Jul 17, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #34

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!

by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

Kraven the Hunter returns, impersonating Spider-Man!


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 5
  • Green Goblin: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • The Vulture: 3
  • Mysterio: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • Kraven the Hunter: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
DUY: First appearance of Simba.


BEN: Kraven dressing up as Spider-Man is even more interesting many years later.

DUY: Kraven dressing up as Spider-Man, much like Ock using the word Superior, or any scene involving the Brooklyn Bridge, is kind of the mark that a story was a milestone. If you can't read a previous story without being reminded of that story that came afterwards, it's a landmark.

BEN: Really, any time Gwen appears it’s sort of like the specter of death is hanging over her. Sorry, spoilers. 47-year-old spoilers. Another milestone is whenever Mary Jane shows up in the shadows, you think of when she finally doesn't.

DUY: Peter thinking he wasn't at fault for looking like a snob to his peers is interesting. Because of course you were at fault. Being preoccupied doesn't mean you're blameless.

BEN: Especially when you just have to tell them your aunt is sick.


DUY: Peter can't have really been in love with Betty, right? He was eyeing Liz every chance he got and now he intends to move in on Gwen.

BEN: Yeah, it’s the way you think you love your eighth grade girlfriend.


BEN:  Kraven supposedly negates Spider-Man’s spider-sense, but then it’s visibly working for the next three pages in a row.

DUY: Kraven is supposedly "as good as he says," but he's still clearly not a match for Spider-Man. A huge letdown from the prior three issues.

BEN: He’s probably the only villain that has given it his all in every matchup and not really come close.


DUY: In the show, don't tell department, here's Gwen Stacy expressing interest in Peter.

DUY: You know what, we only have a handful of Ditkos here before he's gone forever, so I will just say I kind of love when he draws Spider-Man swinging straight-bodied, because it makes no sense.

BEN: I assumed that was him stretching out at the end of his swing before he descends and fires another web.

DUY: And this sequence has always had some impact on me . I think I saw it reprinted in one of those books about comics, and it looked so modern, so cinematic.


BEN: Let’s assume I’m giving this to Gwen Stacy every time for the foreseeable future.

DUY: Yeah, probably Gwen by default. This issue isn't great for this category.


BEN: To go with your television season analogy, this definitely feels like a season premiere episode. I’m calling it season three, with two running from #23 to #33. Season one was much more episodic and shall be known as “the season where the Human Torch guest-starred way too often.”.

DUY:  So Season 2 is the one where it really reaches another level?
BEN: Yes.

DUY: So Amazing Fantasy #15 is the pilot, then Season 1 is from that onto before the Green Goblin/Crime Master War, more episodic, quite formulaic. Then Season 2 opens with the Green Goblin/Crime Master War and ends with the Master Planner Saga, which means it peaks there. I'm fine with that.

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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