It is impossible to imagine American popular culture without Marvel Comics. For decades, Marvel has published groundbreaking visual narratives that sustain attention on multiple levels: as explorations of the relationship between power and responsibility; as metaphors for the experience of difference and otherness; as meditations on the pain of adolescence and the fluid nature of identity; as examinations of the meaning, and limits, of patriotism; as ironic juxtapositions of the cosmic and the quotidian; as resources for the understanding of political and social history; and as high watermarks in the artistic tradition of American cartooning. For the first time, these classic stories of some of the most iconic super heroes in the history of American comics are Penguin Classics.
This anthology goes back to the original source material for The Amazing Spider-Man, with key stories from the first two years from 1962 to 1964. These allegories of adolescence permanently transformed the conventions of the super hero genre by insisting that great power is never just a means to an end, but also a burdensome responsibility. The introduction offers fresh insights into character development and the personalities of his creators. Also included are rarely reprinted non–super hero stories, early letter pages, and supplemental materials shedding light on Lee and Ditko’s artistic process.