The Amazing Spider-Man #36 (September 2001), by J.Michael Straczynski & John Romita Jr.

A horrified Spider-Man arrives at the site of the World Trade Center attack, where he joins other super-heroes in assisting with rescue and clean-up efforts, while attempting to process his own thoughts and emotions regarding the event.

My Thoughts:  I feel that the key to appreciating this issue is to not treat it as an "in-continuity" story, because, frankly, it makes no sense that way. To me, this comic should be taken as JMS ( or perhaps Marvel as a whole) expressing their reactions to the event through the medium of the characters.

If you don't take it this way, you run into the problem that always arises when you tie comics into "real world" events, the fact that if super-human beings (and aliens and androids and super-technology) existed in the "real world", then the world wouldn't be remotely like the one we know, not to  mention having to address the question of why,once the first plane had hit, every hero in Manhattan would not have raced to the site then, and stopped the second plane by any means available, and so on.  It's just  too problematical to deal with "in-continuity".

Random Thoughts:

  • The art on this is quite good. JR Jr. is usually pretty reliable.
  • The bit with Doom getting teary-eyed is a bit much. I understand why they wanted to show that even the villains were horrified, but it was a little too jarringly out of character for Doom, even for this kind of situation.
  • Probably the most affecting scene for me is when Spidey sees Cap and wonders what it's like to see two events like this in one lifetime.

Overall:  Not a perfect issue, but overall  a good issue considering the potential pitfalls of the situation.

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.... having to address the question of why,once the first plane had hit, every hero in Manhattan would not have raced to the site then, and stopped the second plane by any means available, and so on.

Which is exactly what happened in Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' Ex Machina.



Richard Willis said:

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.... having to address the question of why,once the first plane had hit, every hero in Manhattan would not have raced to the site then, and stopped the second plane by any means available, and so on.

Which is exactly what happened in Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris' Ex Machina.

Interesting, never seen that.

I finally finished reading that series. I totally missed it when it was "live" and read the whole thing in trades borrowed from my friendly neighborhood public library.

In Ex Machina, the protagonist is Mitchell Hundred, a minor superhero who has the power to talk to and somewhat control machines. He launches a quixotic bid for mayor of New York City as a protest candidate, but when 9/11 happens, he stops the second plane, and wins the election. 

The series follows Hundred's term in office, with lots of flashbacks to his superhero days. It's good reading.

Shi - Through the Ashes (2002) 

This book starts out with a short black-and-white story by Billy Tucci . it features the character Shi (a character I'm not familiar with) in her mundane identity as Ana Ishikawa, descending from the 91st floor of the WTC, and watching firemen racing upstairs even as she and other civilians were racing down.  Not a bad story - the art is pretty quite, and the story is OK.

The rest of the is comprised of text pieces written by various people - from comics professionals to NYPD  officers - discussing either their personal experiences of that day, or the life of someone they knew that died on that day.  Some of the stories are quite moving.

Overall: An OK issue.  The production is a little, with fairly frequent typos and such.  Not enough to spoil the effort, but noticeable.

Lady Death/Chastity/Bad Kitty United #1 May 2002) Written by Brian Augustyn, art by Ron Adrian.

This one featured three characters I knew nothing about - they seem to be exploitative "bad girl with a heart of gold" characters.   The story consists of the three titular characters helping to rescue people in NYC. It's not particularly well-written, but not egregiously bad. The art is OK, but not great. 

Overall: I think that the best thing you could say about this is that they seemed to mean well.

A Moment of Silence #1 (February 2002)  A collection of wordless or nearly-wordless stories put out by Marvel, including:

  • "Moment of Truth", by Bill Jemas and Mark Bagley, a tribute to Anthony Savas, a building inspector for the Port Authority who was killed on 9/11.
  • "Moment of Silence: A True Story", as told to Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Morse, the story of John Dudas, a Cleveland comic store officer and volunteer fire fighter who went to New York to try to help after 9/11.
  • "Sick Day", by Joe Quesada and Igor Kordey, a story about the effect of 9/11 of  firefighter's family, told in memory of Michael Otten. who was killed on 9/11.
  • "Periphery", by Kevin Smith and John Romita Jr., a story of a family having a rough morning, whose troubles are out into perspective by the events of the morning.
  • A text piece by Bill Jemas explaining the issue, illustrated by Darwyn Cooke with Laura Allred.
  • Single page pin-ups by Rafael Kayanan with Steve Bucellato, Lou Harrison. Ramdy with Sarah Oates and Brett Evans, and Joe Jusko.

Overall:   An interesting idea, reasonably well carried off.

This was by far the most moving out of all of those stories, largely due to the expressive art by Igor Kordey. When the boy starts crying, I think I may have started crying at the same time out of response to it.

The Baron said:

  • "Sick Day", by Joe Quesada and Igor Kordey, a story about the effect of 9/11 of  firefighter's family, told in memory of Michael Otten. who was killed on 9/11.

Heroes (December 2001)  This is a collection of art pieces put out by Marvel, reflecting various creators' reactions to 9/11., mostly without text of any kind.

Some of the ones that stick put in my mind are:

  • A Joe Kubert drawing of  a memorial to the lost and missing.
  • A Mike Deodato Jr. drawing of a distraught Cap mourning the damage to the city
  • A Frank Miller picture of a heavily-damaged, somewhat deranged-looking Cap, obviously getting ready to kick the living **** out of somebody.
  • A drawing by Igor Cordey and Chris Chuckry of the passengers on the Pennsylvania plane as they prepare to charge the cockpit.
  • An Alex Ross piece of a fireman holding a victim.

And many, many others...Some very good stuff in here.

That was the first year I was a teacher. I remember buying two of these, and cutting one of them up and laminating them. I hung the images on my bulletin boards in my classroom. I loved the one by Joe Madueira (sp?) of a fireman and his dog.

The Baron said:

Heroes (December 2001)  This is a collection of art pieces put out by Marvel, reflecting various creators' reactions to 9/11., mostly without text of any kind.

Some of the ones that stick put in my mind are:

  • A Joe Kubert drawing of  a memorial to the lost and missing.
  • A Mike Deodato Jr. drawing of a distraught Cap mourning the damage to the city
  • A Frank Miller picture of a heavily-damaged, somewhat deranged-looking Cap, obviously getting ready to kick the living **** out of somebody.
  • A drawing by Igor Cordey and Chris Chuckry of the passengers on the Pennsylvania plane as they prepare to charge the cockpit.
  • An Alex Ross piece of a fireman holding a victim.

And many, many others...Some very good stuff in here.

Madureira. Yeah, that is a good one.

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