Very early in John Romita, Sr.'s run on Amazing Spider-Man, circa issue #42, Petey buys himself a motorbike, which is first shaded blue.   Within a few issued, he decides to paint it red.  Of course, the chicks dig it, and his popularity soars for the first time in the series.

The question is, just how long did this fascination with Pete's motorbike last?

This is, from what issue to what issue did the motorbike appear, or can we assume that he has possession of it?  Even if not featured or pictured in a story, if it shows up in issues #45 & 48, we can assume that he had it in 46 and 47.


So, was it ever established what  manufacture or brand this bike was?  Honda?  Kawasaki? Yamaha?

What size bike was it?   125cc?   360cc?  Certainly it couldn't have been more than a 750cc.

We see this bike not only in ASM but also in Spider-Man: Blue including the decision to buy it, heavily influenced by "the gang" passing by.  So, when is the LAST appearance of the motorbike?

 

(And to what extent was it replaced by the Spider-mobile?)

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I don't have the answer to any of your specific questions, Kirk, but I remember the motorbike era quite well. I don't recall the make or model ever being mentioned (probably a Romita Generic), but I always thought of it as the same kind of Honda that Beach Boys sang about: "Not a big motorcycle but a groovy little motorbike." When these comics were reprinted in Marvel Tales in the 1980s, the editor at the time must have agreed with Peter that the original color was a little bleh, so he had the colorist color it red from the outset (which made it a little awkward when the dialogue later indicated Peter was painting his already-red buike red).

I don't remember the details, but he didn't have it long before he had to sell it to pay Aunt May's medical bills. It wasn't shown but was mentioned in a thought balloon.

 

Hoy

Did a bunch of flip-reading through the Essential Spider-Man vol. 3 last night (#44-68) and found that the bike lasted about two years in continuity, but taking a back seat more and more.  Peter apparantly sells it for cash mid-way through the mysterio issue #66.  Still not sure exactly when he bought it, but I know it had to be in #41-42-43 someplace.   Again, it was well re-told in Spider-Man: Blue.

 

I'd love to see a follow-up short story about the NEXT person who bought the bike.  Or perhaps if Peter eventually finds it on the resale market.  There could be some amusing bits about finding a spider-tracer or web-cartridges wedged inside a saddle bag or under the seat or something.  Maybe just a few short pages, without featuring Spidey or Pete. Could be kinda neat...

The bike "taking a back seat" is a weird (but oddly fun) image ...

The bike was Peter's way of getting around fast, to avoid having to walk everywhere without giving him a car. I don't think Stan or JR SR was into bikes enough to get specific about it, it was mostly a plot help rather than a key point. Even so, a guy on a motorbike with two gorgeous women hanging off of him had a hard time singing the blues.

It had nothing to do with the Spider-Mobile, which was designed for Spider-Man to use (not Peter). It was a merchandising tie-in pure and simple, with no rational explanation. It did give Johnny Storm and Spidey some bonding time, but otherwise, it was pretty much a joke from start to finish.

-- MSA

This brings up another interesting point.

Over at DC, the success of the teaming of  the two boy wonders, Robin and Superboy, appears to have bred some imitation over at marvel.   Recently, I had read that the pairing/sparing between Torch and Spidey was directly in response to this marketing success.

 

How true do you think this is, or was the occasional  pairing of the two something else entirely?

 

PS: I never liked the spider-mobile.  And when I ran across the issue where it drives up the wall, chasing Spidey, well, I laughed out loud at the comic con and had to be shushed by the people around me!

Mr. Age said: ....the Spider-Mobile, which was designed for Spider-Man to use (not Peter). It was a merchandising tie-in pure and simple, with no rational explanation. It did give Johnny Storm and Spidey some bonding time, but otherwise, it was pretty much a joke from start to finish.

I remember seeing ads for action figures that included the Spider-mobile but I don't remember ever seeing it in the comics. I just figured it was, as you say, a marketing thing that had to do with the toys but nothing to do with the actual comics. Did I miss something? Or more likely I just psychologically blocked it. The whole idea was too silly even for the SA.

Andy

 


Kirk G said:

This brings up another interesting point.

Over at DC, the success of the teaming of  the two boy wonders, Robin and Superboy, appears to have bred some imitation over at marvel.   Recently, I had read that the pairing/sparing between Torch and Spidey was directly in response to this marketing success.

 

How true do you think this is, or was the occasional  pairing of the two something else entirely?



Anything's possible, but I doubt it. Superboy met Robin in Adventure Comics #253, 1958, a couple of years before the Marvel U got going. I don't think the team-up was repeated, so I doubt it was that big a success. The first Spider-Man/Torch team-up appeared in Strange Tales Annual #2, which came out the same month as Amazing Spider-Man #4. Previously Spider-Man had met the FF in #1, and the Torch had appeared as a supporting character (without going into action) in #3. The month after the team-up Spidey's first meeting with the FF was retold in Fantastic Four Annual #1 and Spider-Man met Dr. Doom in Amazing Spider-Man #5, in which the FF also put in a cameo appearance. So the team-up seems to me rather part of the pattern of cross-promotion of the two features. (The Hulk and Ant-Man had also guested in Fantastic Four, and Avengers #1 came out the month after the Strange Tales annual).

Stan liked teen-agers as super-heroes (Peter, Johnny, the X-Men) because they clearly had just gotten powers and weren't mature enough to handle them, setting up obvious conflicts. Having the well-established Johnny come up against the outsider Spidey made perfect sense, and Stan played that up right from the start, having Peter being jealous of Johnny.

Sadly, the Spider-Mobile was definitely part of Spidey's Universe. It never made much sense--what did Spidey need with a dune buggy when he could swing over everybody and not have to worry about where he left his ride? It showed up in ASM #130 (Mar 74) and lasted until #160 (Sep 76).

The concept was that an automaker paid Johnny to design and Spidey to drive the car, and they got paid for the endorsement. So even Spidey didn't think it made much sense.

It didn't make a lot of appearances, because I don't think it was an editorially driven, organic part of the series, if you get my drift. Just one more example of the man trying to put us down. When it attacked Spidey in #160, he defeated it and returned it to the automakers and washed his hands of it. Apparently, the toy-licensing agreement had run out...

-- MSA

 

The "Hammerhead is Out!" blurb on #130 is a play on the title of a then-recent movie, Hammersmith is Out.
Recently, I had read that the pairing/sparing between Torch and Spidey was directly in response to this marketing success. How true do you think this is, or was the occasional pairing of the two something else entirely?

Maybe, but it doesn't ring true to me. Teaming up Spidey and the Torch is such a natural, I'm sure it would have happened (and probably did) regardless of the DC tream-ups of Superboy and Robin.

thank you , Mr. Silver Age, for those covers. What a blast from the past.

I imagine if Spidey wrecked the spider-mobile and returned it to the autodealer in pieces, it might have been a not-so subtle way of the writer or editor saying "buzz off guys" to the toy manufacturer or higher ups.  Doesn't seem  too bright to me, though we all cheer about it now.

 

I just can't quite see how a flashy dune buggy would help Spidey out.  It's not like he's millionare Bruce Wayne who has a disguised cave to hide it in, or that he only drove it at night....

I can just imagine Peter having the conversation with Aunt May, "Now, don't look in the ol'd garage, May, cause I'm storing a sports car, er, for a friend...."

 

How would you go about licensing the vehicle, getting title or plating it?  Would Spidey have needed to pose for the Drivers Licence ID photo?  Heck, he had enough trouble getting Avengers ID Clearance finally.  Imagine with JJ as mayor now, how difficult would he have made it for Spidey?  Talk about your red tape!  Plus, insurance, parking, gas prices.  Spidey has no pockets! No cash...no credit cards...

 

Or did Peter have an agreement to park it at the Baxter Building or Four Freedom Plaza? 

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