UNTOLD TALES OF
RUN: 25 (24+#0) issues+2 Annuals
special 1999. There was also a later special and prose fiction book
KEY CREATORS: Kurt Busiek, Tom
DeFalco, Roger Stern (writers), Pat Oliveri (sp?) (artist), Fred Hembeck
OUTLINE: Spider-Man adventures
during the early days of his crime-fighting career. Without actually
Lee's work, stories took place during and between Lee's issues. Sally (the
girl who rejected Peter in his first appearance) has a major sub-plot as
Blackbird, with reprecussions later.
STANDOUT ISSUE: The last issue
was a nice focus on the Green Goblin.
DUD ISSUE: Without Warning, mainly
because it seemed to go out of its way to defeat the titular purpose of
the story, giving readers plenty of warning as to the outcome. The
were left up in the air, but you pretty much knew ahead of time what was
going to happen to who in the issue in question, even if you skipped
beyond the next issue blurb. I tend to think of the story in my head as
With Plenty of Warning,
-1 is also pretty boring unless
you're a huge fan of Peter's parents or wish to see how far Hembeck has
fallen as a humour writer/artist
OVERALL: At no point did this
even get spectacular, but we got some strong characterizations throughout.
Busiek's ability to interweave the stories with the originals without
anything is amazing. Wisely he chose to cover in greater detail areas that
should have gotten more focus in the originals (e.g. the crime wave caused
The series managed to remain
despite the fact that you knew the fate of certain people (which didn't
stop some readers from predicting Betty's death), largely through the
of new characters and using blank slates like Sally.
Even the best issues something felt
though. I'm not sure what it was, but at no point did I ever get
that the next issue was coming out. And the series did drop in quality
near the end when DeFalco started doing the painful scripting. The
issue had about as much to do with this series as the other Flashback
issues did and probably could have been put in any Spidey issue that
RECOMMENDED OR NOT? The
scripted issues are worth reading due to the characterization and
flow (marginal recommendation), I'd avoid DeFalco's issues (despite
plots) and -1.
CONTINUITY NOTES: This series was
designed to carefully interweave between the original Lee-Ditko stories
and does not contradict them. However early issues of UTOSM may have
been contradicted by Amazing Spider-Man Chapter One (unsure).