Nov 20, 2019

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #51

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.

Spider-Man falls into the Kingpin's trap!


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Green Goblin: 7
  • Doctor Octopus: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • The Vulture: 5
  • Mysterio: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • The Lizard: 3
  • The Kingpin: 2
  • The Chameleon: 2
  • Electro: 2
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
BEN: It’s established that the Kingpin is “solid muscle,” making him really strong and fast.

DUY: Also the first unnamed appearance of Robbie Robertson.


BEN: Mary Jane as the only one that sees how much Peter and Gwen like each other suggests she might not be as dumb as she let’s on. Also, they’re becoming friends.

DUY: Again, MJ and Gwen are becoming friends, but I don't know how much of that is Romita drawing them smiling. I have the feeling Ditko would have definitely had them at each other's throats.

DUY: I like how despite Kingpin's "solid muscle" thing, Spider-Man just hits him and keeps on. It really does highlight his strength when you compare it to Daredevil years later.


DUY: This is a fairly tight issue that has aged pretty well, so I'm going to go with JJJ making an "Untouchables" reference, a TV show that lasted only until 1963, so it was off the air at the time of publication anyway, so it was already dated. It was about Special Agent Elliott Ness fighting organized crime.

BEN: The Untouchables is timeless!


BEN: Last issue, Jameson noticed how Peter quit as a photog at the same time Spider-Man quit being a hero. Now they’re both back and he doesn’t suspect a thing.

DUY: Why did Peter let that one guy hit him in the early fight scene? It would be funy if he really did have an itch.

BEN: I noticed that too, and I wonder if it was a Romita mistake that Stan fixed in dialogue.


BEN: Easily the funniest Spider-Man joke yet:

DUY: Romita is really good at these opening splashes, or the splashes in general. He is the superior illustrator, like if I asked them to do pin-up books, I'm asking Romita a hundred times before I asked Ditko. So here's the opening splash:


BEN: No Gwen jokes this time, because progress is the winner. Robbie may not be significantly featured yet, but he’s a key character in the growing diversity of the Marvel Comics universe. He’s not a hero, but he will be a major character in the company’s most popular book, meaning more readers will see him.

DUY: Is he the first regular minority supporting character in a big-time superhero comic? I think he is, right?

BEN: I believe so.

DUY: Man, that's something. I wonder how it felt getting it off the stands back then.
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.

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