Jul 2, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #26

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!

Except, in honor of the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, we will be going daily for Spider-Rama for the next two weeks! So tune in every day at the same time for your daily dose of Spider-Man retrospectives!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

The Crime-Master and the Green Goblin know each other's true identities, and Spider-Man is caught in the middle!


BEN: It's the first appearance of the Crime-Master, and the villain appearance count is:
  • The Vulture: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Doctor Octopus: 4
  • Electro: 2
  • Kraven the Hunter: 2
  • Mysterio: 3
  • Sandman: 2
  • Green Goblin: 4
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Ringmaster and The Circus of Crime: 2
DUY: This is the first time Spider-Man has put on a makeshift costume, I think. Unless you count wrestler Spider-Man.

BEN: Ditko’s first official credit for the plot.

DUY: And a Stan "script" credit. I wonder if this is around the point where they stopped talking.

BEN: I find it hard to believe they didn’t talk at all. How could he dialogue a comic with no context?

DUY: Notes on the side of the page was how Kirby did it, but Kirby was also working on way more than Ditko was.

BEN: Notes would suggest Stan was involved in the plot.

DUY: So, in the "Did Stan or Steve disagree over who the Goblin is supposed to be" department... The only reason the Crime Master non-reveal works is because it's been built up to obviously be someone you do know. That's the twist. The fact that it's so obvious makes it a payoff that it's not him. But most other mysteries only work because you know it's someone in the cast, you just don't know which one. What never works is it's someone you don't know, and you weren't convinced it was anyone you knew in particular anyway. In other words, that's more evidence that I think the Legend (yes, I'm just calling it "The Legend" now) is BS.

BEN: It's the most basic rule of a mystery, or else it's not mysterious.


BEN: Peter Parker is so constantly angry at this point that he’s tackling all his high school bullies at once.

DUY: He's got good form, too. But my favorite one is the one where Peter and Goblin pass each other by without noticing each other. I'm no-prizing the lack of Spider-sense as the Goblin not really doing anything dangerous at the moment, but basically it's a small city, and even smaller when you can traverse distances so easily like these guys.


BEN: Flash continues to show flashes (heh) of humanity by telling the principal the full story about the fight. I don’t know if it’s the little bits of decency, or the knowledge that they become friends later, but I don’t hate Flash nearly as much as I used to when I was a kid. The bullying is far less intense than it’s been in any of the movies.

DUY: I think Stan clearly knew that everyone needed a redeeming factor. Even his villains have understandable motivations, so the school bully has his good side. Although to be honest if the comic was entitled "Flash Thompson," it'd be really easy to make Peter look like the villain.

BEN: Peter is a jerk.

DUY: I like the Crime-Master's mask. It's a cool design.

BEN: I was also going to say he’s got a cool mask.

DUY: Actually, Crime Master's design does sort of predate The Question's, Mr. A's, and eventually Rorschach's. Though I guess they're all in the same mold as The Spirit.


BEN: Stan and Steve are clearly in love with the idea of crime kingpins, but I’m not sure one masked criminal threatening everyone into following him would totally work. But hey, it worked in The Dark Knight.

DUY: That movie does not age well, is my answer to this category.


BEN: I’m pretty sure the Goblin would just kill the Crime-Master after he rejected him.

DUY: I'm not sure I see the point of introducing an extra Spider-Man suit only to have it never be used. Unless it was established prior that he had two? But I don't remember.

BEN: I doubt any school would ever consider expelling their valedictorian because of a fight. Especially a 1-on-5 fight.


DUY: Stan and Steve at this point have hit the mark where I initially thought, "Okay, now we're getting somewhere." The fact that we have two mysteries here, and this issue ends in a cliffhanger, and the fact that Spider-Man spends the entire issue in a makeshift costume only for it to narratively pay off by having him web his mask onto his face because it's so loose, it all ties together so neatly among the chaos.

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.

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

1 comment:

Harry Sewalski said...

"Stan and Steve are clearly in love with the idea of crime kingpins, but I’m not sure one masked criminal threatening everyone into following him would totally work."

Thoughts on the Kingpin, in that case? (I suppose I'll find out when I get to the coverage of Amazing #50...)

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