Apr 8, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #68

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every day until the end of April, 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, John Romita Sr., and Jim Mooney

The Kingpin returns and goes after the Petrified Clay Tablet, which claims to have the secrets of the universe to anyone who can decipher it! And for this one, we're joined by Ben's son, Palmer!


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 9
  • Green Goblin: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Kingpin: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • The Lizard: 3
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
BEN: Peter Parker meets Randy Robertson.

DUY: This is the beginning of the Stone Tablet Saga, or the Petrified Clay Tablet saga, wherein some parts will get resolved, but the throughline of the tablet will keep the story going.


DUY: The Spider-Man pose on the cover for me is so iconic, because I swear I saw it a billion times as a kid on licensed material. I could even be wrong! Maybe it was never on licensed material. But when I think of Spider-Man as he classically, generically looks, this is the first image in my brain.

BEN: I know it’s used on a lot of wall decorations now. And further diversifying the world around Peter was always a good idea, and inspirational at the time.

DUY: The structure of storytelling here, where Plot A will give way to Plot B at some point, will inform a lot of comic book storytelling for decades.

BEN: The most superheroic feat in this issue is Peter surviving calling his girlfriend by a rival girl’s name.

DUY: Right, there's no way hat ages well at all. That's a fantasy right there.


BEN:  The student protest story was a little hamfisted, but they were trying.

DUY: It is kinda cool that they stuck with Peter not automatically siding with the protesters, because that'd be a complete 180 from the Ditko days. Though that probably doesn't age well with modern wokeness and activism. Peter's pretty selfish.

BEN: I mean, who has the spare time?

DUY:  I dunno if it ages well or badly, the protesting, because that's still going on today, obviously. But probably don't call the white guys "Whitey."

BEN: Right around the visit to Aunt May is when Palmer rolled over in boredom.


BEN: There s just way too much slang.

DUY: It seems to me that if the Kingpin's entire fighting prowess is predicated on him taking everyone by surprise with the fact that he's more muscle than fat, anyone who's fought him once would be ready by now.

BEN: Nobody ever subscribes to never underestimating your opponent.


BEN: Here's Palmer's favorite panel:

BEN: But this is my favorite panel, and his favorite part:

DUY: Romita really is great at emotions here. You can see Gwen "blushing," even if there is no coloring to indicate that she is:


DUY: A triumphant return for the Kingpin, I'd say.

BEN: Kingpin seems like more of a threat, but the winner is Jameson.

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.

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

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