Nov 30, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #137

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #135
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt

Harry Osborn has kidnapped Mary Jane, Aunt May, and Flash Thompson!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 17
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • The Vulture: 9
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Hammerhead: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Molten Man: 4
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2
  • The Man-Wolf: 2
  • Jonas Harrow: 2
  • The Kangaroo: 2
  • The Jackal: 2
  • Tarantula: 2
  • Green Goblin (Harry): 2
DUY: I just realized, Liz never met Gwen. We're only allowed one blonde each time.

BEN: Ironic she returns to the series during Harry’s big breakdown. (They get married later, spoilers.) Too bad she got saddled with him.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: This is a much smoother way to tell May to stop worrying, but I still appreciate Gwen telling her off before too.


DUY: MJ telling May off nicely was definitely a conscious choice by Conway.

BEN: This is actually a clever way to resolve the secret identity problem.


DUY: That's a great final panel too. Conway loved his ambiguity. But I get that everyone just thinks Harry is insane, yeah, but what if he actually provides proof?

BEN: What proof does he have?

DUY: "Check his closet, here's when he's not home." or "Check under his shirt."

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

DUY: Nope, so much for your good cover streak. Kane would provide some good covers, and I would guess they were heavily art directed and inked. This is not one of them.

BEN: Kane managed to be a part of some legendary Spider-Man comics, which is why he’s considered an important part of the character’s history. Unfortunately, he was the worst aspect of all of those comics.

DUY: I give all the credit of 121 and 122 now to Romita inking, since we've seen unfiltered Kane.

BEN: On another note... First of all, Jonah is smoking in a hospital. Second, he and Robbie took a whole morning off for MJ, who they barely know? Third, Liz looks great. Fourth, those should be marijuana leaves on her pants. 


DUY: Why is Flash on this list of people closest to Peter, and really, a nuclear bomb???



BEN: Nolan stole this for The Dark Knight.

NITPICKS

BEN: Okay, Conway has gone to this well way too often recently.



DUY: It's funny how the Goblin mask takes on the same shape regardless of whether it's Norman or Harry wearing it.

BEN: Why is Harry being carted away if he’s not in costume? As far as the cops know, Peter invaded his home.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Damn straight:



DUY: THUMP!




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Gonna go with Spider-Man himself. It's a good showcase for him.

BEN: Liz's pants.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Nov 26, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #136

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #136
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt

Harry Osborn becomes the new Green Goblin!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Harry Osborn becomes the second Green Goblin. Sorry, spoiler.

DUY: Holy cow. This is one of my first comics ever and I didn't even realize it. Cover torn off, missing pages, some pages ripped. But one of my first ever..

BEN: Peter quits his staff photog job at the Bugle.

DUY: Inasmuch as Ditko's run centered around Ock, and Romita's was around the Kingpin, Conway's has been — and will remain — all about the ghosts of Gwen and Norman.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: This is another iconic Spider-Man cover.

DUY: I always enjoyed this sequence. Peter looks like a detective. I like the methodical pace of it. He's a better detective than Batman.


BEN: Peter being a detective is good, but the idea of Harry covering his tracks to that degree is dumb.

DUY: Harry as the Goblin is going to be a major highlight, for me, of the married Spider-Man era, and the seeds start here.

BEN: I guess Peter and MJ are officially dating now.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

DUY: I honestly never like these. How many times has Spider-Man lived only because of a lucky break?


BEN: The idea that Harry could hold his own without the goblin serum is not believable.

NITPICKS

BEN: The flow of the caption boxes doesn’t follow the flow of the pictures at the bottom here.


DUY: You did not know each other in high school!


BEN: That is really perplexing. I can’t see Roy Thomas consistently missing these errors, so were they trying to rewrite Peter and MJ’s history?

DUY: If you look at it from a Parallel Lives retcon perspective, this could have been an MJ Freudian slip.

BEN: She watched him from a distance. Like a stalker.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Andru does good Goblin:


DUY: This will not be the last time Peter looks at Mary Jane and remembers Gwen:


WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The ghost of Norman Osborn.

BEN: I guess Harry, even though most subsequent writers didn’t seem to like him as the Goblin.

DUY: One of the best Spider-Man writers ever did. Or will. 

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #25

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #25
by Len Wein, Jim Mooney, and Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man and Daredevil vs. The Unholy Trio of Cat-Man, Bird-Man, and Ape Man!



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Daredevil will be one of Spider-Man’s closest superhero allies, so that will age well. This unfortunately also continues the annoying trend of Daredevil knowing more about every situation than Spider-Man, so it technically ages well, but I hate it

DUY: Uh, I guess Daredevil in general has aged well.

BEN: I like that Spider-Man has been in enough fights to think critically about them.




WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: “Ladel out?”



DUY: This comic is literally half-flashback.

NITPICKS

DUY: There's really no way Matt should be able to stand up after this.



BEN: I know the whole ‘danger from a friend” is an established reason his spider sense doesn’t work, but it never makes sense. Except I guess in this case, since Daredevil truly didn’t mean him harm.



FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: Mine:




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Matt?

BEN: Half-animal people everywhere, bask in your moment.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #24

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #24
by Len Wein, Jim Mooney, and Sal Trapani

Spider-Man and Brother Voodoo vs. Moondog!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The previous issue of Marvel Team-Up featured The Human Torch and Iceman against Equinox, with an appearance by the rest of the X-Men. Spider-Man only made a brief cameo appearance, so we didn’t cover it.

DUY: I really do have to wonder why Johnny wasn't seen fit to have his own ongoing, if they were going to have him be the backup anchor of the book.

BEN: The first and only appearance of Moondog.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: One of the complaints among a current group of bitter malcontent “fans” is that Marvel has too much “forced diversity.” What they don’t understand is that diversity, or the lack of it, is a choice made by writers and artists, and it’s a choice Marvel had steadily been making since the early days of the Silver Age. Everything in a fictional story is forced, because it’s not real. Part of introducing a new diverse character, is making sure the fans will like them, so they will want to see more of them. You have to hype them up a bit, is what I’m saying. This was true of all the characters Stan, Jack, and Steve created too. Stan hyped up Spider-Man in every issue. Every new character, no matter what race, has that mountain to climb when they’re created. There are subtle ways to do this, like Spider-Man talking up Brother Voodoo in his thought balloons here, and less subtle, like everything Roger Stern would later do with Monica Rambeau. Regardless, all approaches are necessary, because diversity is necessary. I said it before, Marvel has been a force for diversity since the ‘60s, it’s just that some of you didn’t notice.



DUY: Spider-Man really puts Brother Voodoo over in that panel. Yeah, diversity has always been a Marvel specialty. I'm sure bigots complained about these back then too.

BEN: This is a good "drifting off" effect.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: The name Brother Voodoo might be drifting too much into stereotype. Which might be why they changed it to Doctor Voodoo in recent years.

DUY: I want to say anything related to the African race has aged badly here, but those were necessary steps for the times.

NITPICKS

DUY: I know this has to do with voodoo, but c'mon, yet another mind control plot? Also, I'm almost positive there's no way one marker is going to have enough ink for this.



FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mooney looked like he enjoyed drawing Voodoo more than Spider-Man:


DUY: I'll say the Jameson vandalism splash up in the Nitpicks section.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Brother Voodoo.

BEN: Brother Voodoo.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #135

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #135
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Frank Giacoia

As if the Tarantula weren't enough, Spider-Man now has to deal with The Punisher!




POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 17
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • The Vulture: 9
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Hammerhead: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Molten Man: 4
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2
  • The Man-Wolf: 2
  • Jonas Harrow: 2
  • The Kangaroo: 2
  • The Jackal: 2
  • Tarantula: 2
DUY: The second full appearance of the Punisher.

BEN: Harry confirms his suspicions in a very memorable sequence.




WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: I feel like this is an iconic Spider-Man cover.

DUY: Same.

BEN: This panel is a metaphor for what superhero comics would become in the ‘80s. The idealism of the ‘60s heroes, crossing paths with the more violent anti-heroes of the ‘80s.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Haven’t you already learned Spider-Man isn’t what his reputation says he is, Frank?



DUY: I've read that Marvel in many ways was actually stricter than the Comics Code Authority, and one of those in-company rules was no mentioning of the word "Hell." So here's literary Punisher.



BEN: It would have been funny it Punisher shot and killed Tarantula while he was monologuing here.


NITPICKS

BEN: I’m going to keep tracking how the Parallel Lives retcon tracks with the actual comics. (Parallel Lives was a 1989 graphic novel that established that Mary Jane knew Peter was Spider-Man before she even met him.) Yes, I do know retcons change what happened in previous comics, so the events as seen here could have altered. Anyway, this could read as Mary Jane pushing Flash to suspect why Peter disappeared before Spider-Man appeared, which would be a crappy thing to do.




DUY: Does Peter normally take showers with the bathroom door open?


BEN: You don't?


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: Anytime Peter beats up the Punisher, it's a great panel.



BEN: It should never even be a contest, but yes.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The Punisher.

BEN: Frank continues his path to superstardom.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #134

 Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #134
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and D. Hunt

The Tarantula appears! And at the end of the issue, someone else returns!


POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The first appearance of the Tarantula.

DUY: A last page cameo appearance for the Punisher.

BEN: Harry Osborn finds out Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and he believes he killed his father.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Liz's outfit.






DUY: Mary Jane is basically the girl who would take a selfie at the edge of a mountain.



DUY: Honestly the Tarantula's costume is kinda cool.

BEN: It's close to the black costume in design.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

DUY: Having your first Hispanic characters in this book be villains, probably not the best look.

BEN: I had every one of these Tarantula comics as a kid, to the point that he seemed like a very prominent Spider-Man villain. He would not be that prominent.

NITPICKS

DUY: Everyone is in summer clothes. Peter Parker? Leather jacket.

BEN: And jeans.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: That's a very suggestive gun placement.


WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: He actually loses, but I'll give it to Flash Thompson.




BEN: Flash gets to do something. It’s been a while.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!

Nov 13, 2020

Spider-Rama: Giant-Size Spider-Man #1

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #11
by Len Wein, Ross Andru, and Don Heck

Spider-Man meets Dracula!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
DUY: This version of Dracula was created for horror comic The Tomb of Dracula, which debuted in April 1972, just a few months after Morbius, and just a few months after the Comics Code Authority allowed characters and beings from previous literary works (previously, vampires were not allowed). This was supposed to be separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe, but the sales potential was too high and this was the first of those crossovers..

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Unfortunately, this scene is very relevant to the present day.



BEN: Bravo, that was a great reveal, and thought-provoking.



DUY: Spider-Man's unconscious sexism is a thing that will continue to be a thing up until the Into the Spider-Verse movie.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: You’ve already fought a vampire (and werewolves) before this moment, Pete.



BEN: Machine Gun Kelly is a terrible present-day rapper.



DUY: Machine Gun Kelly was named after a serial killer, so there is a reason for this, but yes, that hasn't aged well.

NITPICKS

BEN: I could no-prize this, but still, he found a ship in the middle of the Atlantic in 15 minutes.



DUY: Why not drain them instead of simply killing them? Dracula is wasteful.



BEN: That's a helluva coincidence.


DUY: Technically, Maxfield didn't fall out of the sky.


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:




DUY: Comics never shoved gender politics down your throats.


BEN: No, never.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Dr. AJ Maxfield.

BEN: I’m giving this to Wein. I’ve been negative about him in the past, and I was fully expecting this comic to be a chore, but it was quite good..

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Go watch our Spider-Rama videos!