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.

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!

1 comment:

Arthur S. said...

The film director Howard Hawks once said that a great movie was "three good scenes and no bad scenes". If you transpose that to comics and ongoing issues and the smaller canvas and time constraints -- a great issue is one good scene and no bad scenes. So ASM#143 has a great scene (the airport) and no bad scenes.

That's basically the greatest kiss in comics history, and certainly the greatest 'first kiss'.

One thing I find really poignant is that this scene and moment is distinctly Pre-9/11. You ever want to show people what life was like before 9/11, just show them that panel. It was a common sight at airport for family and loved ones to accompany passengers into the airport all the way to the boarding gate and you had last-minute romantic farewells and so on. Now, you have to say goodbyes at the airport entrance and only passengers and pilots and crew are allowed into the airport, leave alone all the way to the boarding gate. JMS in his run on ASM had Peter/MJ say goodbye at an airport (in ASM#502 or #503 i forget which) and they had to do it at the gate (with Peter wearing a FDNY cap). JMS was the first writer to deal with Post 9/11 Spider-Man so that serves as a neat and sad bookend to this moment. And it lends it a kind of romantic trapped-in-amber moment.

Chip Zdarsky also hommaged this kiss in his LIFE STORY#6 on the second page. That turns out to be the "last kiss" between the grown-old-together versions of these character

Post a Comment

All comments on The Comics Cube need approval (mostly because of spam) and no anonymous comments are allowed. Please leave your name if you wish to leave a comment. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.