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!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

1 comment:

Harry Sewalski said...

Something interesting to note regarding the Molten Man's creation - he's created by Spencer Smythe, who both here and in Amazing #25 is portrayed as more of an absent-minded scientist, who genuinely seems to believe that Spider-Man is a menace. I think this is Spencer's last appearance in the Ditko run, and when he returns in Amazing #58, he's portrayed as more of a raving madman, which will be how he's depicted up until his death. I can only assume that Romita made the change in his depiction and Stan had to write the dialogue accordingly, but I'd be interested to know why the change happened.

On a more Molten Man-related note, after Molten Man becomes all fiery he gets much more interesting, both visually and in terms of powers. Here, and in his next appearance in Amazing #35, he feels like a poor man's Colossus (even if he predates him).

Post a Comment

All comments on The Comics Cube need approval (mostly because of spam) and no anonymous comments are allowed. Please leave your name if you wish to leave a comment. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.