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Amazing Spider-Man is an almost-weekly comic. It's organized similarly to a TV show, where there's a rotating team of writers and each story has a different artist (like a TV director), and they coordinate everything so that it all flows together, story-wise. (Art-wise, there are often really drastic changes in style from one issue to the next, though it's always good.)

Spider-Man is not tied to mutants per se, but since this is the Marvel Universe everyone hangs out with everyone on a regular basis. Spider-Man has a rivalry with Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four going all the way back to the beginning of his series, he frequently teams up with Daredevil, he fights as one of the Avengers, etc. So while Spider-Man has no particular affiliation with the X-Men, if some mutants are involved in the story it's hardly noteworthy.

I'm not clear on why you were confused with Ultimate Spider-Man, since it seems to me it's a pretty clear and accessible issue. At the end there's a big-shot villain named the Kingpin who's shot through a window by some new guy. (That is most certainly not Storm of the X-Men, you're not expected to know who it is yet.) I guess if you weren't familiar with the Kingpin you might not understand the significance of the event, but it's still not hard to follow.

Yeah, what Mory said about Amazing Spidey: different writers and artists every three issues or so, which you might or might not think are worthwhile.

The 1602 series is surprisingly enjoyable, but I give credit to Jeff Parker, who is an awesome writer. The second issue is fun, with him fighting pirates, but the third one, which comes out this week, isn't very good, and probably won't make much sense if you don't know who people like Hank Pym, Otto Octavius, and Curt Connors are. Proceed at your own risk.

Me, I'm still digging Ultimate Spidey; the art is charming as hell, the plots are fun and exciting, and the character interaction is probably the best that Bendis is doing these days. I know Tucker doesn't like the way Peter looks like a girl, and yes, his hair is pretty ridiculous, but I still dig it.

Batman, definetly

If you think it's difficult to sort out Spider-Man comics, Batman comics will drive you nuts.

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