Feb 27, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #8

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Each 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 Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby

Spider-Man faces the menace of the Living Brain, Peter fights Flash Thompson, and Spider-Man fights the Human Torch in a backup story drawn by Jack "King" Kirby.


DUY: The cover is interesting. The backup feature takes up the most of it, and it's being blatant with its marketing to teenagers.

BEN: Peter stops wearing eyeglasses after Flash breaks them.

DUY: It turns out he didn't need them after all, which is ... convenient. Also, first Living Brain, who's been used more in recent years, especially in Dan Slott's run.

BEN: Formerly the least exciting Ditko Spidey villain.

DUY: Technology has evolved to a point where he now provides good comic relief. Their science teacher is named Warren. Is it ever revealed that this guy's related to Miles Warren, who would become the Jackal and clone Gwen Stacy?

BEN: He goes on to clone Liz Allen.

DUY: Apparently it is, in Untold Tales of Spider-Man. Leave it to Kurt Busiek to tie that together.

BEN: I wonder if they had another brother that taught History and didn’t clone people.


BEN: I love his rivalry/friendship with Johnny Storm.

DUY: Apparently Ditko didn't like Johnny Storm at all, which is why Johnny doesn't ever really "help" him in these appearances. But I like it too, it's probably my favorite Marvel friendship.


BEN: Well, maybe the “advanced” robot shaped super-computer?

DUY: The Living Brain ages so badly that he ages so well as a silly/comedic element.

BEN: I wonder what The Living Brain’s memory capacity was, like 500 mb? Yet he had every known fact stored in his database somehow.

DUY: Would he work in a movie?  I can imagine him in a movie, hands all spinning, making bloop bleep noises.

BEN: He'd work as a joke. Otherwise he's Ultron.

DUY: Speaking of not aging well, Jack Kirby drawing Spider-Man.

BEN: That was never good.


DUY: One of the first times he doesn't win with his scientific know-how is against the supercomputer. That's a missed opportunity. And since when can Johnny Storm actually just fire light?

BEN: I know their classmates are inclined to discredit Peter regardless during his boxing match with Flash, but if you turn your head in a fight and get clocked, that’s your dumbass mistake.

DUY: And the punch was already underway.


DUY: It might be this. Ditko could really make them look funny if he wanted.

BEN: Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

DUY: I also love this one. Peter's temper is so established in the Steve Ditko run.

BEN:This, for some reason, is one of the most prominent early Spider-Man issues that has stuck with me. It’s that boxing match with Flash. I think I really wanted Peter to let loose and kick his ass.

DUY: The boxing match is a weird one in that I remember it as a highlight of those early issues too, but I don't really remember it being referenced a lot?

BEN:  I guess I used to think that he could kick his ass without them automatically thinking he’s Spider-Man.


DUY: The more Flash Thompson loses to Peter in the comic, the more he wins the comic.

BEN: I hated him as a kid, but he's a lovable goofball for me now.


DUY:  Can you imagine being used to DC Comics and their anatomically correct figures and more classically-drawn renditions of characters, then you open this and question marks are floating over Flash Thompson's head like a Looney Tunes cartoon?

BEN: It works too.

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 next week!

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