Jan 16, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #2

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Each Wednesday, Ben and Duy will look at a Spider-Man issue from the very beginning, in chronological order, and answer questions for various categories, inspired in large part by one of our favorite podcasts, The Rewatchables by The Ringer. Our goal is to make it to Amazing Spider-Man #200. Will we make it? Grab your Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus or crank up your tablet to Marvel Unlimited, and then tune in every Wednesday to find out!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Spider-Man battles the Vulture, and prevents an alien invasion led by The Tinkerer.


BEN: Peter sells photos he took as Spider-Man to J Jonah Jameson for the first time.

DUY: First appearance of the Vulture and the Tinkerer.


DUY: This entire sequence is kind of a precursor to the stuff Ditko can do with motion.


BEN: Spider-Man using technology to neutralize the villain. Is he the first superhero that didn’t punch his way to victory?

DUY: It's definitely the technology thing. Peter invents a new device two issues after inventing his first device, so it's a wonder that it took so long for someone like Dan Slott to just think, you know what, he should just be inventing all the time.

BEN: Ben Reilly was the next time anyone probably looked at these early stories and thought, he sure was inventing a lot of stuff.

DUY: Also actually, the fact Peter is motivated by money. Everyone thinks the superhero with realistic motivations is a new thing, but it's right here.

BEN: Once again, Spider-Man’s initial primary motivation was making money, not responsibility. He wasn’t even going to attempt to stop the Vulture until he accidentally revealed himself.

DUY: As far as motivations go, there's still nothing on how he could have prevented Uncle Ben's death. 


BEN: Spider-Man fighting aliens that were hiding secret spy devices in radios was so off-brand that I’m pretty sure it was explained away many years later.

DUY: It was, by Roger Stern. I forgot until I saw this article that it also made it so that one of the aliens was Mysterio! But I think the fix was forgotten, by which I mean that if someone were to build on the original Lee/Ditko story and forgot the Stern retcon, only the most hardcore fans would bat an eye. But the story is like they had a spare short script lying around for one of their anthologies, or even a leftover Amazing Fantasy story, that they just retooled for Spider-Man.


BEN: Jonah is identified as the publisher of Now Magazine. It’s not incorrect, we just always associate him with The Daily Bugle.

DUY: Did Now ever come back or make another appearance?

BEN: Yeah, they always tried to reconcile these little mistakes later on. But Jonah paying a fair price for the photos, and Peter solving his financial worries for a year, is not in line with what comes after.

DUY: Yeah, my nitpick is that there's no way those photos would pay New York rent for a year.


DUY: I'm just gonna go with the Vulture. It's a decent first appearance.

BEN: He deserves credit for staying active at his age. It’s been noted before how the teenage Spider-Man was pitted exclusively against adults at the beginning here, his elders, adding a subtle extra layer of anti-establishment to the comics. You don’t get much more elderly than the Vulture and Tinkerer. I’m not sure if this was a conscious decision by Stan or Ditko, but it works.

DUY: It works so well that I don't know who came up with it, but even JJJ is old. It's become a key factor as well.

BEN: The only people that like Spider-Man, in-universe, are other teenagers. I can see why college students would list him as a revolutionary icon.

DUY: And he was voted third in terms of being a revolutionary icon in a 1965 issue of Esquire, along with Bob Dylan, Che Guevara, and The Hulk.

BEN: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

DUY: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

BEN: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

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