REVIEW CORNER: Amazing Spider-Man # 314

Amazing Spider-Man # 314
Writer: David Michelinie
Artist: Todd McFarlane
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Cover Date: April 1989
For this week’s installment, I’ll take a look at Amazing Spider-Man # 314, and given that the holidays are among us, I figured I would take another stab at reviewing another Christmas-themed comic.
So with this issue of ASM, which take place during the glorious David Michelinie/Todd McFarlane era, Peter and Mary Jane get evicted from their condo apartment at The Bedford Towers, all thanks in part to Jonathan Caesar, who developed quite the obsession with MJ to the point where he kidnapped her. But after Spidey saved her, handing out an eviction notice is just Mr. Caesar’s way to getting revenge from behind bars, so now Peter & MJ need a place to live but things gets awkward when Aunt May offers them Pete’s old room but he declines, mainly because he feels too old to move back in with his aunt.
I also enjoyed the subplot where a disgruntled employee, named Clark, who works at a department store called J.C. Herdling, plans to get back at his boss, cleverly called “Howell Thurston III”( I wonder if Michelinie is a “Gilligan’s Island” fan) who’s complaining that he had no choice but to hire a security firm to transport the receipts to a vault due to all the banks being closed on Christmas Eve, bSo to get back at his boss, who makes him work every Christmas, Clark decides to steal the store’s Christmas profits. I also like how Peter started weighing his options as to find a place for him and Mary Jane to stay, From his friends at The Daily Bugle to even getting an offer to stay at Flash Thompson’s spare room at the gym he works out, some readers might think that this Christmas-themed issue will be bleak and depressing, but Michelinie always finds a way to balance out the drama with such lighthearted beats as well as throwing in some Spider-Man action, and that’s always fun to read.
After Clark boasts to Mr. Thurston about his plan to steal the store’s Christmas profits, the thugs he hired to pose as security guards take a local Santa Claus as a hostage and it isn’t long before Spidey hits the scene, talking out Clark and his hired help (With the help of the local Santa, of course); McFarlane’s artwork is always eye candy when it comes to his rendition of Spider-Man but his facial expressions range from weird to downright spooky. For example, take a look at Page 21- There’s a panel where Aunt May looks like she has no eyes (Thanks in part to the heavy inks) so it does feel like McFarlane should have brushed up on giving Peter Parker and his supporting cast some realistic expressions instead of relying on the usual looks as he goes for.
While I will not spoil the ending, this was really a great Christmas-themed issue of ASM which could be one of the few times Spidey didn’t go up against a supercharged villain but instead opted for a more grounded story that many people can relate to when it comes to the holiday season and might I add, this is a story that I feel that Stan Lee himself would be proud of because It showed the great creativity of David Michelinie, plus it ranks right up there with all of the great Spider-Man stories he’s done during his lengthy run in this title, so it’s safe to say that this issue was done with plenty of love, and as a Christmas gift for both Spider-Man and the loyal ASM readers.
Well, that’s it for me this week. I had so much fun reviewing this comic that I might come back with another Christmas-themed comic for next week. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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