Jul 31, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #36

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

Spider-Man fights The Looter!


BEN: I have a disproportionate level of fondness for this issue because it was the only Ditko Spider-Man comic I owned as a kid.
DUY: First Looter. As if that matters.


DUY: Uh, so the Looter failed science in high school but is convinced he's a genius. There's actually a modern psychoanalytical story to be told here because he's clearly delusional. A good writer could really work with that, I'm not even being sarcastic. Also, Spider-Man closing his eyes and just following his spider-sense is always so cool, I have to wonder why he just never does it by default. And here's Peter's self-centeredness coming into play: "Why do I always get interested in girls that can't see me for dust?!!" He's already forgotten about Liz.

BEN: And Betty literally gave him eight more second-chances than he deserved


BEN: The Looter's real name, Norman Fester. His facial hair. The only thing that keeps the Looter from being the worst Ditko Spider-Man villain is issue #38.

DUY: "Spidey as you like him! In college!" on the cover feels like blatant pandering to the new crowd.

BEN: And they depict it exactly like high school.


BEN: Look, if a costumed criminal ever leapt into a room I was in, you better believe I’m running away as fast as possible. I know it’s part of his bad luck persona and all, but these other characters shouldn’t be holding it against Peter because he appears to flee.

DUY: First girl Peter ever hits on in high school is named Sally. First girl who ever hits on him in college is named Sally. And there is no way Peter Parker turns down a date just because the girl sees him as an egghead. Where the hell does the "Betty only liked me for my brains" thing come from? And did Norman Fester get powers and decided he needed to look younger and then dyed his hair brown? This entire issue is a nitpick!


DUY:  I kinda like this. Spider-Man is so agile that he's even accurate when he's going through structures.

BEN: Mine:


DUY:  I dunno, that's two duds in a row. I guess the Looter wins this one just because he's not Joe Smith.

BEN: Victory! But no, it's Gwen.


BEN: It would appear Betty is officially phased out of the comic for now. Why do you think they wanted to end the Peter and Betty relationship?

DUY: I would think it was just time. We're committed to this new direction (college, which surprises me a bit that Flash is still there). Writing Betty and Liz out actually foreshadows the fact that that's eventually gonna happen to Gwen.

BEN: Betty had fallen into a rut as a love interest. A rut that Gwen would ironically succumb to also. Flash was too important as a pain in the ass to lose.

DUY: Gwen eventually gets to the point where they can't break up because they're too in love. Betty.... I never really bought it.

BEN: It’s a pretty perfect rendition of puppy love to me.

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!

1 comment:

Fred W. Hill said...

The Looter, even by name, was very much based on Ditko's increasingly staunch Objectivist outlook and Ditko's plotting seems determined to trap Peter Parker into alienating everyone who even tries to get close to him, thinking the worst of everyone, living solely to take care of himself and his aunt and to fight anyone he deems a threat. Of course, we'll never know for certain what direction Ditko may have taken the Peter's relationship with Gwen. Of course, in Silver Age Marvel Comics, there were very few happy romances -- even Reed & Sue had their troubles, as did Hank & Jan, but Ditko seemed more adverse than other Marvel creators to showing happily paired couples, perhaps reflecting aspects of his own life that he would never talk about. But then, in his final Dr. Strange story, there are hints of budding romance with Clea, and in his closing Spider-Man stories, there seemed at least a possibility of something positive happening between Peter and Gwen, if Peter would just get out of the habit of sabotaging every effort Gwen made to get close to him.

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.