We have a wonderful thread, started by Richard Mantle, that examines the Amazing Spider-Man starting with issue #51.  I don't know why it took me so long to realize we don't have a thread that covers Spidey's beginning to the point where Richard starts.

Spider-Man is hands down my favorite Marvel hero and I love the early stuff.  Peter Parker felt like an outsider in high school.  He had girl troubles and money troubles.  I think a lot of us could identify with him when we were teenagers; I know I certainly did.  Those first 50 issues of Amazing, plus the Annuals and Amazing Fantasy 15, are among the cream of the Silver Age.  Outstanding artwork from Steve Ditko and John Romita.  Unforgettable dialogue from Stan Lee.  A fantastic rogues gallery and a wonderful supporting cast.  Just terrific, terrific stuff.

Join me, won't you?

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Curiously, Peter's first day at college was in ASM # 31, publication date December 1965, while Johnny's first day was in FF #50, publication date June 1966, or six months after Peter.  Of course, since the chain of events before FF #50 began with issue #44, it could be construed that they began college at the same time.  I'm not aware that there was a story showing Johnny actually graduating from high school, as there was with Peter, but it does seem they were meant to be about the same age.

I believe Stan said he did it because people were saying Johnny was too stupid to go to college.

Course nothing really happened except he met Wyatt and they went galaxy hopping. Not much time for school when you're running from dinosaurs trying to stomp on you.

I personally never got the feeling or idea that Peter and Betty knew one another in high school. It always felt like they met one another a the Bugle.

And where was it established that Johnny was 15 when he got his powers? I always assumed 17.

Always had the feeling Peter didn't know anybody except bullies like Flash.

Seems like that was kind of a chance, calling him Barry Allen's name.

Stan rarely ever mentioned any character's specific age, perhaps the only exception being when Janet Van Dyne turned 21 and inherited a fortune, if I recall correctly.  The events of FF#1 may have taken place during the summer between Johnny's Junior & Senior years in high school, for which 17 would be the right age and to me it makes a bit more sense than having Johnny be a 15 year old expert on car mechanics and makes it bit less bizarre that Reed would consent to allow him to take part in that first ride into space.  Of course, in any modern movie telling, Johnny would have to be well into adulthood with specific skills that make him a necessary member of the crew rather than a hot-rodding juvenile allowed on a cosmic joy ride simply because the guy who designed the rocket and wanted to take it into space had the hots for his sister.

Ronald Morgan said:

I believe the Torch was 17 and Iceman was 16.

After introducing Wyatt, and after meeting up with the Black Panther, Johnny spent most of the next year trying to find a way to get to Crystal and once the Inhumans were freed and Crystal became a regular member of the cast, the aspect of Johnny being a college student was apparently totally forgotten by Lee & Kirby, probably because (a) it would have been too difficult to regularly fit in references to Johnny being at college with all the doings of the rest of the FF cast; (b) doing so would have essentially divided the team into Johnny College Kid and The Terrific Three; and (c) since Crystal had taken up residence at the Baxter Building as Johnny's girlfriend, it would have been rather awkward to have her there while Johnny was living on campus -- Wyatt, after all, was introduced as his roommate.

Ronald Morgan said:

I believe Stan said he did it because people were saying Johnny was too stupid to go to college.

Course nothing really happened except he met Wyatt and they went galaxy hopping. Not much time for school when you're running from dinosaurs trying to stomp on you.

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