Monday, March 2, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: The Amazing Spider-Man #22-28

The beauty of animated characters is that they are immune from the effects of aging.  Or at least, they can be.  Bart Simpson has been on television for over three decades and hasn't aged a day.  Our daughter is an Archie comics aficianado so I asked her if that gang is still in high school after all these years.  She reports that while there are some tangent, hypothetical timeline arcs that offer glimpses of later life, in the main core story all of the principals are, in fact, still teenagers.  81 years is a long time to wait to graduate.

It didn't take quite so long for Peter Parker.  In issue #28, Petey gets his diploma along with an academic scholarship to Empire State University.  And who won the athletic scholarship to the same fine institution?  Flash Thompson, naturally. 

My Recent Reads

The Amazing Spider-Man #22
Originally Published May 10, 1965
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko

Image result for crafty clown marvel
via Marvel Database
  • Villains: Crafty Clown, Ringmaster and the Masters of Menace, the group previously known as The Circus of Crime.  Frustrated with Ringmaster, they kick him out and choose the Clown as the new leader.
  • We discover a Spidey weakness: he won't fight a female villain. This works out well for Princess Python.  I recall Batman had similar issues with Catwoman in the beginning (see here).
Image result for princess python
via Marvel Database

The Amazing Spider-Man #23
Originally Published April 10, 1965
  • Villains: Green Goblin and The Gangsters
  • Frederick Foswell - aka The Big Man - is out of jail and now working as an investigating reporter for The Daily Bugle.  He seems to have a connection with the Green Goblin, too.
Image result for frederick foswell
via Marvel Database
  • It only took two-and-a-half years but we finally see a black person in the series: a police officer.

The Amazing Spider-Man #24
Originally Published May 10, 1965
  • Villain: Mysterio, masquerading as a psychiatrist
  • Hallucinated (but not really): Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Vulture

The Amazing Spider-Man #25
Originally Published June 10, 1965

Image result for smythe robot
via Wikipedia
  • Nemesis: J. Jonah Jameson, using a robot built by a Dr. Smythe (the robot in this issue is the one in the lower left)
  • A very important character is introduced: Mary Jane Watson!  But we don't get to see her face yet.  According to Betty Brant and Liz Allan, Miss Watson is movie-star beautiful.

The Amazing Spider-Man #26
Originally Published July 1, 1965
  • Beatles reference!  July 1965 was also the month the movie Help! opened in theaters. 

  • Villains: Green Goblin and Crime-Master  
Image result for crime-master
via Marvel Database
  • Frederick Foswell is connected to the villains' machinations but as yet, it is unclear exactly how.
  • We also meet The Patch, a police informant.

The Amazing Spider-Man #27
Originally Published August 1, 1965
  • The Green Goblin, Crime-Master story continues.
  • Foswell's connection is revealed!  He is The Patch.  I was fooled, twice.  For a while, I thought he might be Green Goblin.  For a while, I thought he might be the Crime-Master.

The Amazing Spider-Man #28
Originally Published September 1, 1965
  • Fantastic cover.  Ditko was especially good at the trippy, pre-psychedelic stuff.  A good fit for the era just around the corner:
Image result for amazing spider-man 28 cover
via Marvel Database
  • Villain: The Molten Man
  • As mentioned above, Peter Parker graduates from high school.


  1. You're into issues, now, that I haven't read. Or read when I was too young to remember them now. I just know the overall history, at this point. Though I do think I read the graduation issue.

    1. I knew his story progressed but didn't realized it happened so quickly.

    2. yeah, That was a thing Marvel did that hadn't been done before, progressing their characters. Of course, they did realize there was a limit to what they could do and how far they could go. They tried a more "real time" universe in the 80s with their "New Universe" line of comics, but those didn't survive, then Jim Shooter tried it again with his stuff at Valiant.

    3. In newspaper comics, it was For Better or Worse that ran with the idea. All of the characters aged in real time.