Aug 3, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #120

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 #120
by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita, and Tom Mortellaro

Spider-Man is in Montreal to fight the Hulk! And it's the last issue before... you know, something happens to Gwen Stacy.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

DUY: Especially as depicted by the MCU, yes, nothing can stop the Hulk.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: Is this the last time we see Gwen alive?


DUY: This is it. This is seriously the last issue we're going to see Gwen, and it's Gwen crying. Ugh. They did not think this through and I hate it.

BEN: Not to mention the previous storyline was a 3-part retelling of an older story.

NITPICKS

BEN: Is that helicopter made of wood?



DUY: Similarly, this has to be the most solid depiction of water I've seen in a comic.


BEN: Solid water, wooden helicopters, what the hell is happening?

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: I love the art, plus they added in a reference to the Distinguished Competition:


DUY: You know I like the whole "filling up a whole panel with someone crouching to emphasize how big they are" thing:


BEN: I’ve never successfully drawn the Hulk. It’s one of my great shames.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: I'm assuming the Hulk got a sales boost here, so I guess the Hulk..

BEN: Was this the same time that he fought a certain short Canadian superhero for the first time?

DUY: Not yet, this was about a year before.

BEN: I guess the Hulk spent a lot of time up in Canada. In that case, I’m giving Canada the win here.

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. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time? Go watch it!


Jul 31, 2020

WATCH: Gene Ha Interview

Duy sits down with Gene Ha to discuss key points in his career, influences, and his work on Starman/The Shade with James Robinson, Iron Fist, the Justice League of America story by Brad Meltzer ("Walls"), Top 10 with Alan Moore, and his creator-owned Mae!



You can get Mae Vol. 1here: https://amzn.to/3hikm3q
Vol. 2: https://amzn.to/2CRjzrA

Jul 29, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #8

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 #8
Spider-Rama
by Gerry Conway and Jim Mooney

Spider-Man and the Cat fight (sigh) Man-Killer.



POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: The Cat eventually becomes Tigra.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Gatekeeping “fans” would have you believe diversity and feminism are being shoved down the throats of the modern reader, but that just means they haven’t paid attention to anything they’ve read in the past 60 years.



DUY: Hey you know what hasn't aged well? Gatekeeping fans.

BEN: The idea of gatekeeping, and the fans themselves, they are not aging gracefully.

DUY: It does kind of feel like this is a precursor to today's feminist wave. The 70s were far more sledgehammer-y about it.

BEN: Are you saying a character named Man-Killer was a touch unsubtle?

DUY: To be fair, does the name "Man-killer" age well or badly?

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: I remember having a discussion with someone online about if Spider-Man ever hit a woman (on purpose) so I’m recording this here. I’m not equipped enough to litigate the social or gender politics of whether it’s right for him to do, or not.



DUY: I know the intention is to make her look like she has two breasts and a four-pack, but...



NITPICKS

DUY: So I don't know if this counts as a nitpick, but we've spent a lot of time on Spider-Rama singing the praises of Jim Mooney. Now he's on full art, and .... it's okay, not great. Some people are destined to be inkers, kids, and there's nothing wrong with that.

BEN: Some parts are really good, which makes me think some guys are inkers because they’re not fast enough to be pencilers.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Bunt!



DUY: This is so hilarious. "Your costume was made by MEN!" "NOOOOOOOOO!"



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The "comics aren't just for kids" crowd starts to win here. Look at the way this ends. Conway is trying to go for literature levels of prose. We're moving away from the Stan Lee mode of narration, which was friendlier, more inviting, and really gave Marvel its clubhouse feel.



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. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time? Go watch it!


Jul 27, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #119

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 #119
by  John Romita Sr. and Gerry Conway

Spider-Man goes to Montreal to find the Hulk!



POINTLESS TRIVIA

DUY: Anna Watson's middle name is revealed to be May, just like both Superman's and Batman's moms are named Martha.

BEN: They should have that be a major plot point in a story. Nah, that would be idiotic.

DUY: Per Conway in the Clone Genesis TPB, his first year on the book was basically an apprenticeship under Romita. They would talk about stories with Stan and Roy and then Conway would follow instructions. That's why Romita gets credited first. Conway'd get top billing when Romita left penciling to be art director.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: I spent a lot of time looking for Amazing Spider-Man #121 and #122 in longboxes, so as a byproduct I’ve seen this cover a lot, and I’ve always liked it. And here's foreshadowing:


DUY: Now that we're reaching the end of Romita's run on this book, let me take a moment to say that I think his storytelling has gone through a long arc. At first he was kind of aping Ditko's execution, but using his own art style, which was weird, and then there was that fairly annoying stretch where he was doing layouts for Don Heck that you could tell he was phoning it in. Whenever he was inked by Jim Mooney, and ever since Conway took over, he's stepped up. I like things like this, very smart decision to show how big Ock's compound is.


BEN: I really do think this was the best combination of storytelling and art I’ve seen from him.

DUY: The Hulk's a really convenient guest star. He's never treated as the villain or anything, he's more like a force of nature that the hero just kind of has to mitigate.

BEN: It's because instead of trying to tell a full story around him, another superhero gets to react to him smashing things. Plus, the writer doesn’t even really have to resolve the Hulk conflict. He can just leave.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: Shots fired at Aunt May:


DUY: Telegrams. This entire comic is based on telegrams. That's not happening today.


BEN: For our younger readers, telegrams were the email of that time.

DUY: Peter is wondering if he should be worried about Aunt May because Aunt May being worried about him is always what bothered him. The answer is yes, Peter, because she's living with Dr. Octopus and is a moron about it.

BEN: It would be really tough for any human being to be that oblivious.

NITPICKS

BEN: Why wouldn’t Jameson wonder how Peter knows Spider-Man will be in Canada?


DUY: The no-prized answer is he still thinks Peter and Spidey have a deal, so Peter knows Spidey will be in Canada. Wait, does anyone realize that you can then narrow down the identity of Spider-Man to adult males who took a plane from NYC to Montreal in those couple of days?

BEN: I’ve often thought the same of his trips to London.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Spider-Man in the snow.



DUY: Going back to my "What Aged the Best", here's an example. Consecutive panels of Spidey swinging were always a favorite of mine in the Ditko era. Here Romita is doing it and there's so much movement and motion, but it looks distinctively his own. I always say I choose Ditko over Romita, but if Romita had been like this, consistently, for the majority of his run, I might have changed my mind.



BEN: It’s always motion with you. You have a real motion sickness.

DUY: I like the depiction of motion in a static medium!

BEN: Appreciate my wordplay!

DUY: I.... sure.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

BEN: John Romita was firing on all art cylinders with this one. I wonder if it’s his last full job on Amazing?

DUY: I'm gonna give it to John Romita. This is the end of his last stretch. It'll be one-offs after this. He will altogether have penciled 47 issues of Amazing (or 46, because one of them is an annual) to Ditko's 40. But Ditko's was continuous.

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.

Jul 23, 2020

Spider-Rama Watch: The Top 10 Spider-Man Artists of All Time!

Who are the greatest Spider-Man artists of all time? We DRAFT (yes, like a pickup basketball gam) the top 10 (actually 12) on this episode of Spider-Rama on The Comics Cube! What's your list look like, Spider-fans?



Jul 22, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #7


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 #7
Spider-Rama
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Jim Mooney

Thor teams up with Spider-Man to save Earth and Asgard from Kryllk the Cruel!



POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Marvel Team-Up moved to a monthly schedule with this issue (one comic published every month). It had previously been bi-monthly (one comic published every two months).

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: It’s not consistent throughout the entire comic, but Andru and Mooney make a great art team for most of it.



BEN: Especially with the "negative effects" panels:



DUY: I like how nonchalant Peter is here, figuring Thor doesn't even know who he actually is. But... (see Nitpicks section for the continuation of this sentence)


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: That hair:



DUY: Thor doing his Shakespeare-speak.

BEN: Writing Thor’s manner of speech is not something every writer can pull off.

NITPICKS

DUY: ....This is completely out of character for Peter.



BEN: I guess he figured Thor is the one person that really doesn’t care? That’s never stopped him from obsessing over his secret before.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: I love the way Spider-Man is drawn in this random panel:



DUY: This is hilarious. This is not a Thor pose. He would not be sitting here:


BEN: Thor hanging out definitely aged well.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: It's Spider-Man and Thor, so the winner is me.

BEN: Thor is your second favorite character after The Vision.

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. And be sure to check out our YouTube channel tomorrow at the same time for our first episode of Spider-Rama, where we rank the 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time!