AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. “Once More With…”
There are some interesting threads on this forum, already, covering issues of Marvel’s early series – ‘re-reading’’ of the Avengers and Journey into Mystery/Thor and so on and there was quite a good issue by issue thread on the Invaders around too, until it caught up with the present.
What is more rarely discussed are the later periods when these series were in full flow and while perhaps less iconic still number among them some classics… The examination of the Avengers from #101 onwards gets a credit here.
I therefore present to you an issue by issue critique/discussion forum for one of these mainstay Marvel titles.
Not beginning at the very debut – as others have that covered well – but (and I hope I don’t step on anyone’s creative toes here!) – I would like to pick up the Amazing Spider-Man title after a watershed/bookend issue provided an opportune point at which to begin …
Issue #50 featured that classic moment in Peter Parker’s life when he first thought he couldn’t go on and yet eventually realised he just couldn’t possibly give up being Spidey.
“Spider-Man No More!” draws breath for the title before it races on into it’s next phase – less discussed than the Ditko issues and the early Romita ‘End of the Green Goblin’ stuff the next issue builds on those early foundations and catapults our hero and the title to the second half of it’s first century of publishing and its next phase of greatness…
So, after “Spider-Man No-More!”
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN . “Once More With…”
…”With feeling…!”
Or…
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN . “Once More With…”
…”With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility…!”
Or…
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN . “Once More With…”
…”With in-depth discussion and critique…..
Or…
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN . “Once More With…”
…”With #51 (08/67)…..

Come back soon……

Views: 15273

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I read this issue yesterday and the only thing I was going to comment on was the Sandman's costume... not the look of it, but the "science" of it. Yeah, it's kind of stupid, but it was grandfathered in from Lee/Kirby. You'd never see anything so "unbelievable" introduced these days. 

Other than that, a fairly by-the-numbers fight issue.

I said the "scientific" Sandman costume was Kirby-esque, but when did it first appear? It sounds like it was probably in the referenced Marvel Team-up #1 (MAR72). It's on the cover. The cover is by Gil Kane. The Interiors are by Roy Thomas with art by Andru and Esposito. When Sandman appeared in the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four issues he wore a purple version of his standard shirt and pants.

Fantastic Four 62 was the debut of the "scientific" costume.

Wow! I blanked out on that. No wonder it was Kirby-esque. I guess I didn't want to blame Stan and Jack for it.

John Dunbar said:

Fantastic Four 62 was the debut of the "scientific" costume.

Amazing Spider-Man #155 (04/76)
Writer - Len Wein - Editor Penciller - Sal Buscema
Inker - Mike Esposito Background inks - David Hunt
Cover Art – John Romita (Marv Wolfman -Prime Suspect)
  “Whodunit!""
"WHO is the most incredible killer of all ?"
It's a solo Romita cover and it illustrates scenes from inside behind a wed-like frame but it's pretty forgettable ... as is the whole issue really!


By the way - check out that title- WHODUNIT with an exclamation mark ! not a question mark ! ?


There is quite a close link between this issue and the previous two although at no point do they feel like a trilogy.
Dr Bolton (the guy who died on the football pitch) had been building a super-computer with a Dr Armstrong Smith and Peter is dragged along by Jonah to a press reveal of this new computer as we open the issue.
"It's a mechanism designed to catalog all Worldwide Habitual Offenders --"
(what would you call that for short..?)


The door needs to be forced open to discover Dr Smith dead! Shot in the head in a locked room! No suspects!!
(I do like the view we have of the crime scene becoming the Bugle photo - that's a neat scene.)


Feeling he owes Bolton a debt Spider-Man returns to the scene and uses this new computer to ask it who among it's Worldwide Habitual Offenders database may have committed this murder. He gets three 'suspects'- Jason Sledge, Leroy Talon and Conrad Fox. (Check them out as much as you like - you won't find any anagram clues or similar but credit for trying)


So begins a protracted (and dragged out) investigation by our hero to track down these suspects. First he leans on a sleazy informer, leaving him high and webbed and then goes off to find his quarries.


Jason Sledge has gone straight as a janitor in a bar and is a pathetic chap now, not likely to be a murderer.

Leroy Talon (who just happens to have steel hands - with that name? What a co-incidence/lazy writing.) is a more probable suspect as he is a mobster smuggling diamonds but the timings don't fit - he was busy smuggling so he's in the clear too.
Lastly we find Conrad Fox... is dead. Killed in a car accident , buried with headstone. End if this line of investigation.


So... Whodunit...? Aw... you've known all along haven't you?


Spidey returns to the scene of the crime/computer and learns... the computer is self-aware!! It/he gave the names of the suspects to put Spidey off the track to prevent being interfered with while he built his power base.
It/he fires laser blasts at our hero - which explains how the original murder was committed without a bullet or gun.
Spider-Man webs up the source of the laser but the web gets burned through. (that's a very familiar event also isn't it?) so he webs up the cooling vents...


Very soon the computer gets overheated and actually blows up - desperately trying to remind you of the pertinent points before the end reveal!
"I am a functional catalogue of all Worldwide Habitual Offenders... computer code: W.H.O."
"I...don't...want...to...DieeEEEE!"
Spider-Man leaves before the police arrive and ....finally....gets to the entire point of this issue.....
"Hey, whaddaya know? I spent tonight hunting a murderer and -- W.H.O.Dunit!"
You've all groaned haven't you?


I'm probably being a bit harsh - this is a fine enough super-hero comicbook, he fights bad guys he solves a mystery and there is good action and the art (still 'guesting' Sal Buscema) is fine enough. I just thought it was painfully obvious when I first read it and I certainly do now.
Also - there is no ongoing characterisation or sup-plots and so a lack of pacing in this story at all. It's all kind of dull isn't it?


Things may kick back up a notch (perhaps we'll get to great issues which may explain why these last three have felt like filler..?) as we get... (and I move on a Masterworks edition..)


Next Issue "You are cordially invited to the long-awaited wedding of Ned Leeds and Betty Brant -- to meet the most incredible new villain of all! Be here for... "On A Clear Day You Can See... The Mirage!"


Come Back...

Richard Mantle said:

The door needs to be forced open to discover Dr Smith dead! Shot in the head in a locked room! No suspects!!
(I do like the view we have of the crime scene becoming the Bugle photo - that's a neat scene.)

The security guard doesn’t have a key, so he shoots the lock off? How does a security guard not have a key?

First he leans on a sleazy informer, leaving him high and webbed and then goes off to find his quarries.

We know that Spidey’s webbing dissolves after a period of time. If the informer is still webbed on the outside of the building three storeys up when it dissolves, isn’t that murder?

Lastly we find Conrad Fox... is dead. Killed in a car accident , buried with headstone. End if this line of investigation.

I actually thought that the dead Conrad Fox hadn’t really died, and that he was behind it.

Very soon the computer gets overheated and actually blows up - desperately trying to remind you of the pertinent points before the end reveal!

Things would have melted and an electrical fire might have started but I don’t think it would have blown up.

"Hey, whaddaya know? I spent tonight hunting a murderer and -- W.H.O.Dunit!"
You've all groaned haven't you?

I actually didn’t figure this out until the last page. I never paid attention to the initials of the Worldwide Habitual Offender computer.

Also - there is no ongoing characterisation or sup-plots and so a lack of pacing in this story at all. It's all kind of dull isn't it?

The cameo of JJJ wasn’t enough. The Spidey stories are never as good without his supporting cast.

Thoughts on #155: Eh.

I remembered Wein’s run being better than this. (I think it does get better.)

“We know that Spidey’s webbing dissolves after a period of time. If the informer is still webbed on the outside of the building three storeys up when it dissolves, isn’t that murder?”

That bugged me, too. (A couple of broken legs, at least.) I figured Spidey knew that, as his webbing dissolved it would slow s-t-r-e-t-c-h and lower the thug to the ground. Do I get a No-Prize?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2019   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service