Aug 7, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #37

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

Professor Mendel Stromm is freed from prison and seeks revenge on his former employer — Norman Osborn!


BEN: First appearance of Professor Mendel Stromm, and the first full appearance of Norman Osborn.

DUY: Stromm dies in this issue, but comes back to life eventually during the Clone Saga  in the 90s during one of those proposed solutions to the story that didn't pan out.


BEN: Gwen with the cold burn on Harry Osborn:

DUY: At this point I think they're realizing that organized crime with the journalism stuff has kinda become a niche they can fall back on. After two dud issues, we're back to the crime beat.


BEN: I have never been able to differentiate between Smythe and Stromm.

DUY: This definitely does not age well, for obvious reasons.

BEN: If you isolated Peter’s interactions with his classmates without the benefit of his thought bubbles or concern for his aunt, he’s a real dick.


BEN:  I’m pretty sure the cops noticed Spider-Man exiting that stolen car and swinging off.

DUY: You're telling me this new secretary has not once seen JJJ smile?

BEN: Not even Jonah’s creepy unnerving smile?

DUY: And well, this is a complete 180.

BEN: But he’s scared of the Looter, right, Gwen?!?


DUY: College can give you a new confidence. I can see that.

BEN: Spider-Man: Noir is born.

DUY: But I want to point out this one too. I know that some readers struggle with the idea that a character is lying, but I love how for a character like Jameson, it's just so obvious. "All I'M doing is publishing the result of an absolutely impartial, unbiased newspaper survey! La dee dah!"

BEN: You’d have to be pretty dense not to understand Jameson’s duality.


BEN: Say it with me now: Gwen Stacy.

DUY: No way, for the first time in a while it's the new character. Norman wins this one. At the very least, you're intrigued.

BEN: So, Norman Osborn is introduced and he’s clearly evil, which is a point toward him always planned as the Green Goblin reveal. Plus, there’s the silent ascent to the high window, and silent retreat. Points against, are him using a regular gun, and being a little too scared of Stromm. But those could be intentional misdirects. A pumpkin bomb would be too obvious, of course.

DUY:  I doubt this was intentional, but Norman hits Peter in the back of the head and says "If that blow didn't finish him off" as if he's convinced he could have actually done the job. Either that's a sign of an egomaniac, or someone with superstrength... You know what, I'm convinced. This issue has convinced me. Norman was always going to be the Goblin. I don't know how the legend persists. It's actually obvious if you read the comics. Norman wins.

BEN: That’s a solid point. My counter is, Gwen Stacy.

DUY: That's it for Spider-Rama this week.

BEN: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

DUY: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

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