Apr 17, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #77

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 Buscema, and Jim Mooney

The Lizard is loose, and the Human Torch wants to stop him, but Spidey has to stop him in a very specific way, and because superheroes can't just talk, it's basically a triple threat match.


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 9
  • The Kingpin: 9
  • Green Goblin: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • The Lizard: 5
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
DUY: This is the Torch's first appearance in this title since the midway point of the Ditko days. Basically when Ditko got heavier in the plotting, he did away with Johnny's frequent appearances. The last appearance was #21, when they were fighting the Beetle, yet another animal themed villain in green and purple.

BEN: The Torch hates the color green.

DUY: He'd end up marrying a Skrull, so, irony.

BEN: Against his knowledge!

DUY: In his defense, this issue proves Johnny is very stupid.

BEN: So, so stupid.


BEN: How long ago did he make that asbestos webbing and how happy was he inside that he got to use it?

DUY: So I found out recently by the social media that Torch and Spidey is a very popular ship and that Torch is one of those characters the LGBT fans would like to come out. Do you see it?

BEN: I’ve never considered it, but I guess there’s an over-compensating masculinity case that could be made.

DUY:  It would be funny if their big out of the closet reveals are the Torch and Iceman.

BEN: Because they’re both blonde?

DUY: Fire and Ice! Like that song from Poison.

BEN: I was a Motley Crue kid.

DUY: I only know two songs from Poison.

BEN: Is one "Fire and Ice"?


BEN: How would explaining to the Torch that the Lizard’s a good man underneath jeopardize his identity?

DUY: Because maybe Torch is a big mouth who will let everyone know who Curt is.

BEN: As if Johnny would know a biochemist by pure facial recognition.

DUY: You're right, Johnny is incredibly dumb. I'm pretty sure spiders don't have super sonic hearing, and Torch has met him more times than anyone.

BEN: The Lizard was defeated by salt?

DUY: I'm the opposite. I think the salt thing ages fine. Asbestos doesn't.

BEN: The salt is fine as a means of stopping him, it’s more about that it also cures him too.


BEN: It’s Billy, Stan, his name is Billy.

DUY: Billy, Bobby, it's all the same. Maybe Peter's just forgetful.

BEN: He did forget his own name.

BEN: Bob Banner is rolling over in his grave.


BEN: Buscema and Mooney loved drawing the Lizard:

DUY: That's mine too. Really sticks out.


BEN: Salt!

DUY: Gwen Stacy.

BEN: Grrrr.

DUY: To be fair, no one really won the comic, but good on her for telling him off. He's terrible.

BEN: I had a hard time finding a winner too. I guess Marvel Comics, for making money off this issue.


BEN: All the turmoil between Peter and Gwen highlights how often modern adaptations of Spider-Man tend to have his identity revealed to his love interest very quickly. Ultimate Spider-Man and Far From Home both have him confess to MJ his secret. Is this the better or more dramatic method to his stories?

DUY: The movies aren't meant to go on forever, so I understand doing it early (plus it's basically a standard movie trope since Superman 2). I feel like Ultimate revealed it too early, but not doing so would have been a retread.

BEN: Both have their soap opera advantages. I suppose the main thing for me is I find it really hard to believe a teenager wouldn’t tell his girlfriend this big secret. Or even a girl he likes.

DUY: Both are beholden to the conventions of their time. Secret identities were basically just inviolate back then, plus it would have stepped over the Fantastic Four's gimmick. (It's not a gimmick anymore.)

BEN: I always thought of Spider-Man’s secret identity as the most sacred in the Marvel universe, but Norman Osborn found out really early. Harry not long after. Captain Stacy, Mary Jane. I guess because he’d never tell the other heroes who he was.

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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