Dec 14, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #139

 Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #139
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt

The Grizzly. Yes.





POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The first appearance of The Grizzly.

DUY: Peter gets a new apartment and a new super, Mrs. Muggins. She will sporadically appear through the series up until 1987.



BEN: Spider-Man will be part of a Faustian pact many years later.


WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: At the risk of getting accused of having a blonde fetish, Liz has been fun since she returned. I wonder if they had romantic plans for her and Peter.



DUY: You have such a thing for blondes. It is weird because it's all fictional, and it's drawings, but Peter and Liz have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever.

BEN: You have no chemistry!

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: At this point they were probably looking through zoo books to find any animal that hasn’t been a Spider-Man supervillain yet. This time they landed on Grizzly bear. What they forgot is that bear costumes tend to look cute instead of menacing.

DUY: He looks ridiculous. Why does his suit have abs.



BEN: Can you imagine how hot that suit is?

NITPICKS

BEN: I know we have to ignore the fictional passage of time in comics, but it’s been “three weeks” since the previous issue, but only a “few months” since Gwen died. It’s the end of summer, but there has been a story that took place during Christmas since Gwen died. In short, the less specific, the better

DUY: My nitpick is the Grizzly exists.


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:




DUY: Keep in mind that when he first showed up, the Grizzly was supposed to be stronger than the Rhino.



BEN: Who would win in a fight, a bear or a rhino?

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Here's the cliffhanger, so the winner is the Jackal.



DOES ROBBIE KNOW?

BEN: Does he tell Peter to run away, because he knows Peter needs an excuse to leave and put on his costume?





DUY: It's an easy out, especially since Betty could run away and get help.

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Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #27

 elcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #27
by Len Wein, Jim Mooney, and Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man and the Hulk vs. The Chameleon!






POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The previous issue of Marvel Team-Up had The Human Torch team up with Thor against Jinku and the Lava Men. (I looked up Jinku to see if it was his first appearance and surprisingly, it was not.) It didn’t have Spidey in it, so we skipped it, as is our policy.

DUY: It was not long ago that The Hulk was just the antagonist in Amazing Spider-Man.

BEN: “Bird-nose” reminds me of Solomon Grundy on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon.



DUY: "Bird-nose" was an intentional choice in the JLU episode "The Terror Beyond". It was supposed to be a tribute to the Defenders, where Grundy was Hulk, Dr. Fate was Dr. Strange, Aquaman was Namor, and Hawkgirl was Nighthawk.. To a stretch, Wonder Woman was Valkyrie and either Superman or Amazo were supposed to be the Silver Surfer. I imagine one of them's supposed to be someone else, but I'm not too familiar with the Defenders. So yeah, at this point, Hulk is on the outs with the Defenders, a team known for being made up of superheroes who wouldn't normally be team members.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: I don’t know who made the cover but the Spider-Man is not good. I like the Hulk a lot more. Mooney did a quality job on the interior pages.

DUY: It's got a fairly good ending for a 70s comic.

BEN: The Chameleon’s face has always been a mixture of cool and creepy to me. Odd that this is only his fourth appearance considering he was Spider-Man’s first villain.



WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Nice Ned Leeds is going to go away soon, once he and Betty start having problems. I will miss nice Ned.



DUY: The cover is horrible. Is Spider-Man in front of that guy? Behind him? Where's the perspective on that thing?

NITPICKS

BEN: I’m not a Hulk expert, but would the Chameleon even know about Rick Jones?



DUY: Additionally, I know I keep complaining about the Chameleon's ability, but at this point, he's really just a master of disguise. How does he impersonate Rick Jones who is smaller than him?

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: Mine:




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: That Joey guy.




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Dec 8, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #138

 elcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #138
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and David Hunt

Here is Spider-Man, now, fighting the Mindworm, even as Peter Parker gets evicted from the apartment he shared with Harry Osborn!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The first appearance and origin of the Mindworm!

DUY: Flash Thompson’s address and phone number:



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Peter crashes with Flash and the transition to friendship between the two of them continues.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: Yet another mind control villain, and one that looks ridiculous. Going for a creepy unsettling look is cancelled out by the striped tank top and sandals.


DUY: How the hell does Mindworm have a recollection on the day of his birth?



BEN: His mental powers are that great.

NITPICKS

BEN: I don’t know what the housing laws were in 1974, but maybe you could tear up a lease if the tenant destroys one side of your building.

DUY: Peter calls Flash his "old enemy", but at this point they haven't been enemies for a substantial period of time.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: This guy. THIS GUY. Looks like he came out of a Looney Tunes cartoon, a late Will Eisner Spirit, or a MAD comic. And I love him.



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The landlord.

BEN: Don't vote for corrupt landlords..

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Dec 4, 2020

Spider-Rama: Giant-Size Spider-Man #2

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #2
by Len Wein, Ross Andru, and Al Milgrom

Spider-Man has to come to terms with the existence of Fu Manchu as he runs into Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu!




POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: The first time Al Milgrom worked on a Spider-Man comic, it seems.

DUY: Shang-Chi is a character meant to capitalize on Bruce Lee, and is the son of Fu Manchu, who at the time Marvel had the rights to.

BEN: Bruce Lee was a famous martial artist in the 70s.

DUY: He may or may not be known best for his role as Kato in The Green Hornet.



BEN: What's The Green Hornet?

DUY: He may or may not be known best for his role as Kato in The Green Hornet.

BEN: What's The Green Hornet? Don't you mean Arrow?

DUY: During a Green Hornet/Batman crossover, Green Hornet vs. Batman as well as Kato vs. Robin ended in a draw. Legend has it that Batman was supposed to go over Hornet while Kato was supposed to go over Robin, but Burt Ward didn't want to lose to Bruce Lee.

BEN: Bruce Lee was in that Seth Rogen movie?

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Superheroes fighting each other over a misunderstanding is a Marvel staple, and they did a better job of manipulating it in this story than usual.

DUY: Shang-Chi will have his own movie in the MCU soon, so I guess he aged well.

BEN: Spider-Man does have a weakness to bricks, as we’ll see much much later.


DUY: Using captions to narrate the first person is a very modern technique, and would now be used without the corresponding quotation marks.

BEN: Shang-Chi got the honor of narration.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: These:



DUY: Another mind control device, and minions being killed after they’re defeated. Two prevalent tropes in comics at the time.

BEN: The frequent use of racial slurs. I know the bad guys are saying them, but I don’t know that slurs against other racial groups would be used as freely as these are.

DUY: This is not necessarily impossible, but sumo is a Japanese tradition and Japanese and Chinese are not interchangeable.




BEN: This is unlikely:





NITPICKS

BEN: "Too long."



FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:




DUY: The stiffness of Spider-Man in this panel is fascinating. Did he not bend his knees or his waist at all as Shang-Chi flips him?




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Uh, I guess Shang-Chi by default.

BEN: Bruce Lee, for landing a part in a Seth Rogen movie.

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Nov 30, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #137

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #135
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt

Harry Osborn has kidnapped Mary Jane, Aunt May, and Flash Thompson!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • Doctor Octopus: 17
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • The Vulture: 9
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Hammerhead: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Molten Man: 4
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2
  • The Man-Wolf: 2
  • Jonas Harrow: 2
  • The Kangaroo: 2
  • The Jackal: 2
  • Tarantula: 2
  • Green Goblin (Harry): 2
DUY: I just realized, Liz never met Gwen. We're only allowed one blonde each time.

BEN: Ironic she returns to the series during Harry’s big breakdown. (They get married later, spoilers.) Too bad she got saddled with him.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: This is a much smoother way to tell May to stop worrying, but I still appreciate Gwen telling her off before too.


DUY: MJ telling May off nicely was definitely a conscious choice by Conway.

BEN: This is actually a clever way to resolve the secret identity problem.


DUY: That's a great final panel too. Conway loved his ambiguity. But I get that everyone just thinks Harry is insane, yeah, but what if he actually provides proof?

BEN: What proof does he have?

DUY: "Check his closet, here's when he's not home." or "Check under his shirt."

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

DUY: Nope, so much for your good cover streak. Kane would provide some good covers, and I would guess they were heavily art directed and inked. This is not one of them.

BEN: Kane managed to be a part of some legendary Spider-Man comics, which is why he’s considered an important part of the character’s history. Unfortunately, he was the worst aspect of all of those comics.

DUY: I give all the credit of 121 and 122 now to Romita inking, since we've seen unfiltered Kane.

BEN: On another note... First of all, Jonah is smoking in a hospital. Second, he and Robbie took a whole morning off for MJ, who they barely know? Third, Liz looks great. Fourth, those should be marijuana leaves on her pants. 


DUY: Why is Flash on this list of people closest to Peter, and really, a nuclear bomb???



BEN: Nolan stole this for The Dark Knight.

NITPICKS

BEN: Okay, Conway has gone to this well way too often recently.



DUY: It's funny how the Goblin mask takes on the same shape regardless of whether it's Norman or Harry wearing it.

BEN: Why is Harry being carted away if he’s not in costume? As far as the cops know, Peter invaded his home.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Damn straight:



DUY: THUMP!




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Gonna go with Spider-Man himself. It's a good showcase for him.

BEN: Liz's pants.

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Nov 26, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #136

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #136
by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Hunt

Harry Osborn becomes the new Green Goblin!



POINTLESS TRIVIA
 
BEN: Harry Osborn becomes the second Green Goblin. Sorry, spoiler.

DUY: Holy cow. This is one of my first comics ever and I didn't even realize it. Cover torn off, missing pages, some pages ripped. But one of my first ever..

BEN: Peter quits his staff photog job at the Bugle.

DUY: Inasmuch as Ditko's run centered around Ock, and Romita's was around the Kingpin, Conway's has been — and will remain — all about the ghosts of Gwen and Norman.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: This is another iconic Spider-Man cover.

DUY: I always enjoyed this sequence. Peter looks like a detective. I like the methodical pace of it. He's a better detective than Batman.


BEN: Peter being a detective is good, but the idea of Harry covering his tracks to that degree is dumb.

DUY: Harry as the Goblin is going to be a major highlight, for me, of the married Spider-Man era, and the seeds start here.

BEN: I guess Peter and MJ are officially dating now.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

DUY: I honestly never like these. How many times has Spider-Man lived only because of a lucky break?


BEN: The idea that Harry could hold his own without the goblin serum is not believable.

NITPICKS

BEN: The flow of the caption boxes doesn’t follow the flow of the pictures at the bottom here.


DUY: You did not know each other in high school!


BEN: That is really perplexing. I can’t see Roy Thomas consistently missing these errors, so were they trying to rewrite Peter and MJ’s history?

DUY: If you look at it from a Parallel Lives retcon perspective, this could have been an MJ Freudian slip.

BEN: She watched him from a distance. Like a stalker.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Andru does good Goblin:


DUY: This will not be the last time Peter looks at Mary Jane and remembers Gwen:


WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The ghost of Norman Osborn.

BEN: I guess Harry, even though most subsequent writers didn’t seem to like him as the Goblin.

DUY: One of the best Spider-Man writers ever did. Or will. 

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Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #25

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every Monday and 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!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #25
by Len Wein, Jim Mooney, and Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man and Daredevil vs. The Unholy Trio of Cat-Man, Bird-Man, and Ape Man!



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST? 

BEN: Daredevil will be one of Spider-Man’s closest superhero allies, so that will age well. This unfortunately also continues the annoying trend of Daredevil knowing more about every situation than Spider-Man, so it technically ages well, but I hate it

DUY: Uh, I guess Daredevil in general has aged well.

BEN: I like that Spider-Man has been in enough fights to think critically about them.




WHAT'S AGED THE WORST? 

BEN: “Ladel out?”



DUY: This comic is literally half-flashback.

NITPICKS

DUY: There's really no way Matt should be able to stand up after this.



BEN: I know the whole ‘danger from a friend” is an established reason his spider sense doesn’t work, but it never makes sense. Except I guess in this case, since Daredevil truly didn’t mean him harm.



FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: Mine:




WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Matt?

BEN: Half-animal people everywhere, bask in your moment.

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