Jul 11, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #32

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 past weekend, we went daily for Spider-Rama last week and will continue to do so this week! So tune in every day until Friday at the same time for your daily dose of Spider-Man retrospectives! We'll be back to our regular Wednesday schedule next week.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32
Spider-Rama
by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

The Master Planner Saga continues as the Master Planner is revealed to be none other than Dr. Octopus!




POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 5
  • Green Goblin: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • The Vulture: 3
  • Mysterio: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • Kraven the Hunter: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
BEN: First time Spider-Man asks Curt Connors for help.

DUY: Spider-Man uses his scientific knowledge to help Connors find a cure for May.

BEN: Doctor Octopus refers to himself as "Superior."


DUY: Like the Brooklyn Bridge, because of more modern comics, the word "superior," especially in relation to Ock, has a completely new meaning. Thanks, Dan Slott!

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: An angry Spider-Man cutting loose is always a treat. Possibly the greatest cliffhanger ever. Or is that just because we know the next issue is one of the greatest moments in comics history?

DUY: There's really no way to tell. But the fact is it does age well because the next issue exists and getting to the end of this comic means we can't wait to get to that one.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY: You know what, I'll use this issue to say it. The dialogue. It's already stilted and unnatural to begin with, but when Stan starts using contractions like "You've nothing to fear from me".... look, no one says "You've nothing" or any of that sentence structure, Stan, stop it.

BEN: The unmitigated gall of you.

DUY: You've no clue the limits of my gall.

NITPICKS

BEN:  Not only do Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus both happen to need the same serum, but Ock’s gang manages to find out about the shipment somehow.

DUY: It sure is mighty convenient that Curt Connors just happened to move back to New York. 

BEN: At least they didn’t have him become the Lizard again right away. They set it up for later.

DUY: I'm pretty sure no scientist would ever call his work a "potion," as Connors does.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: I was amused by this.



DUY: Angry Peter has the edge that's missing from a lot of "classic" Spider-Man reinterpretations. People think he's a nerd, but he's really more of an outsider/loner with anger issues. It's weird when there are interpretations that play off of this and fans complain, since it's baked into more than one of his most classic stories.




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: This is Peter Parker's comic in every way. This is probably my favorite version of him.

BEN: Gwen Stacy.

PERSONAL CONNECTIONS WITH VILLAINS

DUY:  So we could have this conversation in any of the three issues, but since I think there's a lot to talk about in the last one and he doesn't actually show up in the first one, one of the things that modern Spider-Man interpretations have done is given him a personal connection to Dr. Octopus prior to him becoming Dr. Octopus. Spider-Man 2 has him being Ock's student, the animated series Spectacular Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man both have Ock working for Norman, who obviously has a personal connection to Peter, and the PS4 game basically mixes both. Even the main comics have developed an affectionate relationship between Otto and May, something that makes it so that this exact storyline can never happen again since Otto would never put May in danger. If Stan and Steve had more time to think about it, do you think they'd have given Ock a personal connection to Peter, and would that have cemented Ock as the top villain over Norman?



BEN: It’s hard to say, because it would have been unprecedented at the time, right? The personal connection between hero and villain wasn’t a thing yet?

DUY: Yes, unless you count Luthor hating Superman because he turned him bald. Which was not too long before this (1960).

BEN: I wonder when Magneto and Xavier were established as former friends. But I’m not sure if I like them knowing each other before he breaks bad. It shows the influence of Spider-Man 2 though, with both the mentor aspect and the idea that the arms make him evil.

DUY: Yeah, I think too many villains having personal ties to him is too convenient. They can get acquainted after.

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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