Nov 13, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #50

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 John Romita Sr.

The public clamor against Spider-Man has gotten to Peter Parker, so he quits! Meanwhile, the Kingpin runs roughshod on the town.


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Green Goblin: 7
  • Doctor Octopus: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • The Vulture: 5
  • Mysterio: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • The Lizard: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
BEN: This has the first appearance of the Kingpin, and while we think of him as a Daredevil villain now, I suspect he will top this list of appearances before long.

DUY: It reminds us that Spider-Man is Marvel's original crime book, and is still really a crime book in so many ways, which I don't think we really think of it as.

BEN: Peter quitting was the basis of the plot in Spider-Man 2.

DUY: Widely considered the best live-action Spider-Man movie for a long time. It's wrong, but that's the public opinion.


BEN: Gwen is now openly expressing interest in Peter.

DUY: Gwen can't make it any clearer that she likes Peter, and he's totally dense about it. I love it.

BEN: You’ve been pointing this out, but it does seem like they were subtly getting readers ready for Robbie with prominently featured “background” citizens. And thankfully he’s not colored gray.

DUY: Also thankfully, Romita is the one the Robbie introduction happens with eventually. I love Ditko, but... no. Also, the cover has aged the best, because that's one of the most homaged covers in the business.


BEN: Obviously this is a deservedly iconic issue, but it shouldn’t be periodically redone. Ditko established the burden of being Spider-Man, but I’d say Romita is the one that established Peter thinking the burden was too great. Peter quit out of the fear of leaving Aunt May alone, but that wasn’t really because it was too hard for him.

DUY: Spider-Man quitting multiple times through the course of his career really does make him look easily defeated and selfish if you view it from that angle. I get that people want to modernize it, though. And also, some references just don't age well.  A mobster says "We'll have a summit meeting that'll make Appalachin look like a tea party." From Wikipedia, this was "a historic summit of the American Mafia held at the home of mobster Joseph 'Joe the Barber' Barbara, in Apalachin, New York, on November 14, 1957."

BEN: Mobsters love history?


DUY: So Peter usually wears the costume underneath his civilian clothes. Did he... strip down completely, remove his Spidey clothes, then put his regular clothes back on in the alley?

BEN: Even if you really think you’re quitting, hold on to the costume. There’s DNA all in that thing!

DUY: DNA testing wasn't around then because DNA hadn't been invented yet.

BEN: On the sliding timeline, this is happening in 2011.


BEN: Barring the iconic splash:

BEN: Also, here's a nice Mary Jane:

DUY: "How come you haven't asked if I've got a maaaad crush on a bashful, black-haired bike-rider?" is, high probability, my favorite panel between Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker from the classic era.

BEN: Too good to be true.


BEN: Gwen!

DUY: Yeah, Gwen.


BEN: Peter saves a watchman that reminds him of his Uncle Ben, finally prompting him to explicitly state his motivation as Spider-Man.

DUY: Finally. It only took 50 issues, 3 annuals, two artists, and three co-writers.

BEN: Stan and Steve obviously created all the aspects, but it was never all put together in the way that we as fans know it until Romita. Which is weird.

DUY: This is one of the best issues of the entire series so far. Lots of Peter/Gwen interaction, just enough Mary Jane, Aunt May spends most of it sleeping, and the mission statement of the book finally coming into play explicitly.

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 next week!

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