Review: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #13

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #13 cover
Cover by Keith Pollard and Bob McLeod

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #13
Published and © by Marvel, 1979

Title: “The Arms of Doctor Octopus”
Synopsis: A mysterious government agent enlists Spider-Man’s help in solving a murder while Spidey also pursues Doctor Octopus.

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: This issue is a mixed bag. The art – by the legendary X-Men team of John Byrne and Terry Austin – is as good as it gets. Byrne’s storytelling is clean and his figure work sublime. Austin, as usual, brings dynamic polish and an insane level of detail. So it’s Marv Wolfman’s story that falls short with too many unanswered questions. Who is Kent Blake? Is he the long-forgotten star of an Atlas-era Marvel series? If so, why hasn’t he aged? Regardless, is there more to the character than a convenient twist ending? There’s potential here, but it’s left unrealized.

Grade: B+

Cool factor: Byrne and Austin drawing Spider-Man. ’Nuff said.

Notable: This issue also includes an eight-page pinup feature titled “A Gallery of Spider-Man’s Most Famous Foes!” with art by Keith Pollard and Frank Giacoia. … It also includes three pages featuring infographics of frequently visited Spider-Man locales. … The Doctor Octopus story continues in Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1.

Character quotable:Arghh! What have you done to me, you addlepated dolt? What have you done?!?” – Doctor Octopus, user of big words

Editor’s note: This review was written April 29, 2023.

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