Aug 31, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #124


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 #124
by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita Sr., and Tony Mortellaro

Spider-Man fights the Man-Wolf, who turns out to be John Jameson!


POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Villain appearance count:

  • Doctor Octopus: 15
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 4
  • Hammerhead: 3
  • 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
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2

DUY: First John Jameson as the Man-Wolf.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: It’s a proven fact that exercise relieves anger and stress.



DUY: At least they acknowledged this is the second werewolf he’s fought in a week.



BEN: You’re the werewolf expert, has the “good man cursed” always been part of the werewolf formula? Or is that a new thing?

DUY: Disclaimer: I am not a werewolf expert.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: He always has to make everything about him.



DUY: In particular, this is a very Peter-is-egocentric issue. I can let it slide given Gwen just died this time though.

NITPICKS

BEN: Either he conveniently found those 10-day old competing newspapers, or two big New York City newspapers are still reporting about a 10-day old murder on their front pages:


BEN: Mary Jane is a student?



DUY: Since when is MJ a student? And since when is this John Jameson?


BEN: Maybe he went gray, you don't know.

FAVORITE PANEL

DUY: These stuck out to me for some reason. I feel like this is one of the first instances we're seeing a more modernized type of storytelling where we're just shown smaller actions:



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: This being the second werewolf he's fought in a month, I'm going to say that the biggest winner is Marvel for overcoming what was then a Comics Code law (no werewolves).

BEN: He’s a Man-Wolf, Duy.

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.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? Go watch it!


Aug 29, 2020

Watch: Black Panther | In Respect of Retrospect

April 25, 2018: LaMar Forte wrote an article called Black Panther: In Respect of Retrospect, which examined Black Panther (2018) through the lens of African culture and tradition.

August 11, 2020: Duy and LaMar sit down and record this episode, expounding on it.



The first thing recorded is an offering done during the funerary rites, usually called the offering formula. Here is the Medu Neter and the transliteration. You can make it bigger:



August 28, 2020: Chadwick Boseman passes away. This episode was supposed to go up in a few days. We moved it up a bit to celebrate the life of this icon.

We dedicate this episode to his memory. Rest in peace and power, Chadwick Boseman.

LaMar Forte teaches Medu Neter classes at http://www.meduneter.com.

Aug 28, 2020

Watch: Tom Scioli Interview on Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Duy sits down with Tom Scioli to talk about one of the most important comic book artists who ever lived and Tom's comic about him: Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics, which you should totally order here: https://amzn.to/2YsOoLd





Aug 26, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #12

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 #12
by Len Wein, Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, and Don Perlin

Spider-Man and Werewolf by Night vs. Moondark!


POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: First appearance of, sigh, Moondark.



DUY: Yet another mind control plot.

BEN: This is the second specific reference to Peter drinking milk in this series. Is that a thing?


WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Tight continuity between the two Spider-Man series.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: Sigh, Moondark.

DUY: Were we just coming up with compound words at some point for villain names?

BEN: This art looks like it’s mostly Perlin, so it goes here. Sorry, Don.

NITPICKS

BEN: Not a full nitpick, but if I had done the cover dress I’d have put “Werewolf by Night.”

DUY: He wakes up with no memory as the werewolf and he says "Spider-Man... in San Francisco?" How does he even know he's in San Francisco?

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: Sure, I'll pick this one.



WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Moondark, who would somehow NOT be a one-off villain.

BEN: Compound words.

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.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? How about our Spider-Man Fantasy Draft? Go watch it!



Watch: Scott Dunbier Interview on Alan Moore, America's Best Comics, Darwyn Cooke, and Artist Editions

Duy sits down with IDW Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier, about Wildstorm, Alan Moore and America's Best Comics (including artists like Gene Ha and JH Williams III), Darwyn Cooke and The Spirit and the Parker books, Walt Simonson's Ragnarok, working with Jim Lee, and the Artist Editions.









Aug 24, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #123

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 #123
by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita Sr., and Tony Mortellaro

J. Jonah Jameson hires Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, to hunt Spider-Man!



POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Norman Osborn’s body is discovered , minus the Green Goblin costume.



DUY: Harry is mad at Peter, issue 1. But why??

BEN: I said previously that Spider-Man would be wanted by the police for the death of Gwen, but it’s actually for the death of Norman Osborn.

DUY: Gwen Stacy's funeral.



BEN: Conway loves the DC Comics references.



DUY: This is probably an inside joke, because May was originally pitched to be the one to die.



WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: It would never make anyone else’s “best-of” list, but I’ve always loved this cover. This was a big comic for me as a kid because it carries over from the previous two. I love this upcoming stretch of comics because, much like this one, more story will carry over from issue to issue. It starts to feel even more serialized than it ever did before. I think that’s the influence of Conway being the first fan turned pro to write the book.



DUY: This is a great two-panel sequence for the evolution of Flash Thompson.

BEN: There has been some criticism in hindsight about Cage being a black superhero that demands to be paid for his help. I’m not going to agree or disagree, but it was clever to point out how Spider-Man started out looking to get paid, and he didn’t even do hero work.


DUY: So Spider-Man is a jerk?

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: “C’mon Peter, get over your murdered girlfriend already.”



DUY: Wow, Peter, that's cold. The dude's dad just died.



BEN: I will say some people can lose compassion for those suffering from the same depression that they are dealing with. Harry’s father did just die, Peter. as far as you know that’s all he’s upset about.

NITPICKS

BEN: Did Cage just destroy his own office door?


DUY: Isn't the webbing supposed to dissolve in a couple of hours? Everyone got there that quickly?


BEN: They forget the webbing rule a lot.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: Spear!

BEN: Cage has a Roman Reigns moveset.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

BEN: Luke Cage. He comes out of this looking formidable and honorable.

DUY: Two unrelated, unconnected significant black characters in the same panel. I feel like this was momentous.



BEN: That's it for Spider-Rama today.

DUY: Thank you, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko—

BEN: —for telling us we aren't the only ones.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? How about our Spider-Man Fantasy Draft? Go watch it!


Watch: Spider-Man Fantasy Draft!

Paul, Justin, Ben, Duy, and LaMar do a fantasy Spider-Man draft! The idea is that we're each in charge of a Spider-Man book, and the winner gets put on The Amazing Spider-Man! Whose book would you read the most?

Aug 19, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #11

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 #11
by Len Wein, Gerry Conway, Jim Mooney, and Mike Esposito

Spider-Man needs the help of the Inhumans and since the Human Torch isn't over Crystal, he leaves him alone, because friends!




WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: I like how the Inhumans take a “I’m sure it will be fine” approach with Maximus.



BEN: Mooney and Esposito are a much better art team than a few of the previous issues.

DUY: They're better than Mooney on his own too. I'm so confused. Just off the top of my head, based on the last year or so we've covered, I'd go:

  1. Romita and Mooney
  2. Mooney and Esposito
  3. Romita and Esposito
  4. Mooney

BEN: Mooney on his own looks rushed, is my explanation.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: The cover promised us the most long-awaited battle in comicdom, and Spider-Man and the Inhumans didn’t even fight. I also question if that was the most long-awaited matchup at the time.

DUY: What a bunch of liars!

NITPICKS

DUY: When last we left Tony Stark, he couldn't move because his armor was completely powered down.


BEN: Everyone knows machinery heals on its own.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:




DUY: Mine:


WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: The easiest answer to this question for the MTU every time is that the winner is the guest star. It raises their profile, gets them a sales bump, probably, though in this case the Inhumans are not in publication.

BEN: I’ll give them credit for alternating characters without their own books in with the bigger stars.

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.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? Go watch it!


Aug 18, 2020

Watch: The Top 10 Spider-Man Villains of All Time

Ben and Duy are back drafting the 10 best Spider-Man villains ever! Who'd we miss? Who went too low? Too high? Let us know in the comments!



Some classic showcases for our villains:

Aug 17, 2020

Spider-Rama: Marvel Team-Up #10

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 Monday and Wednesday to find out!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #10
by Gerry Conway, Jim Mooney, and Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man and the Human Torch vs. Kang the Conqueror!




POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Marvel Team-Up villain appearance count:

  • Sandman: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Puppet Master: 2
  • The Mad Thinker: 2
  • Kryllk the Cruel: 2
  • Kang the Conqueror: 2
  • Zarrko the Tomorrow Man: 2

DUY: Marvel Team-Up hero appearance count:

  • Human Torch: 4
  • X-Men:1
  • Vision: 1
  • Thing: 1
  • Thor: 1
  • The Cat: 1
  • Iron Man: 1


DUY: I might be seeing things, but that hero appearance count is very telling of something.

BEN: Of what?

DUY: Of.... Peter and... Johnny's.... inextricable bond?

BEN: Johnny was the first Marvel character to get his own solo series, I think. Like you said before, it’s easy to forget how big the Fantastic Four was.

DUY: I just recently discovered Spideytorch is a thing.

BEN: I’d like to point out this comic was on the stands the same month as Amazing Spider-Man #121, one of the most important stories in comic book history. This comic is not one of the most important stories in comic book history.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN:  I liked it when Johnny had the red costume.


DUY: As noted before, Spidey + Johnny is a great combination, and that ages well.

WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

BEN: Um, no:



BEN: What?!?!?


DUY: Oh God, where do I start?? It's Samurai, not Samauri! Inu Neko means "Dogs and Cats"! Mimashipa is not a word! How short is that sword??



DUY: Why is the sound effect designed that way??


NITPICKS

DUY: Iron Man being taken out of commission because this is a Torch issue is the height of contrivance.



DUY: This is not the configuration the Avengers were in in the previous issue, but whatever.


FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:



DUY: That's mine too.

WHO WON THE COMIC?

DUY: Not Asia! Again!

BEN: Irrationality wins the day.

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.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? Go watch it!


Watch: Fred Van Lente and The Comic Book Story of Basketball

Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Action Philosophers, Comic Book History of Comics) sits down with Duy to talk about his new book, The Comic Book Story of Basketball: A Fast-Break History of Hoops, with Joe Cooper! Preorder the book here: https://amzn.to/2Yoqoc7

Also, he answers the eternal basketball question: Who's the GOAT?


Aug 14, 2020

Watch: Karl Kesel Interview

Duy sits down with the very underrated Karl Kesel and talks about creating Superboy, marrying off Superman, killing Hal Jordan, writing Harley Quinn, revealing the Thing is Jewish, a Jewish Captain America, and finishing Section Zero and his new comic, Impossible Jones! Also, what's it like inking John Byrne, George Perez, Rob Liefeld, Steve Rude, and Tom Grummett?



You can preorder Impossible Jones here: http://www.impossiblejones.com.


Aug 12, 2020

Spider-Rama: Amazing Spider-Man #122

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 #122
by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita, and Tony Mortellaro

With Gwen Stacy dead, Spider-Man goes after the Green Goblin!


POINTLESS TRIVIA

BEN: Villain appearance count:

  • Doctor Octopus: 15
  • Green Goblin: 13
  • The Kingpin: 12
  • Kraven the Hunter: 8
  • The Vulture: 7
  • The Lizard: 7
  • Mysterio: 6
  • Professor Smythe/Spider Slayer: 6
  • Sandman: 4
  • Hammerhead: 3
  • 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
  • Molten Man: 2
  • Shocker: 2
  • The Beetle: 2
  • Morbius: 2
  • The Gibbon: 2

DUY: The "death" of Norman Osborn.

WHAT'S AGED THE BEST?

BEN: Spider-Man would officially be wanted by the police for quite a while because of this.


DUY: The entire issue has aged well, but I want to call out Spider-Man not holding back, because that's always struck out to me, just how easy it is for him to kill him if he wanted to. I actually have printed out panels from this sequence and put it on my wall.


BEN: He is pretty unstoppable if a writer wants him to be. Strength, speed, danger sense. Spider-Man not holding back is always an eye-opening experience.

DUY: I also want to call out the last three panels, because Conway showed a lot of restraint there by not putting in any words. You know he wanted to, since that was kind of his thing back then, trying to apply literary prose. But take a look at the original layout. I would argue what they went with is much better. More ambiguity. Is she staying to console him? Yell at him? Sleep with him?



BEN: When I was a kid I assumed sleep with him, but I didn’t understand grief. But yes, the evolution of Mary Jane begins.

DUY: He very clearly does not sleep with her as we'd find out in a later issue, but I'm sure people wondered it at the time.

BEN: And lest we forget, here's a classic death scene.


WHAT'S AGED THE WORST?

DUY: The easy answer is Gwen getting fridged. Women in refrigerators, for those not in the know, is a trope used to signify when a female character has been killed or had otherwise bad things happen to her simply for the evolution of the male protagonist.

BEN: It’s a byproduct of a mostly male hero roster, but nonetheless a bad look after years and years of it. Gwen was the first though, yay her.

NITPICKS

DUY: I don't really think the Goblin needed to die, to be honest. Feels like a Comics Code thing.

BEN: They spent what, 10 years trying to replace him?

DUY: They did their best...

BEN: Even Hobgoblin only filled the hole for a few years.

FAVORITE PANEL

BEN: Mine:


DUY: Mine:


WHO WON THE COMIC?

BEN: Mary Jane Watson.

DUY: Undoubtedly Mary Jane Watson, and her legion of future internet fans.

IMPACT

DUY: 121 gets the historical impact, but I would argue that this one was more important.

BEN: Gwen Stacy’s death casts a long shadow, but the “death” of Norman created so many different things.

DUY: It's not even just the death of Norman - this has the repercussions of Gwen's death, the fallout, Peter getting angry and just wailing on the Goblin, the last scene. 121 gets you in the last couple of pages because it's shocking. 122 drives home that it's real.

BEN: Good point. There were probably still some fans who thought it would be okay after 121. Has there ever been two issues that had a bigger impact on a character that wasn’t an origin? Like a marriage? Superman got over his death pretty quick.

DUY:   I don't know. This was a legitimate game changer. It's not even impact on a character, it's impact on the whole industry. The only other single issue (not two issues) would be The Killing Joke. I do feel there is a Daredevil issue or two in the running.

BEN: Waid tied back to Karen’s death but that was closer to a retcon. She didn’t loom over the series for 20 years.

DUY: From the letters page of 125: probably the earliest instance of the "Marriage was the next step and Peter shouldn't marry" explanation.

BEN: I know I had read that in several places. I’m not smart enough to make that up. So Conway thought she was too perfect, and yet Roger Stern thought she was too imperfect:


BEN: What I take out of that is that Conway and Stern didn’t like Gwen, and as fans turned pros their personal opinions will carry more weight over the years than most others, so opinions become truth. But if the fans hated Gwen so much, why was there such a passionate backlash to her death?

DUY: Yeah, I definitely disagree. I don't think she needed to die, and as you mentioned yesterday, it's unfair to say she "wasn't stable." You'd go nuts if you had to date Peter Parker too. And quite frankly, I loved Gwen at the start, and I loved Gwen at the end. I didn't particularly like her in the 60-90 range, but guess what? I didn't particularly like the book in that 60-90 range.

BEN: Still, Conway and Stern are two of the best Spider-Man writers ever.

DUY: Hey, didn't we rank them yesterday?

BEN: Oh yeah, we did. People should watch that.

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.

Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Did you catch our 10 Greatest Spider-Man Artists of All Time and 10 Greatest Spider-Man Writers of All Time? Go watch it!