Review: Spider-Man #583 (aka the Obama issue)


  Intro: I went to the Comic Den today, the local Renton comic book shop, to pick up a copy of Spider-Man #583. One for myself, and 3-5 copies for Thaswassup DJ Daps1. I usually head to Pike Place or the U-District for my comic fixes, but I knew that this issue would be popular, so I figured Renton would be the better stop. I was WRONG! 

As soon as pull onto the street where the store is located I see a huge crowd of dudes (Yup no women there). It took me about an extra 5 minutes to find parking, and once I got inside, No luck. Folks were already pre-ordering for the re-issue next week. 

I browsed about the store for an extra 10 – 15 minutes to see if there is anything else I wanted. (I was really looking to pick up the I Kill Giants mini-series). No such luck again. So I decide to place my name on the pre-order list. 

Not sure why (maybe because I’m so cute and charismatic), but the owner of the store says Merry Christmas and hands me the last copy of Spider-Man #583. 

I texted Daps, and said he could have this copy if he wants. But you know I had to read it first…

Spider-Man #583/ Mark Waid & Zeb Wells, writers/ Barry Kitson & Todd Nauk, pencils/ John Romita Sr., cover

Warning: minor spoilers ahead…

First off, the whole book is not about Spidey meeting Obama. In fact, the whole Obama story is just a bonus near the end of the book.It’s only about 5 pages. I’ll get to that in a second. 

The meat of the book is a story by Mark Waid called Platonic, which details the story of how Betty Brant tries to hook Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) up with a girlfriend. I haven’t been keeping up with the Spider-Man series lately and I’m not sure what storyline Spider-Man is in right now, but this was definitely a filler story. I found this surprising as I am a big fan of Mark Waid as a writer. Waid’s stories are usually grander in scale, Kingdom Come is still one my favorite stories (I’m planning to review Kingdom Come in the future), but Platonic was a throw-away one-shot. If anything, Waid did successfully capture the closeness and friendship of Betty Brant and Peter Parker (maybe that’s all he was trying to accomplish).

The art of the other hand, in my opinion, did not help the story one bit. I’m not too familiar with Barry Kitson’s art, but from this issue I have to say I am not a fan. Kitson used way too many medium shots, there were no dynamic shots, and the impact shots he tried weren’t very impactful in my eyes. If I had to use an analogy, I would say his character designs were like Archie characters with a little more detail. Since this was a light-hearted “find a date for Peter” story, maybe that’s why they were designed like that. Unfortunately, my fondness goes out to the ultra-detailed, too many muscles, 90s style of art, so there we go.

Onto the main event. Spidey Meets the President! is the bonus one-shot by Zeb Wells at the end of this issue. Even though it is only 5 pages, it does what it set out to do, which is to make Spider-Man and Obama meet. The story is very simple, I won’t spoil anything really, it is Obama’s inauguration day, before he gets sworn in there’s trouble. Luckily Peter Parker was sent to take pictures so Spider-Man happens to show up and save the day. Obama says thanks, etc..

Art is by Todd Nauck, not familiar with his work either, but it worked for me on this simple story. I mean it kinda of looks like Obama. 

All in all, Marvel did the business thing and cashed in on the Obama craze. It was a little tacked-on but oh well. I’m looking forward to the Obama/ Hope presidency. 

BTW: The 1st print of the Spider-Man #583 does NOT have Obama on the cover. It looks like this:


The 2nd print has got Obama on it, and I pre-ordered 3 of those bad boys!!!

2 thoughts on “Review: Spider-Man #583 (aka the Obama issue)

  1. The 2nd print is going to have a yellow cover. Copies of the Obama variant are fetching over $100 on ebay. It’ll die down, though, just like the death of Cap issue last year.

  2. Btw, I have since taken a 2nd look at the issue and I have done some research on Barry Kitson and looked more closely at his other works. I like his stuff actually. And if I really think about it, if another (read, not as good as Mark Waid) writer did that Betty Brant story, it could have been sooo much worse. I still stick to my review though..mostly.

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