Jul 4, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #28

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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #28
Spider-Rama
by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

The Molten Man attacks just as Peter Parker graduates from high school!


POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: First appearance of the Molten Man. Putting aside the Looter and Joe, which Ditko Spider-Man villains have been used the least in the years since, Molten Man or the Enforcers?

DUY: I think it's the Enforcers. The Molten Man got a lot of play in the 90s because Liz was married to Harry.

BEN: The Enforcers were a stretch at the time, so even more so now.

DUY: The Molten Man would eventually be revealed to be related to Liz, but it doesn't happen here. I had to read this issue twice because it was Molten Man's first appearance and it was Liz being written out of the book, for the most part. Because I know Molten Man is Liz Allan's stepbrother, I had somehow convinced myself that these two storylines were related. They're not.

BEN: Liz Allen is referred to as Liz Hilton, which makes it at least three times Stan has gotten the name of a character he created wrong, including the main character.

DUY:  It's so weird that it happens 28 issues in. He knows her name isn't Hilton at this point!

BEN: Stan was drunk that week.

DUY: Oh, Peter and crew graduate high school.

BEN: So I’ve been waiting until this issue to talk about Stan and Steve’s decision to graduate Peter from high school. The consensus opinion seems to be that they never expected the character would continue on indefinitely, and that’s certainly part of it, but I think the fans themselves inspired this decision. I’ve been reading the letters pages and more and more of the printed letters are from college students, some of them even suggesting that Peter should go to college. I think they certainly fell in love with the idea of catering to this new, older audience.

DUY: Right, I can absolutely imagine them at this point saying, we made him a teenager to appeal to the young audience, but we're appealing to a slightly older audience. Time to age him. I wouldn't want them to apply that reasoning through the lifespan of the character, obviously, because eventually that means he'd be old and dead.

BEN: Or married.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

DUY: That cover. The Spider-Man in silhouette except for the red parts effect. I love it.

BEN: It is disproportionately great compared to the Molten Man himself.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY: So.... this was sudden. He just graduates from college despite not that much buildup to it. And now Liz is out of the equation, and Betty's going to be next. Some decompression might have helped here.

BEN: My experience with high school was most of those people just disappeared from my life after graduation too though.

DUY: I'm still in touch with my best high school friends, so I guess it's different for everyone.

NITPICKS

DUY: Look, when you turn into a man of molten metal, "I have power now" isn't going to be the first thing that pops into my head.

BEN: I would certainly have more immediate concern for my genitalia.

FAVORITE PANEL

DUY: If the cover doesn't count, virtually any panel from the sequence where Spider-Man fights Molten Man in the dark. It's just such a good effect that I'm surprised it doesn't get used more.

BEN:  I wish he had left out the blue outline altogether.



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The fans. Can you imagine reading a superhero comic book in 1965 and seeing actual evolution?

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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