from hair colour, as they're both wearing fashionable clothing and falling for Peter pretty quickly. Prior to getting her own series as Spider-Gwen, one can argue that Gwen's only signature traits are being Peter's first love and dying, but if you look at comics such as Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross, you can give Gwen more to do, even if she remains in the grave. Despite some decent character moments such as the brief arc for former bully Flash Thompson, the villains themselves just pop up with the connective tissue of some other villain pulling the strings in order to find a weakness towards the wall-crawler. There is no peril when Spidey takes on these characters and when it's revealed who the big baddie is, you just shake your head in frustration. Ending on an emotional note, the rest of the book will make you feel "blue" as despite some decent art by Tim Sale, Jeph Loeb never finds a fresh angle into looking back into a key moment in Spidey's history.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diz

    In this book, Peter Parker is making a recording for the dead Gwen Stacy for Valentine's Day in which he recounts how he fell in love with Gwen and the difficulties that he had in choosing between Gwen and MJ. The recording is very sad and you can feel how much Peter regrets not spending more time with Gwen. It's a very introspective take on Spider-man and the conclusion is very heart-warming. I also really liked the art. Tim Sales use of solid colors and silhouettes is really stylish and dramat In this book, Peter Parker is making a recording for the dead Gwen Stacy for Valentine's Day in which he recounts how he fell in love with Gwen and the difficulties that he had in choosing between Gwen and MJ. The recording is very sad and you can feel how much Peter regrets not spending more time with Gwen. It's a very introspective take on Spider-man and the conclusion is very heart-warming. I also really liked the art. Tim Sales use of solid colors and silhouettes is really stylish and dramatic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Britton

    Do all of my GR friends hate this? No love for this?...I must have shit taste in comics. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are one of comics' most iconic duos, having put out stuff as legendary works like Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Superman: For All Seasons (or From, I don't rightly remember), and their Marvel 'Color' series, which explores characters like Daredevil, Captain America, Hulk, and the aforementioned Spider Man. I will admit I've only read Daredevil: Yellow and Spider Man Do all of my GR friends hate this? No love for this?...I must have shit taste in comics. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are one of comics' most iconic duos, having put out stuff as legendary works like Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Superman: For All Seasons (or From, I don't rightly remember), and their Marvel 'Color' series, which explores characters like Daredevil, Captain America, Hulk, and the aforementioned Spider Man. I will admit I've only read Daredevil: Yellow and Spider Man: Blue. But for me, Spider Man: Blue has always been the better work, at least in my opinion. Loeb and Sale could've focused on any of the major deaths that Peter has faced through in his life such as Uncle Ben or Harry, but Loeb chose Gwen Stacy for Peter to focus on. Gwen Stacy's death was one of the most iconic deaths in comics history and one of the first to take comics in a more mature direction before any figures like Moore, Gerber, Miller, or O'Neil showed up on the scene. It's also a death that shook Peter to the core for years to come, and Blue asks the question what happens next. What happens after Peter has moved on considerably, married, and has a happy life even after Gwen's death? This book was already one of my favorite Spider Man stories, but it became of more importance to me after one of my closest friends died all of the sudden. I was scouring places to find something that I could relate to in this dark hour, and this book, along with others, helped me come to somewhat of terms with that loss. I also knew that Loeb would know what I would be going through, as he sadly lost his son Sam to bone cancer. One of the biggest strengths of this book is the simultaneous use of colors to show Peter's grief as well as his nostalgia for the old days. I enjoyed how maturely Loeb explores the subject of grief in this book as well as Sale's art showing the melancholy of the series as well as the heartwarming sensation of falling in love. There are so many moments in this series that had me floored emotionally, in particular the ending of the story and Peter's monologues about how he truly felt about Gwen. Many people consider this one of the best Spider Man stories of all time, and I would join them in holding it in that respect. "It's about remembering someone who was so important to me I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. I didn't know that she would only get to spend the rest of her life with me." Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    This is not a good book. The art is beautiful, yes, but the story just isn't there. The framing sequence is that Peter Parker misses his first love, so he records himself fondly reminiscing about their early days - while his wife is asleep or downstairs or something. It's creepy, even though MJ does make an appearance at the end to share her perspective, because it feels like I'm supposed to sympathize with someone cheating on his wife with a memory. And then the story doesn't justify the awkwar This is not a good book. The art is beautiful, yes, but the story just isn't there. The framing sequence is that Peter Parker misses his first love, so he records himself fondly reminiscing about their early days - while his wife is asleep or downstairs or something. It's creepy, even though MJ does make an appearance at the end to share her perspective, because it feels like I'm supposed to sympathize with someone cheating on his wife with a memory. And then the story doesn't justify the awkwardness - it leads up to Gwen's death without actually including it, and it isn't even really about the romance. It involves a few aspects of a romance with Gwen, but the flashbacks are more about Peter dating MJ and occasionally pining for Gwen. I love Gwen Stacy, I do, especially when Tim Sale gives her some sultry Lauren Bacall poses in the first half of the book, and she deserves better than this collection, stylish though it is.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Greensmith

    "Will you do me a favor, Peter? Say “hello” for me and— …Tell Gwen I miss her too."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    I'm a Spider-man fan who prefers John Romita Sr over Steve Ditko. That's one of the reasons why I really like what Loeb and Sale do with Spider-man: Blue, because it's based on the first 9 issues that Romita Sr drew and for me it's a great interpretation of some classic stories while also adding in their own things. The story is told through the point of view of Peter himself, who is narrating his time with Gwen and early days with MJ into a tape recorder. The whole book is an out of continuity I'm a Spider-man fan who prefers John Romita Sr over Steve Ditko. That's one of the reasons why I really like what Loeb and Sale do with Spider-man: Blue, because it's based on the first 9 issues that Romita Sr drew and for me it's a great interpretation of some classic stories while also adding in their own things. The story is told through the point of view of Peter himself, who is narrating his time with Gwen and early days with MJ into a tape recorder. The whole book is an out of continuity flashback of sorts. Basically, it's really lovely. I've read online that some people don't get what the deal is with Gwen, since the majority of readers these days grew up with Spider-man dating/married to MJ or with the post One More Day divorce situation. But I've always had a liking for Gwen Stacy. I like the romantic tragedy behind her story. That this was Peter's true love, but she was taken away from him. I think Loeb and Sale do a really good job of capturing what Peter felt and still feels for Gwen, whilst still giving MJ the service she deserves (since she turned out to be his 'true love' after all). Tim Sale's artwork is fantastic. He goes for the slightly broader Spider-man, which is very Romita-esque, and his Peter also has that slight Romita handsomeness to him. But there are some Ditko elements in there, most notably in his Green Goblin. I think he also steps up to the task of drawing Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, which isn't an easy feat when you're interpreting a Romita Senior story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    I'm starting to see what people don't like about Jeph Loeb. When I read his Batman, it works, but that's probably because I haven't read a whole lot of Batman. Spider-Man? Well, to say I've read a metric fuckshitload of Spider-Man would be the most offensive way I could put it without getting into racial territory. And when you've read a lot, Loeb kind of rehashes a lot of stuff. Like he's boiling down Spider-Man's encounters with the Green Goblin into about two pages, but it doesn't offer a whole I'm starting to see what people don't like about Jeph Loeb. When I read his Batman, it works, but that's probably because I haven't read a whole lot of Batman. Spider-Man? Well, to say I've read a metric fuckshitload of Spider-Man would be the most offensive way I could put it without getting into racial territory. And when you've read a lot, Loeb kind of rehashes a lot of stuff. Like he's boiling down Spider-Man's encounters with the Green Goblin into about two pages, but it doesn't offer a whole lot of newness. Also, I think he DID capture the way these characters talked in their early years. But I don't know if that's a good thing. It was good and necessary at the time, but now it feels very dated, and not so much in a cute way. Imagine if Mad Men characters spoke like characters from Gunsmoke. So maybe Jeph Loeb is great when it comes to characters you don't know all that well. Or intimately. Almost too intimately.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jedhua

    My Brief Bookshelf Overview: mature, mellow, odd-or-unconventional, steady-storytelling-style, story-not-intriguing-enough Additional Notes: This collection contains Spider-Man: Blue issues #1-4. ABSOLUTE RATING: {2.5/5 stars} (Rounded Down) STANDARDIZED RATING: Compared to Hulk: Gray , Spider-Man: Blue feels less like forced pathos, but more pedestrian, boring, and repetitive. And the adolescent romance comes off as capricious and uninteresting. Even Loeb's art seems to be no My Brief Bookshelf Overview: mature, mellow, odd-or-unconventional, steady-storytelling-style, story-not-intriguing-enough Additional Notes: This collection contains Spider-Man: Blue issues #1-4. ABSOLUTE RATING: {2.5/5 stars} (Rounded Down) STANDARDIZED RATING: <2/5 stars> Compared to Hulk: Gray , Spider-Man: Blue feels less like forced pathos, but more pedestrian, boring, and repetitive. And the adolescent romance comes off as capricious and uninteresting. Even Loeb's art seems to be noticeably less impressive than it was for his Hulk story. I think this book exemplifies nearly everything I hate about Spider-Man and puts it all together.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lizz

    3.5 stars that I rounded up to 4 because Tim Sale's art is great and because Peter had a milk mustache for two pages.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lenny

    What a disappointment - if I wasn't reading this for book club I wouldn't have finished. Peter uses Uncle Ben's old tape recorder to tell his forgotten love story with Gwen Stacy... but Gwen is barely in this. We learn nothing about her, and what does Peter know about her, exactly? She's a blonde who "likes it fast" (motorcycles, folks...motorcycles), and takes an interest in him? That she dances at parties and can read Huck Finn? Yeesh. They only become a couple in the closing pages - we don't What a disappointment - if I wasn't reading this for book club I wouldn't have finished. Peter uses Uncle Ben's old tape recorder to tell his forgotten love story with Gwen Stacy... but Gwen is barely in this. We learn nothing about her, and what does Peter know about her, exactly? She's a blonde who "likes it fast" (motorcycles, folks...motorcycles), and takes an interest in him? That she dances at parties and can read Huck Finn? Yeesh. They only become a couple in the closing pages - we don't even see their relationship at all. Of course Gwen's death is tragic, but she's not really a person in this book - like the fate of many dead women in comics (and I'm sure other literature too), Gwen and her death only exist as a device for Peter's growth, not as her own person. (Remember Women in Refrigerators? Yep. Guess who's on that list?) Instead, the closing pages make the story far more about MJ and Peter's relationship, which, to be clear, is still very little. MJ is more insufferable than Gwen (she tells Peter she "won the jackpot," and asks if he "likes what he sees" - which I believe is from the original 60's comics, but that doesn't make it okay, Jeph Loeb!), but between her and Gwen, she has the more meaningful experience with Peter, tagging along as he "takes photos" of Rhino. Other than that scene, MJ and Gwen mostly just try to seduce Peter with sultry eyes and an impossible amount of mascara, thanks to Tim Sale. And that's paired by Peter's excuse of stringing them both along - you know how boys get with those hormones! Even if they're superheroes who save the city multiple times over, those boys are just a slave to those hormones. The rest of the book, which is most of it, is just the early days of Spider-Man - Green Goblin, Rhino, and Peter's grief of losing out on his personal life. There's nothing new, and it's a huge missed opportunity to actually dig into Gwen Stacy as a person, so the reader can also mourn her loss like Peter does. And I'm also not a fan of Sale's work here, aside from the action scenes. Faces look wooden and awkward, there are some weird proportion issues (especially when Peter visits Harry and Norman in the hospital), and by god Sale doesn't draw women well. He seems hellbent on making sure MJ and Gwen look as catty and impossibly curvy as possible - or the second option, frail and decrepit like Aunt May. (Who, might I remind you once again, is Peter's aunt, not his great grandmother.) Harry also looks like he's approaching his midlife crisis rather than his senior year of high school.  This has been your angry feminist rant about Spider-Man: Blue!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tomungo X

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Did I just tear up reading this, anyways, what a cool way to discover spiderman, the heart and soul and what it means to be a superhero, even though, its a played out theme, sometimes its good to see the softerside of a hero who faces danger and still have a heart of gold! In this case BLUE!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    For those of you who remember the introduction of Peter Parker's girls Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, and their portrayal by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., in, roughly, Amazing Spider-Man #36-50, in the mid-1960s, this is for you. For those who didn't read the 1960s stories, read this, and read those, however you find them. I found them on their first reprinting in the newsstand comic book Marvel Tales, between 1970-1972. Sequentially, the increase in flirtation between Peter, Gwen, and MJ, wi For those of you who remember the introduction of Peter Parker's girls Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, and their portrayal by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., in, roughly, Amazing Spider-Man #36-50, in the mid-1960s, this is for you. For those who didn't read the 1960s stories, read this, and read those, however you find them. I found them on their first reprinting in the newsstand comic book Marvel Tales, between 1970-1972. Sequentially, the increase in flirtation between Peter, Gwen, and MJ, with a strong hint of romance comics contributed by the great Johnny Romita (later and longtime art director for Marvel) came after the first 38 great issues drawn - and sometimes plotted - by the great Steve Ditko, in which Peter Parker is a true (if inspiring) nerd. Here, the nerd buys a motorcycle, grows just a little bit of hair, and meets the love(s) of his life. The tone of these beautifully retold chapters recaptures the gentle, apolitical soap opera of the originals, with the addition of some beautiful influences from period graphics, cited in the endpapers, sketches, and notes. I don't like every title Loeb - a prolific writer - produces, but I love his collaborations with artist Tim Sale, such as Hulk: Grey, Daredevil: Yellow, and, for DC Comics, the Challengers of the Unknown, a Superman graphic novel, and many Batman stories and novels, including Batman: The Long Halloween. Most recently, their Captain America: White Captain America: White suffers only from its unfortunate title, as I think Red, White & Blue would have been a more inclusive choice. Seek them all out. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    Jeph Loeb's nostalgic, rose-tinted look back books work well with the big guys, like Superman and here, Spidey. This is a very enjoyable run through Peter's run up to becoming involved with Gwen Stacy, told in the form of a flashback, while Peter records a taped message to the long-dead Gwen on Valentine's Day. To see her so vibrant and full of life (and MJ, Pete, Harry, even Flash) is bittersweet, because they all had the world in front of them, and yet, we know what life throws in front of the Jeph Loeb's nostalgic, rose-tinted look back books work well with the big guys, like Superman and here, Spidey. This is a very enjoyable run through Peter's run up to becoming involved with Gwen Stacy, told in the form of a flashback, while Peter records a taped message to the long-dead Gwen on Valentine's Day. To see her so vibrant and full of life (and MJ, Pete, Harry, even Flash) is bittersweet, because they all had the world in front of them, and yet, we know what life throws in front of them all. Yet, for all the villains he fights here, Spidey's only problems then were figuring out which girl was for him. Great art from Tim Sale works very well here, including the classic Spidey villains (Goblin, Lizard, Rhino, Vulture, Kraven). I wonder if it was a plan to have more Marvel characters look back and writer/speak to their long-passed first loves? The Daredevil:Yellow and Spidey:Blue books should be packaged together and read alongside each other. I think I would have got more out of DD had I known more, but with Spidey, he's just such a part of Pop Culture, it's hard not to know. For me, this is a nostalgia trip that worked very well. Strongly recommended, maybe if you want something a bit simpler, yet still moving, that feels like watching a classic movie.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Abe Something

    I hadn't read a Spiderman book before this and will likely not read another one in the future because I am one of those comic readers who admittedly avoids superhero books in attempt to justify my comic reading hobby. That said, I really enjoyed this book. The 6-issue pacing was perfect, the mystery of who is hunting Spiderman in the shadows worked to drive the combative element in the story, and the resolution of the book nearly moved me to tears. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that but, st I hadn't read a Spiderman book before this and will likely not read another one in the future because I am one of those comic readers who admittedly avoids superhero books in attempt to justify my comic reading hobby. That said, I really enjoyed this book. The 6-issue pacing was perfect, the mystery of who is hunting Spiderman in the shadows worked to drive the combative element in the story, and the resolution of the book nearly moved me to tears. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that but, strong writing deserves its due. I really loved the framing of the narrative, Spiderman reflecting on the past into a tape recorded ... spinning a web, if you will. Well done. Recommended for Spiderman fans, obviously but more importantly, recommended for comic readers who find themselves hesitant to read any superhero books beyond The Watchmen. You know who you are.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vinton Bayne

    Probably the best Spider-man Graphic Novel I have read. I love how it goes back and tells a story, that is really a re-telling, with a new perspective and more insight, without changing the original story, just illuminating more about it. Very well done, I would suggest this to anyone who wants to read a good spider-man story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I loved this. I'm a big fan of Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb, they've done some amazing stuff together. This was great, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I'm not a big Spider-Man fan, but this is the way to tell a spidey story. Beautiful crisp artwork. Heartfelt story telling. If You're interested in reading a Spider-Man Graphic novel, Read this one.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Miguel

    Not perfect at all. Some dialogue between peter and aunt may was just stupid and unrealistic IN MY opinion :S But overall was enjoyable. Just giving 4 stars because of the conclusion... the last chapter was amazing!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    A great read, but not nearly as good as Hulk: Grey or Daredevil: Yellow.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Max Tsudowood

    There truly is a sense of sincerity and earnestness in Peter's reflective recording as if he were talking to Gwen. I think this aspect of the story accurately captures the everlastingness, however small it may be, of the sentiment of one's first love. This nicely complements the events pertaining to Peter's improving social life that occurred in the past. Spiderman's fights, however, are there only as fillers so that Peter's life story can have some breathing space. Removal of all rouge villains There truly is a sense of sincerity and earnestness in Peter's reflective recording as if he were talking to Gwen. I think this aspect of the story accurately captures the everlastingness, however small it may be, of the sentiment of one's first love. This nicely complements the events pertaining to Peter's improving social life that occurred in the past. Spiderman's fights, however, are there only as fillers so that Peter's life story can have some breathing space. Removal of all rouge villains except for the Vulture and having the web-crawler handle petty criminals and help his fellow New Yorkers would have been tonally appropriate considering the series as a whole, in my opinion. As for Tim Sale's art it's similar to John Romita's art style found in The Amazing Spider-Man to ensure that it aligns with the story but I couldn't help but notice the awkward faces of the men found in the first 3 issues. The women, however, look great, throughout. I admit that I didn't read much of The Amazing Spider-Man but I like Tim Sale's reimagining of Mary Jane's iconic entry; she exudes so much charisma and extroversion here, which goes hand-in-hand with her personality. The contrasting facial and bodily expressions as well as the costume colours of the two ladies help to enhance Peter's state of confusion as to who should be leaning towards. Lastly, the covers of all of the issues are absolutely stunning. 3.5/5

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