Apr 30, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #90

Welcome to Spider-Rama! Every day until the end of April, 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, Gil Kane, and John Romita Sr.

Spider-Man devises a way to have Doctor Octopus lose control of his arms. It succeeds, but in the process, Ock knocks over a chimney, which causes the death of Captain George Stacy!


BEN: Villain appearance count:
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Doctor Octopus: 12
  • Green Goblin: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • The Lizard: 5
  • Kraven the Hunter: 5
  • Sandman: 4
  • Electro: 3
  • The Enforcers: 3
  • The Rhino: 3
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 3
  • Man Mountain Marko: 3
  • Silvermane: 3
  • The Chameleon: 3
  • The Schemer/Richard Fisk: 3
  • The Ringmaster: 2
  • Scorpion: 2
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
DUY: It didn't take long for Ock to reclaim the top spot, as he's now tied with the Kingpin. They'll be tied for a while, but I think by virtue of Ock's killing of George, Ock clearly is the top Spider-Man villain at this point.

BEN: George gets a great death here, but I can’t say I ever cared all that much about the character.

DUY: He's kinda redundant with Robbie around.

BEN: To the point that they were often shown brainstorming together.


DUY: George dying ages well, I think, even if there's no build-up for it whatsoever. It's one of those things that raises the stakes, which I feel at this point in Spider-Man history was sorely needed.

BEN: Killing a character was more abrupt back then, which made it more real and effective. Now they have to market any death six months in advance. And here we see Peter using his brain for the first time, since when, Ditko?

DUY: It's definitely the first time I can remember in a while.

BEN: I love Romita, but I can’t say action storytelling was a strength of his. There’s already been a noticeable difference with Kane.

DUY: I guess, I just hate his polygonal faces.

BEN: I wonder how busy Romita was as art director and if that’s why he kept leaving the book for small stretches, but he also didn’t want to leave permanently, leading to arguably the most bland run in the history of the series from #50-something to now.

DUY: Don't forget, as art director he also sometimes just flat-out redrew stuff.

BEN: I don’t think he was giving his full effort is what I’m thinking, leading to too many instances where Peter luckily finds the one person that can help him lots of times.

DUY: Oh, you mean in terms of actually telling a story. Yes, I agree, those last twenty issues before the Natasha issue felt pretty lazy to me.

BEN: Even the Stone Tablet Saga was overblown.


DUY: Come off the melodrama, Peter, George is not the "second best friend" you've ever had.

BEN: Who is?

DUY:  Flash.

BEN: Also, he's dying, at least call him your best friend. Give him that much as he fades away.


BEN: Are we to assume his tracers are much tinier in “real life” and not immediately noticeable?

DUY: It's not really a big deal or anything, but anyone who's been reading the book for a while could easily tell from the cover who dies. There's only one male supporting character with that hairstyle and that fashion sense, and if it weren't a supporting character then they wouldn't have hidden his face.

BEN: A message to all fictional moms and dads, please control your children near dangerous life-threatening situations.

DUY: Seriously, why is the child there?

BEN: He’s way too young to be outside on his own.


BEN: Mine:

DUY: Here is a weird example of an image going over two pages, but not taking up the entire spread. We don't see this often:

BEN: That's because it was a half-page ad spread below it, a weird thing they were doing in the 70s.


DUY: Octavius exponentially raises his stock as Spider-Man's top villain, and he gets away. So Ock wins..

BEN: Peter gets half the blame for killing George. I’m not usually into the logic leaps he takes to claim responsibility for tragedies, but this time it really was partly his fault.

DUY:  It really is. He did not think that plan through. Why didn't he just go back to his original arm-fusing formula from way back?

BEN: Because the arms being wildly out of control was much better?


BEN: So with the Hobie dressed as Spider-Man plan having just happened three issues ago, how did George come back around to knowing Peter’s secret? Was it a shot in the dark as he was dying, or could he tell that Hobie was clearly a different person?

DUY: I think he knew. He had a thought balloon during the Hobie stunt that said it clears Peter, and he was grateful, but he wasn't disbelieving or anything. Like it could easily be interpreted as, good, Gwen can sleep easily.

BEN: If you approach it as him already knowing, he would definitely notice every difference between Hobie and Peter in the Spider-Man costume; size, build and voice.

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 tomorrow!

1 comment:

Arthur S. said...

Great stuff.

Next is Gwen Stacy's flirtation with white supremacy...

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