Jul 13, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #116

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!

by Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, John Romita, and Jim Mooney

In this reworked storyline from Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1, Spider-Man must contend with a politician, Richard Raleigh, who has created a superhuman called The Smasher to menace New York to make himself look good in the mayoral race.


BEN: I was going to say it’s weird to see Stan return as the credited writer, but clearly it’s because they decided to remake the plot from the first issue of the Spectacular Spider-Man magazine from 5 years ago.

DUY: Okay, seriously, what the hell. We spent a bunch of time wondering how that Spec Magazine fit into continuity, and the actual answer is IT DOESN'T?? This is why continuity sucks, Ben, it sucks!

BEN: It’s almost as if it’s all made up!

DUY: I'm not going to go into the trouble of every single way this deviates from the original story, but we'll point out that the villain has a name - The Smasher.

BEN: A name eventually taken by a Kree Imperial Guardsman.


BEN: There’s some great illustrated action in the beginning.

DUY: Here's the original for comparison. It's almost like comic book coloring was too flat back then.

BEN: I didn’t go back to compare, but did they re-use the exact same artwork?

DUY: It's mostly the same artwork, but it looks better in black and white.


DUY: These reworked panels are hilarious. He still has a fake mask that he used in the last issue, so they have to show his eyes, but in the original comic, he has the real mask, so the original art doesn't have enough space for his eyes, so it just looks like his eyes are closed:


BEN: This is some great comedy from Jameson, but his cigar disappears in panel 3:

DUY: The cover is really random. "Those two painters are done for!"

BEN: Mary Jane is hanging out with Harry, which is a copy of the scene from the magazine version, but they’ve broken up at this point in the comic.


BEN: Mine:

DUY: This is actually really dynamic. This is a pretty good stretch now of issues, artistically:


DUY: Jim Mooney is incredible.

BEN: Jim Mooney, because it’s clear Romita’s art never looked better than it did with Mooney finishing it.

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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