Apr 18, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #78

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

It's the first appearance of Hobie Brown, The Prowler!


BEN: Future star artist John Romita Jr. gets a shout-out for suggesting Hobie Brownm the Prowler, who makes his first appearance here.

DUY: I've always liked Prowler.

BEN: He looks cool.

DUY: He was featured in a backup in one of the 30th anniversary Spidey issues. I immediately wrote in asking them to give him a mini series.

BEN: You wrote in? You're old.


BEN: Jameson for trying to tip Hobie off that his boss is watching, trying to cover for him, and chastising the racist for being a racist. Prime Jonah. This series must have been so revolutionary at the time.

DUY: This is four years after Spider-Man and the Hulk are named to Esquire for an article on College Campus Heroes. Superheroes at their best have always had something to say socially.

BEN: Are you suggesting that comics have always been socially aware?


BEN: She would never!

DUY:  Somewhat related, in today's comics, it's more likely the bystanders think that that's just a guy dressed like Spider-Man. But the way Peter treats Gwen, I don't think Gwen can be blamed for talking to his friends. Hell, I'm not sure I'd blame Gwen if she just decided it was over.

BEN: He has the crime photographer excuse sitting right there for him, but yeah, even the most dedicated boyfriend or girlfriend can stop caring if they never see the person they’re dating.


BEN: It's kinda sucky that the first place Hobie would look to hit is the office of the guy who stood up for him. But if we're talking nitpicks, this unique perspective through the window wins.

DUY: Why is Flash Thompson always on leave? You tell me. You're the military man. 

BEN: He shouldn’t have even accrued any leave yet.


DUY: You already posted this, but it's my favorite scene:

BEN: Here's what comes after:


BEN: Once again, it’s progress. We get a sympathetic look at how someone could become a new “villain” with Hobie, and Jameson speaking out against bigotry.

DUY: Yeah, I'm gonna give Jameson the win this time, and it's not because he made me laugh, like all the other times.


DUY: I must say these three issues after the Stone Tablet Saga have felt like a big pickup. But why was the Stone Tablet Saga so revered?

BEN: Was it simply because it was a multi-part story? Maybe it felt like an epic back then. By the time of Bendis, fans were begging for one-and-done stories again.

DUY: That's probably it. It's just ambitious, even if it isn't actually that good.

BEN: It’s probably the same idea as the 5-episode stories in 80s cartoons, even if they weren’t that good and some of the chapters were extraneous, they seemed epic. There’s also a little bit of new blood in the mix here with Buscema. I didn’t even realize until we did these that he had a run on the book.

DUY: Yeah, I just thought Romita's art looked slightly different. But the earliest example of what we're talking about is Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil, which is not even good stuff for the Golden Age, but is a landmark storyline just because it ran over two years. It also gives me an excuse to mention Carl Barks, who was the first one in American comics to do long adventure stories (though in his case it was 20 pages, coming from 5 to 8). with beginnings, middles, and ends.

BEN: I’d always procrastinate reading a new volume of the Barks collection because even though I knew it would be good, I also knew it would take a hour to finish 20 pages.

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!

1 comment:

Hogne B. Pettersen said...

Kudos for mentioning Carl Barks, the greatest American storyteller, ever!

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