Mar 27, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #12

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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12
Spider-Rama
by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Doctor Octopus unmasks Spider-Man!



POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Villain appearance count:

  • The Vulture: 2
  • Doctor Octopus: 3


BEN: First time Peter tried to fight with the flu, and the first time he was unmasked.



DUY: In Ock's first appearance in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, they fight at Coney Island, which can only be a reference to this issue.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Liz being impressed that Peter risked his life for Betty. I like how she was the only one from high school to recognize that he was evolving.

DUY: The action in this book is astounding. It's like a video game. The dodges, the flips, the well-timed punches. Spider-Man making little pockets of webbing he can walk on in the fire. It just moves.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY: Barely anything, other than the datedness of the dialogue. It's a nearly perfect comic.

BEN: If you're sick, just take the day off.

NITPICKS

DUY: So at this point, Spider-Man has only ever been spotted in New York and last issue in Philadelphia. Why is Ock going from city to city to find him? Just go to New York.
On the other hand, Peter not being able to leave New York because exams are coming up ages pretty well.

BEN: Maybe the Lizard told him about Florida. You know how chatty he is.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: I love Ock being like, “dude, why so weak?”




DUY: This is a great issue with a billion possible choices. But I'm starting to think JJJ is my favorite character:



BEN: He is undeniable.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. I think this might be the best issue of the first 20.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

BEN: 
We don’t think much of this cover now, but I can only imagine how enticing it must have looked to anyone that had ever read a superhero comic. I’m not a big silver age (or older) DC historian, but I don’t remember Batman ever getting unmasked like this.

DUY:  There's stuff like these, but it's mostly a joke. I guess Peter does reverse it in the end, but I still think it's different because Clark/Superman is a more tongue-in-cheek secret identity anyway.



BEN: My impression of those DC covers was that they were more misleading, but a younger reader wouldn’t think that way. But still, now that I think about it, that whole era was about everyone trying to find out Superman’s secret identity.

DUY:  This is my favorite. But still, it's all a gag, and I think that if you're reading Spider-Man in the 60s, there at least exists the illusion of the possibility that it's for real.



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

BEN: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

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

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. See you next week!

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