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Author Topic: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics  (Read 766 times)

Offline Tomato

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Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« on: September 21, 2016, 05:50:51 PM »
So between recent threads and the fact that I literally have NOTHING ELSE TO DO while I'm at work (I'm working as a Phlebotomist at a Dr's office, and my average number of patients is like... 5 a day. To give some perspective on that, I can draw a single patient in less than 10 minutes, and I'm here for 8 hours a day.) I got a Marvel Unlimited subscription, and I've started reading through Amazing Spider-Man from the very beginning, something I haven't really done since I was very young. I have made it a little over halfway through issue 2, and... Ho boy.

Since I have some things to get off my chest about these issues, I figured I might as well make a thing about it and express my thoughts about each issue as I go. If nothing else, I feel like I might as well allow my suffering to be entertaining.

#1.
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#2.
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#3.
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#4.
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#5.
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#6.
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« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 09:54:18 PM by Tomato »

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 07:08:32 PM »
I read someplace that the first couple of Spiderman comics had what were basically inventory stories that would have appeared in Amazing Adult Fantasy, where they would have shared space with something like "The Terror of Tim Boo Baa".  I read most of the first issues (originally read #11, then #9 and #10, and continued monthly from there) in annuals or reprint comics in the '70s. When The Essential Spider-Man was published, I got a chance to re-read them for the first time in years.

At my advanced age ;), I could see the flaws, but there was something there, something that still spoke to the 10 year old kid in me.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2016, 07:49:45 PM »
That doesn't surprise me, though I will say issue 1 feels like a single 2-act story (Stan liked his split up acts in early marvel books) as opposed to 2 separate stories meant for multiple issues.

As for the stories themselves... I riff on them, but honestly, I don't mind them as much as some other early marvel books. Issue 3 is legitimately decent (Ock's ranting about how he's "atomic powered" aside) and I have FAR less issue reading these than certain other books from the era (I must have attempted to read early Lee/Kirby era X-men like 10 times, and I don't think I've ever made it more than couple dozen issues in). That being said, I am going to continue riffing on some of the more silly aspects of the books.

Offline Silver Shocker

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 07:53:51 PM »
Daglob, not surprised to hear you say that. When I saw this thread and remembered the original Tinkerer story and its weird little twist ending, the comment that popped into my head was that it felt like something that should have been in a horror anthology comic rather than Spidey, and I can totally buy it if that were the case. Incidentally, when the Tinkerer returned, over a decade later, in Amazing #200 if I recall correctly, they nuked that twist ending from orbit and gave it a significant retcon that almost seemed to be taking the piss out of the original story.

Tom, I do agree with you that the Lee-Kirby era of X-Men was a bit of a chore to get through - compared to Spidey and Avengers, it was by far the weakest. Even early appearances of characters like Magneto and Juggernaut just felt a little bland in comparison. I actually still have volume 2 of The Essential Classic X-Men from, probably close to 10 years ago, and haven't gotten around to reading it yet.
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that they cannot imagine that TRUE strength of SPIRIT--can even exist."
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Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 07:57:52 PM »
They all look better if you were ten years old in the mid '60s.

And at that time comics were generally considered children's literature.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 08:33:36 PM »
Children's literature that has more words to read per page than comics written today for adults.  :P

That being said, I don't fault the tales for the dialogue or childishness of the era, so long that the stories they tell hold up. I feel like the problem I personally have with early-era X-men (problems shared by people in that era btw... X-men was the first book Lee and Kirby dropped and started just reprinting early issues for over a decade, and the only reason it lasted as long as it did last is because a lot of female readers really liked it) is that it really doesn't have an identity all its own for a long time.

The main draw of the X-men is that they stand for diversity... Racial diversity, sexual diversity, whatever. "Protecting a world that hates and fears them" as the mantra goes. But 60s era X-men features even less diversity than the Fantastic Four (5 white men to one white woman), and the whole world "hates and fears them" thing isn't even a thing until a good ways into the series. Early issues of the book feature Iceman getting a ride from an ice cream truck to the Xavier Mansion because he's a superhero, for goodness sake. Spider-Man was more persecuted than these guys!

And really, that lack of either a distinct voice for the team, or a distinct voice for the members of that team is what really hurts the book. Powers aside, most of the original X-men have little to no voices of their own (Beast and Iceman are pale reflections of the Thing and Human Torch for most of the early issues, but outside of his rivalry/bromance with Iceman, Beast is just kind of a brute in early issues... And Angel is just forgettable, and seems to exist soley to fight Cyclops for Jean's affections). Easily the most unique and interesting character in the book is Cyclops, and the fact that I just wrote that in a sentence should tell you how bad things are.

Offline spydermann93

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2016, 12:27:37 AM »
There were quite a few odd moments in those early X-Men comics like when the Blob led his old circus pals to attack the X-Mansion (I don't think that the artist had ever seen a gorilla before) and when Magneto tried to kill the X-Men by launching them into space in a hot air balloon :lol:, but it was all in good fun.

And yeah, I totally know what you mean about the X-Men's personalities. It sure took a while for them to become fleshed out. Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast; all of them were completely interchangeable. Magneto seemed fairly fleshed out. The actual standout was the Blob who had his character defined from the start, though that's kind of cheating since he was pretty flat (irony?). Quicksilver had absolutely NO characteristics than "I must protect mah seester!". I mean, he's still like that now, but sheesh was it glaring in the early issues. :wacko:
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 12:32:17 AM by spydermann93 »

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 05:45:41 AM »
It was the 60's.Aliens and goofy villains are a staple of the time.
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 04:56:17 PM »
Starting on day 2 of Classic Spider-Man with issue #7, the return of the vulture (from now on I'm gonna be grouping every six issues into a single post, so as not to clutter the thread)

#7.
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#8.
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#9.
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#10.

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#11.
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« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 09:52:32 PM by Tomato »

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 07:52:25 PM »
Regarding #8: this is the precedent for Civil War  ;)

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2016, 09:52:48 PM »
Regarding #8: this is the precedent for Civil War  ;)

You're not wrong.

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2016, 03:40:31 AM »
At one point it was said that Max Dillon was hoilding onto some wires that ran to a couple of giant spools. The coiled wire producing an electromagnetic field, the lighting, and the electrical lines combined to give him powers.

Metagene, maybe? :)

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2016, 03:20:55 PM »
At one point it was said that Max Dillon was hoilding onto some wires that ran to a couple of giant spools. The coiled wire producing an electromagnetic field, the lighting, and the electrical lines combined to give him powers.

Metagene, maybe? :)
Actually,a flashback in The Gauntlet shows Magneto trying to recruit Electro but he refuses to believe hes a mutant.And he isnt,but he also is.He was a third species or something,I dont really remember the details.

In newer times Betty dated(still dates?) Flash.Again,funny how that worked out.
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Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 08:37:45 PM »

Actually,a flashback in The Gauntlet shows Magneto trying to recruit Electro but he refuses to believe hes a mutant.And he isnt,but he also is.He was a third species or something,I dont really remember the details.

Maybe he's an Inhuman.

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 04:35:16 PM »
Seeing that was never expanded upon(as far as I can remember),I dont think it isnt really canon now.And I dont remember the story that well,but I think Electro was kinda like the missing link between humans and mutant or something.
Anyway,that was at least 5-6 reboots ago.And we got a new Electro recently.
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2016, 08:31:58 PM »
With a much better costume I might add... But I digress. Back to comics!

#12.
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#13.
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#14.
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« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 08:57:35 PM by Tomato »

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2016, 11:26:36 PM »
I haven't read them in awhile, but I think they introduced Norman in one issue and unmasked him as the Goblin the next.

It would have been great to have him around a few issues, and someplace show Peter at his home, and in the background is an open door and you can just see a mask on the wall if you look real hard. Reeeeal hard.

The broomstick was hilarious. It did make GG look more like a clown than a serious villain. The bat-flier is so much better.

I miss underarm webbing.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 04:39:42 PM »
It was something like that IIRC. Harry had actually been introduced a bit earlier, and from what I understand his father had been mentioned, but it was still kind of out of nowhere for readers of the time.

#15.
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#16.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 04:51:48 PM by Tomato »

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2016, 06:50:57 PM »
So I'm still reading, but I'll forgo the individual issue by issue commentary from now on because as we get more and more into the series, I have less to say about individual stories (especially since most of the classic rogues gallery has been introduced at this point) and more to say about the series or characters as a whole.

That being said... the more I read, the more I realize that based on these early stories (and a ton of future ones), Green Goblin just does NOT deserve to be Spider-Man's arch nemesis. He is ONLY interesting based on his secret identity, but his plans and gimmicks are childish and just not well thought out. Unlike say... the Vulture, who used clever methods of outwitting his opponents, or Octavius, who straight up whollops Spider-Man in a straight fight, Green Goblin has done very little. His first fight with Spider-Man got overshadowed by a crossover with the Hulk, and his second appearance he's of such little threat that Spider-Man straight up abandons the fight to go help his Aunt May, because clearly Human Torch is more than enough for him. Aside from the "ooooooooo, no one knows who I really am" shtick, there is NOTHING either appealing or interesting about this character. And no, you can't even point to his gimmicks, because KRAVEN had better gimmicks in his first appearance than this loser Goblin.

Doc Ock for best Spider-Man archenemy, 2016

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2016, 08:15:02 PM »
The whole Death of Gwen Stacy thing makes it personal?
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Offline Ouflah

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2016, 08:33:28 PM »
That being said... the more I read, the more I realize that based on these early stories (and a ton of future ones), Green Goblin just does NOT deserve to be Spider-Man's arch nemesis.
I have always said this! The only reason GG got to be Spidey's arch nemesis is because of the Gwen Stacy thing, which is really bothersome because writers have said that the reason they chose to kill her off was just that they thought she was a boring character.


EDIT: And there's a lot of stuff pointing to Doc Ock being Spidey's most formidable foe. For instance, in Amazing Spider-Man annual #1, the full-page shots of Spidey fighting the villains of the Sinister Six are all of Spider-Man beating them-- that is, except for the one of Spidey fighting Doctor Octopus. In that full page drawing, Spider-Man is shown losing to Doc Ock.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 08:40:39 PM by Ouflah »
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Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2016, 08:50:56 PM »
You got the feeling that Doc Ock was Spidey's main villain. The Goblin was more-or-less revamped into being a manipulative mastermind post Ditko. And nowadays he has been retconned whenever possible to have been influential in the development of Spiderman. Kind of like the way Kingpin is treated at Daredevil, despite of Wlison being a Spiderman villain first. I'm not sure why Stan and John Romita (and later creative teams) decided to do The Goblin the way he ended up. I still think that Dr. Octopus is a much more interesting villain. Even The Sandman was more interesting, despite having no class (but no class can be a kind of class itself: look at Mordo). Over the years I've grown to dislike Norman, mostly, I think, because the has become the "go to" villain when a writer wants to really give Spidey the works.

And I know that The Joker wasn't the first Batman villain, nor was Lex Luthor the first Superman villain, but DC comics hasn't tried to make Smiley and Lex the reason for their nemeses. At least, last time I read anything about them they hadn't.

Your point about Spiderman assaulting Jonah is well taken. Jonah did start it, for seemingly no more reason than to make headlines, but on Peter's part it became a lot of sophomoric pranks really quickly. I don't remember which story it was that JJ delivers the soliloquy about why he hates Spiderman, and while I can't quote it, I still remember it. It is a very revealing insight into Jonah's personality, and is one of the best portrayals of the secondary antagonist in a Ditko story ever shown. Perhaps the art critic from the last Charlton Blue Beetle is next best.

Which all points up that Ditko was pretty much writing the story, and Stan was adding the words. Maybe the real disagreement wasn't that The Goblin's identity had to be someone important, instead it was that Ditko didn't think The Goblin was important. At least, not enough to merit the attention eventually given to him. I wonder who actually invented The Green Goblin...

I remember Spidey Annual #1...

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2016, 08:56:15 PM »
Honestly, the reason Green Goblin is Peter's nemesis is for two reasons: #1. He knows Peter's secret identity. That's a HUGE deal, especially back then (It's also why Venom gets so much attention, even though frankly he's far more interesting in later interpretations and attached to other characters than he EVER was in the comics) and #2. The Death of Gwen Stacy. His triumphs against Peter have been far more personal and more savage than anything Doc Ock has ever done. It's the same reason Joker is so big in the Batman books: whenever it's time for a Robin to die, Joker's the villain to do it.

But frankly, that's why Doctor Octopus is far more INTERESTING. Green Goblin is a crazy loser who has far more misses than he's had successes (for every time he's figured out Peter's identity or killed someone important in his life, I can point to another nonsense plot involving a cult giving him mystical powers or him knocking up a woman half his age). And sure, Ock's had some stinkers, but if you go back and look through his original stories, Ock's WON against Spider-Man as often as anything else. Hell, he straight up unmasked Spider-Man super early on... he just couldn't believe he was fighting a teenager.

Pre-post edit: Daglob, I'd be willing to bet he's a Stan Lee creation, especially given the alliteration.

In 3 stories I've read involving the Goblin, his greatest success is ACCIDENTALLY sending Hulk after Spider-Man

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2016, 09:44:05 PM »
Honestly, the reason Green Goblin is Peter's nemesis is for two reasons: #1. He knows Peter's secret identity. That's a HUGE deal, especially back then (It's also why Venom gets so much attention, even though frankly he's far more interesting in later interpretations and attached to other characters than he EVER was in the comics) and #2. The Death of Gwen Stacy. His triumphs against Peter have been far more personal and more savage than anything Doc Ock has ever done. It's the same reason Joker is so big in the Batman books: whenever it's time for a Robin to die, Joker's the villain to do it.

But frankly, that's why Doctor Octopus is far more INTERESTING. Green Goblin is a crazy loser who has far more misses than he's had successes (for every time he's figured out Peter's identity or killed someone important in his life, I can point to another nonsense plot involving a cult giving him mystical powers or him knocking up a woman half his age). And sure, Ock's had some stinkers, but if you go back and look through his original stories, Ock's WON against Spider-Man as often as anything else. Hell, he straight up unmasked Spider-Man super early on... he just couldn't believe he was fighting a teenager.

Pre-post edit: Daglob, I'd be willing to bet he's a Stan Lee creation, especially given the alliteration.

In 3 stories I've read involving the Goblin, his greatest success is ACCIDENTALLY sending Hulk after Spider-Man

What in the name of Fin Fang Foom makes you think that?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 02:59:43 PM by daglob »

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2016, 10:01:28 PM »
But no, seriously, all jokes about Stan Lee's obsession with alliteration aside, everything about the Goblin SCREAMS Stan Lee. The design, the gimmicks, the stupid broom thing (Ditko clearly had no idea how to draw the thing, which makes me think it was clearly a Lee invention) the alliterative name... Green Goblin is a Stan Lee creation, top to bottom.

Contrast that with say, the Crime Master, which I think is a fundamentally Ditko creation. Much more simple design, served ultimately as a window into Ditko's sociopolitical leanings (that crime is faceless and not nescessarily someone you know) and... yeah, the Goblin IS Stan Lee's character.

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2016, 05:54:13 AM »
Spidermans Tangled Web explains  that JJ hates Spiderman because daddy issues.Everyone treated his father as a big war hero,but he was really a jerk and a drunkard.So Jonah hates when people call somebody a hero and thinks all heroes are phonies.
Which is actually an interesting take.
Also,several adaptation moved the fateful school trip to Oscorp to tie the origin to Norman.
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Offline Ouflah

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2016, 01:24:42 PM »
A much earlier issue (Amazing Spider-Man 10) gave a reason, as well.
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2016, 03:08:27 PM »
Personally, I think my favorite motivation is the one we see in the Ultimate books, which has been reflected in the 616 universe as well: Namely that he sees his son as a hero (a normal man who risks his life, and in the Ultimate Universe died), but his son has been overshadowed by all these masked vigalantes running around. Due to his pride, he can't stand the idea that these masked vigalantes are on the same level as his son... but at the same time, I think that he is jealous both of his son AND people like Spider-Man, because for all his money and political influence, they are all better men than he is.

On a side note, I think Ultimate JJJ is probably my favorite version of the character. He's much more human than the often cartoonishly maniacle Jonah of the comics (I just recently got through both Scorpion AND the first Slayer) and he eventually does grow to both protect Peter's secret, and to later attempt to avenge his death. It's honestly the most I've ever felt connected to the character as a human being, except a bit during the Superior Spider-Man run.

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2016, 03:27:31 PM »
Spidermans Tangled Web explains  that JJ hates Spiderman because daddy issues.Everyone treated his father as a big war hero,but he was really a jerk and a drunkard.So Jonah hates when people call somebody a hero and thinks all heroes are phonies.
Which is actually an interesting take.
Also,several adaptation moved the fateful school trip to Oscorp to tie the origin to Norman.

My point exactly. NONE of this is the way it happened originally.

Ouflah found the scene I remember. I've wondered how it came about. It is too smooth to be Ditko's writing, so it just about has to be Stan. It is more-or-less the sentiment of all the later secondary antagonists that opposed The Blue Beetle, The Question, The Creeper, Static, and probably every other Ditko hero as well. If anything, I think Steve told Stan what he wanted Jonah to say, and Stan wrote it.

The "daddy issues" thing may be the legacy of the time (the 90s?) when it seemed like all the comic book characters hated their fathers. THEY. ALL. HATED. THEIR FATHERS. I have said before that I think this said more about the writers than the characters. I didn't hate my father (and, guys & gals, I could tell you stories...).

Read what Ouflah posted. When you hear that comics these days are better because they are more realistic (guys who turn green or dress up as a bat or fly are realistic?), they are deeper and have a greater depth of character, think back on these three panels. No one did stuff like this in comics, no one. No villain, primary or secondary, would ever reveal this kind of motivation. This shows Jonah at his worst, being honest with himself.

This kind of thing is what would eventually make Marvel great.

Offline HarryTrotter

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Re: Tomato reads classic Spider-Man comics
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2016, 04:24:02 PM »
Tangled Web is an anthology series that ran from 2001-03.It was actually pretty good.From stories about a guy working for Kingpin and a cab driver who contemplated selling Spidermans identity to pay for a surgery to those less serious as whats it like to be Leap-Frogs son.All strangly touching.
Aside a bit stereotypical take,JJJ one provides an interesting insight.He just refuses to believe there are heroes.Spiderman just CANT be a hero.Because heroes dont exist.
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