Jun 1, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #110


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 #110
by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.

Spider-Man vs. his greatest villain ever.... The Gibbon.




POINTLESS TRIVIA 

BEN: First appearance of the Gibbon!

DUY: Yaaaaaaaaay.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Hidden messages:



DUY: All kids somehow become who they are in relation to their parents. And that's just me saying that Peter Parker is just as bad as Aunt May. 



BEN: Gwen definitely should have broken up with him by now. And I don't like Marty’s self-esteem here, but I do like the sentiment that Spider-Man can’t possibly have it as bad as he says he does


DUY: You mean to say Spider-Man may be into self-pity a bit much?

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: I have to say, Peter is unbearably melodramatic and self-absorbed in this one, and a bit of a dick to Marty too.



DUY:  This is Scott Summers levels of melodramatic.

BEN: He didn’t leave his wife and kid for his resurrected first girlfriend, but it’s close.

DUY:  Scott Summers moaning how ugly he is to Nightcrawler, melodramatic.

BEN: That's a fitting comparison.

NITPICKS

BEN: 
We already did this “I decided to just develop animal agility” thing with The Kangaroo.

DUY: So, just no-prizing it..... Marty is a mutant, right?

BEN: That would be the modern explanation. Back then it would be “what’s a mutant?” Because the X-Men initially failed, you see? 

DUY: No, Peter, this would not break your hand.



BEN:  I think he crushed that same pipe with his hand in his origin story. 

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN:
 Mine:


DUY: I love that she says it to him on-panel:



BEN: Is that the first time? We should be tracking this stuff.

DUY: This is in fact the first time it's ever said on panel to him, and of course she's unconscious.

BEN: So he’s been living this long without an “I love you” return?

DUY: He's said things to her like "love of my life" and stuff, but I don't think they've said the exact sentence to each other on panel. I imagine they have said it off panel though. Restrictions are weird. I don't think Thor and Jane or Thor and Sif ever kissed under Jack Kirby. Peter never kissed anyone under Steve Ditko, and it still took a while under John Romita.

WHO WON THE COMIC? 

BEN: Gwen Stacy is perfect in this, which is highlighted even more by everyone else being unbearable.

DUY: Only Gwen is good in this.

BEN: Gwen may have cried a lot in those days, but she was still consistently the best part of the comics.

DUY: That's it for Spider-Rama today. 

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!

May 29, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #1


Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every weekday until the end of May, 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 #1
by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito

Spider-Man and the Human Torch, together again! Against the Sandman!



POINTLESS TRIVIA 

BEN: This is technically the first time Spider-Man got a second ongoing series alongside Amazing Spider-Man . It only made sense for the Human Torch to be the first character he teams up with. 

DUY: The Human Torch made 9 appearances in the Steve Ditko era (Amazing Spider-Man 1, 3, 5, 8, Annual, 17, 18, 19, 21) and then only a couple more after that (76 and 77). As mentioned before, Ditko didn't really want guest stars in Amazing, so it's not a coincidence that the appearances stopped when he got the reins. And with the benefit of time, it's clear that Johnny is the perfect complement to Peter. Roy Thomas, probably the first of the fans-turned-pros, probably was a fan of the very early issues. 

BEN: The only writer that keeps Roy Thomas from topping my least favorite list is JMS.

DUY: While Marvel Roy is pretty cookie-cutter (I kinda love him at DC), I'm sure there are writers I dislike more that aren't JMS.

BEN: He’s so plain I find it annoying.

DUY: Ross Andru will eventually be chosen for a big Spider-Man project, so let's keep an eye out for when he gets to the level where that decision is justified.  And Sandman is a villain both Peter and Johnny have fought, so the choice for Sandman makes sense. The other options are Paste Pot Pete and the Beetle.

BEN: This will not count as her first appearance, but this was later retconned to be Misty Knight, longtime supporting character for Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and one of the Daughters of the Dragon. It would chronologically be the first time she appeared in a comic.


WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Ross Andru will be a significant artist in the history of Spider-Man, though his art is a bit crude here. I love a good water tower death trap.



DUY: This is hilarious. Johnny is stuck in self-isolation (something we can all relate to these days, unless you're an essential worker or one of those idiots who don't care if you kill anyone) so he'll just talk to anyone.


BEN: I feel like Johnny will always talk anyone’s ear off.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: 'Nuff said.



DUY:  Speaking of bad outfits, why is the Sandman in a costume? When did this happen?



BEN: I think it’s from when he joined the Frightful Four.

NITPICKS

DUY: 
I'm fairly certain no amount of fatigue is going to screw up depth perception this badly.



BEN: You’re not taking into account how many concussions they get on a regular basis.

DUY: This is out of character. Which is not to say this has never happened and will never happe
ned again, because it will and it will eventually lead to the creation of the Hobgoblin. It's just out of character.


BEN: He has his moments when he stops caring but then he runs into an old man that looks like Uncle Ben. 

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN:
 Sappy, but there wasn’t much to pick from in this issue:



DUY: I like the double-team move:


WHO WON THE COMIC? 

DUY: The two guys mugging Misty, who basically get let off with a stern warning because it's Christmas.

BEN: Green polka-dotted shirts.

DUY: 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!

May 28, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Super-Heroes #14


Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every weekday until the end of May, 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 SUPER-HEROES #14
by Stan Lee and Ross Andri

Spider-Man is controlled by a new villain called The Sorcerer to fight a robot called The Synthetic Man for really no reason, but it's the first published work of artist Ross Andru on Spider-Man, and he's going to be important.



POINTLESS TRIVIA 

DUY: So here's the thing, readers... we weren't gonna do this. We do Spider-Rama ahead of time, and we were actually already on Amazing Spider-Man #176, and a recurring theme is (spoilers) that we both love Ross Andru's artwork so much, that we couldn't not do this issue. At some point in 1968, John Romita Sr. was hurt and it seemed he couldn't make his deadline for a Spidey issue. So Stan worked with Ross Andru for a fill-in - Ross at the time was at DC doing mostly Superman, plus some issues of Brave and the Bold. But Romita made his deadline anyway, so this became an inventory issue, that they released for this series with rotating characters and creators. It's Andru's first Spider-Man work, and his only collaboration with Stan Lee.

BEN: Anecdotally, I feel like I’ve seen this comic displayed for sale in a lot of comic stores in my life, and I still have never read it until now.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

DUY: This is Ross Andru's first panel. Elaborately detailed backgrounds and establishing shots will be a theme throughout his entire run on Spider-Man


BEN: If only we had the foresight to do a broken window count.


DUY: Oh yeah, that will also be a thing.

BEN: I think we can agree it’s a good thing this story didn’t get published in Amazing Spider-Man, perhaps preventing these villains from ever appearing again.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY:  Mind control will also be a recurrent-to-the-point-of-lazy theme, although I don't see how that'd be Andru's fault.


BEN: The Manchurian Candidate was released in 1962. Project MKUltra, which involved the CIA using LSD as well as other things in mind control experiments, was made public in 1975. LSD rose to prominence as a recreational drug in the ‘60s, and many ‘70s comic book writers admit having experimented with the drug. Some of the reasons it might have become so predominant in superhero comics at the time.

DUY: The Sorcerer controls the robot The Synthetic Man from his home, and he basically loses because a mailman presses the doorbell at the wrong time.


BEN: Defeated by irony and a doorbell.

NITPICKS

BEN: 
How did Peter have money for airfare?



DUY: Why take the time to design a robot with individual toes?

BEN: You can’t improve upon the design of the human body? 

FAVORITE PANEL

DUY: Andru's only portrayal of classic pre-headband Gwen.



BEN: Peter sending gorgeous women out of his bedroom is going to be a thing, perplexingly.

WHO WON THE COMIC? 

DUY: Ross Andru is an incredible artist, and I think even in this trial story from five years before he'd take over the book, you can already see the potential. Anyone who's discovering him for the first time or rediscovering him is in for a treat.



BEN: Yeah, his action layouts were already on point.


DUY: 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!

May 27, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #109

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every weekday until the end of May, 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 #109
by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.

Flash Thompson's war past come back to haunt him! So here comes Dr. Strange!


POINTLESS TRIVIA 

BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Doctor Octopus: 12
  • Green Goblin: 11
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Kraven the Hunter: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 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
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
BEN: Sha Shan gets a name.


DUY: Is that even a real Vietnamese name?

BEN: No?

DUY: Google says it's a hotel in China.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Finally someone said it!


DUY: F'in' finally. 

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY: I know this is standard fare for drama in those days, but wow, they really wasted three pages on the secret identity stuff, huh?



BEN: I was watching Marvel’s The Avengers earlier today, and not a second is wasted on secret identities in that movie. I know they’re different types of characters, but it really makes this comic trips stand out.

DUY: Dr. Strange guest starring in a story about Asian mysticism would probably have not made me think twice a few years ago, but there was such a controversy about whitewashing the Ancient One for the Dr. Strange movie, which led to some people believing Strange himself was supposed to be Asian. It just takes on a new context now, but to be honest, I don't really care.

BEN: But you love when Strange and Spider-Man team up.

DUY: I... sure.

NITPICKS

DUY: Ugh, did we call you people "Occidentals" at any point? This is painful.



BEN: They’ve hit cringe bingo over the course of this storyline. 

FAVORITE PANEL

DUY: This is mine, 'cause I hate Aunt May:


WHO WON THE COMIC? 

DUY: Gwen goddamn Stacy.


BEN: Gwen is speaking on behalf of us, from the past, in our present, her future.

DUY: 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!

May 26, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #108

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every weekday until the end of May, 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 #108
by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.

In Vietnam, Flash Thompson met a wise old man and his daughter before things went to hell. Now it's come back to haunt him.



POINTLESS TRIVIA 

BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Doctor Octopus: 12
  • Green Goblin: 11
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Kraven the Hunter: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 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
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • Doctor Octopus: 12
  • Green Goblin: 10
  • 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
  • The Beetle: 2
BEN: First appearance of Sha Shan, but we don’t learn her name yet in this issue.



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: The birth of a thousand memes.


DUY: Okay, so.... the racism is in fact bad, but... we have a gigantic Asian dude who is portrayed as strong, and we don't have the half-assed attempt at Asian dialect. So overall, this is probably a win for the time period. 

BEN: Don’t ignore the web jizz, Duy.

DUY: Oh yeah, and of course the web jizz.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: I’m going to have to say the racism aged the worst.


DUY:  To be honest, Peter's never struck me as the most socially conscious, progressive guy. His entire concept is that people shouldn't get hurt or shouldn't die, but I don't think he really puts too much thought into social issues or anything.



BEN: Peter would have to be aware of any thoughts and feelings besides his own to be socially conscious.

NITPICKS

BEN: 
Peter, YOU ARE A CRIME PHOTOGRAPHER.



DUY: Gonna be honest.... webbing him just by his unbuttoned trenchcoat... probably not the best idea.

BEN: They are supposed to be able to pull him in. 



DUY: That's one hell of a gamble.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN:
 Classic Romita Spidey:


DUY: Motion and mood is pretty good:



WHO WON THE COMIC? 

DUY: Do Asians win here for at least getting a foot in the door in terms of representation?

BEN: I’m too white to say, but I can imagine it being a case where any representation at all was exciting.

DUY: I'd probably have found it a positive.

BEN: That's it for Spider-Rama this week. 

DUY: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko— 

BEN: —for telling us we aren't the only ones. 

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. See you tomorrow!

May 25, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #107

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every weekday until the end of May, 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 #107
by Stan Lee, and John Romita Sr., and Frank Giacoia

Spencer Smythe personally goes after Spider-Man! Flash Thompson confides to Gwen Stacy that something bad happened in Vietnam!


POINTLESS TRIVIA 

BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Doctor Octopus: 12
  • Green Goblin: 11
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Kraven the Hunter: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 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
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
DUY: Flash takes his shot at Gwen.


WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Jameson as mayor, that would be a crazy idea...


DUY: Way, way ahead of its time. Actually even when Jameson does become mayor, it's also slightly ahead of its time.... Anyway, I like that Gwen is just straightforward with Flash.


BEN: There’s no place for maturity in this comic.

DUY: You only say that because the main character is Peter Parker.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY:  This issue was pretty good, so I'm just gonna take the time to remind everyone that the way webs are drawn in this era and for the next nearly 20 years still is fairly simplistic and will be changed by 1988. 


NITPICKS

DUY: Would this really work? It seems not that plausible



BEN: I was gonna chalk that up to miscolored rope.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN:
 You know I love these angles:



DUY: I bet you love that ass shot.

BEN: I love Peter’s ass, what can I say?

DUY: Mine:


BEN: Romita did try to break Gwen from her classic headband mold towards the end here.

WHO WON THE COMIC? 

DUY: I'm far more interested in Flash and Gwen than the main storyline here, so I'm gonna say Gwen Stacy.

BEN: Even Smythe would say Gwen.

DUY: 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!