Mar 20, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #11

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 and Steve Ditko

The return of Doctor Octopus, and what hold does he have over Betty Brant?


BEN: First appearance and death of Bennett Brant. First girlfriend that loves Peter and hates Spider-Man. The villain appearance count is:

  • The Vulture: 2
  • Doctor Octopus: 2

DUY: I remember when I first read this, I had just been introduced to the Spider-tracers in some other modern Spidey story. The sheer difference in the Spider-tracers here and the ones I saw then is huge. It made me realize that all this stuff really is made up as you go along.

BEN: They ditch the little receiver fairly quick, I believe.

DUY: So once again Peter uses his scientific knowledge to invent something. So his  invention count is now:

  • Spider-webs
  • Spider-signal
  • Magnetic inverter
  • The acid he used to fuse Ock's arms together
  • Spider-tracers
  • Lizard antidote


DUY: Spider-Man fighting while injured is always great.

BEN: It’s almost as if he’s motivated to always keep pushing on by something, like the death of a loved one.

DUY: Which is still not mentioned!

BEN: Has “proportional strength of a spider” been mentioned yet?


BEN: So it's revealed that Betty's brother Bennett is working for Dr. Octopus right before Peter is about to reveal his secret identity.

DUY: Peter deciding to tell Betty that he's Spider-Man and then being forced not to may have been new then (or maybe not), but it's just a convenient plot non-twist now.


BEN: I know time is flexible in comics, but Ock has already served a full prison term? And they let him keep his arms? And he didn’t just break out using his arms?

DUY: Not only that, but they let him fix his arms?

BEN: He was on his best behavior.


BEN: I’m cheating and using two panels, because they highlight how powerful Spider-Man can be when he lets loose.

DUY: This, for me. Even without context, you know his ankle is busted. Effective visual shorthand.


DUY: Ock, who at this point is pretty clearly his biggest villain. I know there's a debate as to who that actually is, Ock or Goblin, but if we're going strictly by the Ditko run, it's gotta be Ock.

BEN: It’s not even a debate.


DUY:  So this is the first time they've connected a villain to Spider-Man personally, and over the years, Ock will be personally connected to him in other ways (he'll come close to marrying Aunt May, and at one point he'll take over Peter's body). Newer adaptations of Ock will have him have a personal connection to Spider-Man, usually as his teacher. Is Ock better off for having a personal connection to Peter, or better off as just being a dangerous villain in a vacuum?

BEN:  I think him having a personal connection in other media is mostly for storytelling efficiency. It doesn’t bother me, but I still prefer the way it happened 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.

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