Apr 28, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #88

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

Doctor Octopus' range of telepathic control over his arms has gotten so far that he's able to control his arms from New York to break him out of a prison in the midwest, at which point he hijacks a plane with a foreign diplomat named General Su.


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 10
  • Green Goblin: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • The Lizard: 5
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
BEN: I don’t often give Ock credit for killing, uh, the character he’s about to kill. In a Norman killed, uh, that character, way.

DUY: Okay, here's a weird bit of trivia. John Romita Sr., quintessentially known as the Spider-Man artist from at least when Ditko leaves until Todd McFarlane comes aboard, stops drawing the series after this issue. He hands it off to Gil Kane, who then draws what would become a key set of issues. Romita then comes back for #93-95, but then leaves again and Kane takes over again from #96-99 (a historical set of issues), and #100-105 (a landmark set of issues). Romita then gets back on for #106-119, then gives it back to Gil Kane... and #121 and 122 end up being the biggest issues in the history of the series up to that point, and stay the biggest issues in the history of the series for... a very, very long time. I guess what I'm saying is, Gil Kane owes his entire Spider-Man legacy to John Romita's bad timing.

BEN: And I was about to prematurely give Romita props for coming back for this storyline.

DUY: I wish he stayed, because I don't actually like Kane's draftsmanship.

BEN: His human people aren't great.

DUY: They look robotic.


BEN: The arms look sort of cool on their own.

DUY: Oh yeah, Gwen is smart too. I forgot.

BEN: I like her confidence there.

DUY: We really do get hints sometimes of Gwen having the potential to be a great character on her own, but 90% of the time it's always just about her feelings for Peter.

BEN: I don’t know why I’m amused at him continuing to hold the flight attendant.


DUY:  Okay, so this issue is pretty good, and I guess the depiction of Asians is the thing that ages worst, but I have to say, it's nowhere near as racist as I'd have expected from 1970.

BEN:  He literally has a Fu Manchu.


BEN: Ock controlled his arms from New York to Chicago?

DUY: How did he control his arms so specifically as to know exactly how to attack Spider-Man?

BEN: Spider-Man said they were attacking anyone in their way.

DUY: But so specific as to go for his wrists? To go for a building? It's that advanced?

BEN: Apparently!


BEN: I can tell you least favorite:

DUY: Creepy. Mine:

BEN: Was Acme the default gag company in all fiction?

DUY: It's even the name of the detective agency in Carmen San Diego.


BEN: Gwen!

DUY: Yeah, okay.


BEN: So does Miles Warren know?

DUY: We can't just do a category for everyone knowing!

BEN: Why not?

DUY: Because it's ridiculous!

BEN: That's why it's funny.

DUY: No one will laugh at that!

BEN: Business as usual!

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 tomorrow!

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