Sep 3, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #41

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 John Romita Sr.

It's the first appearance of the Rhino!


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Green Goblin: 7
  • Doctor Octopus: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • The Vulture: 3
  • Mysterio: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • Kraven the Hunter: 3
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Rhino: 1
BEN: First appearance of the Rhino, second appearance of Colonel John Jameson—

DUY: —dating all the way back to Amazing Spider-Man #1, no less. Also, animal-themed villains: 5 at this point, with Doc Ock, Vulture, Chameleon, Scorpion, and Rhino. 6 if you count Kraven the Hunter as "animal-themed."

BEN: The official end of Peter and Betty, and the first appearance of Peter Parker's motorcycle.

DUY: What do you think of the Rhino? I feel like he's at most a serviceable villain if Spider-Man needs a brute, but not an unbeatable brute like the Juggernaut. I know they've tried in recent years to give him more personality, but I don't know if I'll ever see him as anything other than third-tier.

BEN: Third tier is right. He's not the best and he's not Joe Smith.


DUY: Peter and Betty breaking up for good, and Peter admitting that it was just because Betty was his first girlfriend. That's how it works, but I didn't expect that level of self-awareness. Also, Anna Watson saying "If Peter Parker were MY nephew, I'd try to make him more independent." I'm glad the comic is putting in another elderly character that calls out how annoying and smothering Aunt May is.

BEN: There’s no reason for her or May to think Peter and MJ would get along.


DUY: I don't know what motorcycles are supposed to look like in the 60s, but that's a moped.

BEN: I might be willing to give it dirt bike status, which is what some kids got to play around with when I was younger.

DUY: Also, wear a helmet.


DUY:  John Jameson's narration of the rescue from the first issue has a thought balloon from Spider-Man.

DUY: If a kid living in Marvel's New York saw the Rhino, and thought any superhero could beat the crap out of him, that superhero in his mind would not be Spider-Man. Thor and the Hulk live there.

DUY: And why does Spider-Man need a bike?

BEN:  I was actually thinking that too. Dude, you can swing across the whole city in 15 minutes. Maybe he gets tired?

DUY: Maybe he just finds it really cool, but it's out of character for him to pay money for that.

BEN: You're not his mom. Leave him alone.

DUY: He's worried that Aunt May will have a heart attack if she finds out he's Spider-Man, but driving a motorcycle is fine?!?

BEN: It's barely a motorcycle. As Peter B. Parker would say, conserve your energy.


DUY: Mine is a Jameson, as usual:

BEN: Mine has Betty and Peter seeing each other for the first time in a while:


BEN: Gwen Stacy!

DUY: It might be Gwen, yeah. Peter's clearly into her at this point. Interestingly, this is a referenced issue for Spider-Man Blue, the six-issue miniseries by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale that recaps a portion of Peter's life under Romita and focuses on how Peter and Gwen fell in love. In that one, when Peter gets his motorcycle, he immediately takes Gwen for a ride.

BEN: It seemed like maybe the original plan was to always have him moving on to a new love interest, but that went away quick if so.

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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