Spider-Man: Blue by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale (storytellers), Richard Starkings & Wes Abbott (letters), Steve Bucellato (colors), and Sale (cover)
My wife bought me a copy of the hard to find collection of Spider-Man: Blue, part of the Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Marvel color quadrilogy (which includes Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White). It’s basically Peter recording a letter to his first love, Gwen Stacy, taking us on a ride down memory lane, sort of. While this treads familiar ground, and thus remaining in continuity, we get a new (take on the) story regardless. With the focus on Peter’s feelings for Gwen and their blossoming relationship, I am predisposed to being interested in/liking this book, but I felt like there was a lot of talking about Gwen and Peter (and Mary Jane), and not enough showing us that relationship, but then, that’s what the actual Amazing Spider-Man comics did, right? There’s also a wonderful scene set in the “present” between Peter and Mary Jane that, while I am always a Gwen over Mary Jane guy any day of the week, proves what a wonderful partner MJ is to Peter.
Sale’s art, while impressive as usual for these trips down nostalgia lane, didn’t quite connect with me as has his other work. Maybe it was because of the same reason Sale himself admitted he was worried about doing this project: having to compete with John Romita’s renditions of these ladies. I think I’m just so used to seeing Romita’s and Gil Kane’s versions of these characters that Sale’s style sticks out to me. That’s not to say what Sale did was bad (other than not putting in backgrounds), just jarring. Trying to live up to giants will do that.
All in all, it was a pleasant read, and it was nice to see the Peter/Gwen relationship again, however brief.