Mar 8, 2021

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #143

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!

by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and David Hunt

Spider-Man is in France and he has to fight Cyclone! And what's up with Gwen Stacy?

BEN: The first appearance of Cyclone.

DUY: Peter and Mary Jane's first kiss.

DUY: This issue does something that's kind of weird, structurally. It tells the story of how Peter and Robbie have to leave New York and go to Paris to look for JJJ. It's light on the action. Then we actually skip to three hours after they land in Paris when Spider-Man is already tailing Robbie. And then we flashback to just when they land in Paris to explain what happened. It flashes back to a point in the story that we were already in, and it's a clever way to make sure there's an action beat in the middle of the book.


DUY: You know what, being friends with your ex is usually really weird and in fiction there's a lot of underlying "Do they still have feelings for each other" stuff, but somehow with Peter and Betty I believe it and I buy into it. It's not quite Jerry and Elaine levels, but it's genuine. Is that partly because even when they were dating they never really had any chemistry? 

DUY: Robbie being stern is a side to him we haven't seen in his 92 issues.

DUY: This is the epitome of decompression (that's MJ seeing the plane take off after they just kissed) and I LOVE IT.

BEN: This is a landmark moment for both characters, and it continues the trend of these big Mary Jane moments happening in otherwise unremarkable comics. After all, her “face it tiger” debut was at the very end of John Jameson’s space steroids story in #42.

DUY: This is Mary Jane and Peter's first kiss, so they definitely didn't do it in 122.


BEN: Did "Tiger" used to mean something other than a pet name? I like that she calls him the opposite of what he is, like calling me tall, or you handsome.

DUY: Foreign languages in italics do not age well. The standard now is to put them in angle brackets.


DUY: Peter has been working for JJJ since he was in high school. Now he's in college. At the most, at the MOST, that's an 8-year span. And Robbie says he's been working there longer than he has.

DUY: But in 140, we flash back to 11 years ago, and JJJ is right there with Robbie watching wrestling.

DUY: My no-prize explanation: the wrestling event is where JJJ and Robbie first met and networked.


BEN: No question:

DUY: Of which this is my favorite part:


DUY: Conway and Andru, again. Yet another quality comic. Or, screw it, Peter and MJ.

BEN: It's Peter and Mary Jane.

DUY: Honorable mention to Robbie. Does he know?

BEN: It doesn't make much sense to pay for a staff photographer to come on this perilous journey unless you know he’s secretly Spider-Man.

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Mar 1, 2021

Celebrating Will Eisner Week!

 It's Will Eisner Week! Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and father of the graphic novel, would have been 104 years old this March 6th, and we are proud to showcase some videos from the Will Eisner channel. First, if you want an intro to the legend that is Will Eisner, here's Danny Fingeroth, Chair of Will Eisner Week:

If you're interested in finding out more (e.g., if you have a paper to write or some research to do), here's a more in-depth show I did with Danny on Eisner's life and career:

Here's Danny talking to Todd McFarlane about what made Eisner special:


And here's Gene Luen Yang on Eisner:


And watch Paul Levitz, Denis Kitchen, Susan Kirtley, and Dan Schkade discussing their favorite Eisner stories:


You can view more Will Eisner–related videos here on the Will Eisner channel.

How can YOU celebrate Will Eisner Week, you ask? You can feel free to share any of these videos, host them on your own blogs and websites or share them on your social feeds. And of course, there is the very simple way to honor Will Eisner: read comics and graphic novels, everyone!