Monday, February 10, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: The Amazing Spider-Man #7-12

Following on last week's post, I've realized that the Peter Parker story is often (always?) the more interesting side of the Spider-Man saga.  It is certainly the less predictable side.  The basic superhero story is highly formulaic and, certainly in the idealistic early '60s, you can usually count on the good guy winning every time.  The colorful villains add variety from issue to issue but you still generally know what's going to happen.  But the path of the alias is a lot more complicated.  The six-issue stretch I read this week includes meaningful development for several of Peter's "real world" supporting cast.  In fact, it's fair to say at this point that some among them are more dynamic characters than Peter himself.

My Recent Reads

The Amazing Spider-Man #7
Originally Published December 10, 1963
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
  • Villain: The Vulture
  • Peter Parker's personal life gets a little more interesting as he starts putting the moves on Betty Brant, Jonah Jameson's secretary.
Image result for betty brant
via Wikipedia
The Amazing Spider-Man #8
Originally Published January 10, 1964
  • Villain: The Living Brain
Image result for living brain spiderman
via Wikipedia
  • The first major development for Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's high school bully.  The two end up in the boxing ring at school and Flash finds out just how strong Peter is, even when he's trying to pull his spider-strength punches.  Though he doesn't tell his friends of his discovery, Flash's attitude towards Peter has clearly changed.
Image result for flash thompson
via Wikipedia
  • Bonus story with a Fantastic Four crossover.  Spidey actually comes across as the jerk in this one, crashing the Human Torch's party, then picking a fight with him.  Fortunately, the Invisible Woman puts the webslinger in his place.

The Amazing Spider-Man #9
Originally Published February 10, 1964

Image result for electro
via Wikipedia
  • Villain: Electro
  • A good story for Aunt May, Peter Parker's one unbreakable loyalty.  She is badly ill in this issue, enough to require surgery.  The medical bill is expensive and Peter needs to find a way to pay it quickly.

The Amazing Spider-Man #10
Originally Published May 10, 1964

Image result for the enforcers marvel
The Enforcers via Marvel Database
  • Villains: The Enforcers, led by The Big Man
Image result for the big man marvel
via Marvel Database
  • Jameson reveals the root of his hatred for Spider-Man: guilt over his life of greed compared to Spidey's selfless devotion to good.  I'm not sure I buy it but it's interesting.
  • The Betty story is getting interesting - she's hiding a shameful secret from Peter but we don't know what it is yet.

The Amazing Spider-Man #11
Originally Published April 10, 1964
  • Villain: Dr. Octopus
  • A brief exploration of vigilante ethics as Spidey tries to prevent Doc Ock being released from prison at the end of his sentence.
  • Betty's secret is revealed.  Her brother is a mob lawyer with a gambling debt and Betty has been caught up in his twisted web (pun intended).

The Amazing Spider-Man #12
Originally Published May 10, 1964
  •  The Doc Ock story continues.
  • We've learned a Spidey weakness as his powers are compromised by a virus.
  • Liz Allan is suddenly and unexpectedly falling hard for Peter Parker.
Image result for liz allan
via Spiderman animated Wikia


  1. Its funny when Iron man who as Tony Stark leans over in the car and Spiderman is on the other side. "No thats not a hug just grabbing the door" to let him out.

    1. That is a funny scene. What's the next line? Something like: "Boy, did you read that wrong!"

  2. The history and relationship between Spidey and Doc Ock is exceedingly interesting.

  3. Superman was my favorite comic as a kid but I quickly realized the Marvel characters had better stories. I don't remember Superman/Clark Kent ever really having personal issues that could make him seem more grounded in reality.

    1. Without question, Marvel has been kicking DC's tuchus since the early '60s on the character development front. The fact has made a huge difference in the relative successes of the two movie franchises as well.

  4. Nice assessment of these issues. It's been fun seeing this come together. Look forward to more.

    1. Thanks. It's been fun so far. Spidey's pretty dependable.