In late 2003 I was just getting into comics as an adult after some motivation from a life long fan of the medium. I hadn't read comics since my own youth, but felt an inclination to check up on my childhood hero, Spider-Man, which my friend was not particularly a fan of. Left to my devices, I stumbled around my local comic book shop until one of the store clerks noticed my apprehension. They suggested a self-contained story not tied to "current", 2013 continuity: Spider-Man Blue. I flipped through the hardcover, waffled back and forth on the price, and finally decided to take a gamble. The artwork was beautiful, but I wasn't particularly eager to sit down and read a lot of the story in the store with this clerk over my shoulder. Fortunately, once I got home and cracked open the book, I never looked back.
Spider-Man Blue is amazing. It has classic Spider-Man beat 'em up moments, it has banter, it has Peter Parker stumbling through his social life, it has girls, it has emotion. This is a great story. It's a story most casual Spider-Man fans know, in part, or in full, but retold so elegantly, and with such beautiful illustrations. I can't imagine a Spider-Man fan who would not love this story. I just can't. I suppose you could say, yeah, yeah, I've heard all this before, but even the framing story is just sweet, and sad, and so through and through Spider-Man. This book just embodies everything I've ever loved about Peter Parker.