John Dunbar re-reads AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (AF 15, ASM 1-50)

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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Of course at the time Peter was also wearing glasses. She might have been planned to be a nerd. When Pepper first showed up in Suspense she seemed to just be there to yell at Happy.

The attached picture is my signed copy of ASM #2. The issue was purchased from our very own Dagwan about a year ago. Stan the man signed it for me at Megacon this year. This is the earliest issue of ASM I own as I complete my quest for a complete run.
Attachments:

That last one isn't going to be easy to add.

I still lack about 20 issues. # 1 in particular. Still missing 3,5,7,8,9,11-17 some in the 20s, Annual 1 and of course AF 15.

#1 and AF#15 are going to tougher than the rest put together. People that have them aren't going to want to sell.

Suddenly Jameson publishes a magazine called Now in addition to the Daily Bugle? I don't think this was mentioned before. I also think it was soon dropped.

They publicize the shipping ofmillions of dollars worth of diamonds? Really?

His spider-sense detects the Vulture as he's flying nearby. Spidey's thought balloon says he can detect him if he's "anywhere in the area." This sounds like what was mentioned in the Stone Tablet Saga discussion where he used his spider-sense to find a bad guy by just swinging around town. I think it works better as an anti-attack sense.

Peter beats the Vulture by making a scientific leap that because there is no noise his power of flight must be magnetic. Luckily for him he was right.

After selling his first set of pictures Peter has enought money to pay Aunt May's rent for a year and buy her all-new kitchen appliances. Jonah must have drastically cut what he paid in future stories or Peter wouldn't have had all the money problems he continued to have. They are also continuing with the idea that May rents her house.

Luke Blanchard said:

The Incredible Hulk was split into two stories for #4-#5 and two and a short reprise of the origin in #3. That was earlier in the year: the last issue, #6, came out in the month between Amazing Spider-Man #1 and #2. At that point Kid Colt Outlaw, Rawhide Kid and Two Gun Kid (which had just started) were carrying two stories and a short non-series one.

Starting in the 60s we became accustomed to book length stories from DC and Marvel. Up until then comics having two or three stories were the norm. Besides the Superman and Batman comics, the early Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern comics often had two stories per issue. 

As I’ve said before, I think it's likely that the first two Spidey stories - the Amazing Fantasy #15 and Jameson rescue ones - were created close together, and there was a hiatus before the creation of the next one.(1) Hence Spider-Man's code name is unhyphenated in those two stories (except in the logos) and hyphenated in the later ones, and Lee got Peter's surname wrong in the Chameleon tale.

The error with Peter's name (I think it was lettered as Palmer) and the later error where Doc Ock calls him Superman were corrected in my copy of Marvel Masterworks Vol 1 (later renamed Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Vol 1). I don't have the original comics anymore but have scans of them on the 40 Years of Amazing Spider-Man CD-ROM collection if I want to see the uncorrected versions..

I've argued a couple of times that the first two stories were created for the same issue - the length is about right - but to make my theory work the recap page of the Jameson story would have to be a later addition, and it uses Spiderman. I still like that theory but it's probably more likely that the Jameson story was intended for Amazing Fantasy #16 and is longer than the #15 because Lee only had an 11 page slot free for that issue.

The early Spider-Man tales being of varying lengths is not surprising. IIRC, the early Thor stories varied from 10 to 13 pages. They didn't just increase in size, they sometimes reverted to shorter tales.

If Spider-Man can pick someone up by just being in the area he wouldn't need spider tracers. I think this is one of those things like Namor shooting lightning bolts that we shouldn't expect to see much of.

Interesting trivia question: What was the first publication that Peter Parker sold pictures to. Daily Bugle? Wrong! Possibly Stan forgot about Now magazine. Now was eventually brought back by Jameson's second wife in the 80s but I don't think it lasted too long them either.

As his mind is being erased by Dr. Octopus, Peter tries to hold it together thinking of simple things like his name. "I know it's Peter...Palmer? That's not right..."

Richard Mantle said:

Loved the Vulture. Really loved the rivalry with the second Draco Vulture later (covered in another thread I believe...!)

Love this thread too, find myself smiling as I re-read along.

Good job John.

Thank you Richard.

Jason Marconnet (Pint sized mod) said:

The attached picture is my signed copy of ASM #2. The issue was purchased from our very own Dagwan about a year ago. Stan the man signed it for me at Megacon this year. This is the earliest issue of ASM I own as I complete my quest for a complete run.
Very cool, Jason - and good luck on the quest!

Richard Willis said:

Suddenly Jameson publishes a magazine called Now in addition to the Daily Bugle? I don't think this was mentioned before. I also think it was soon dropped.

Yes, this is the debut of Now Magazine, and there's a reference to the Jameson Publishing Company.  "Now" will make a few more appearances but obviously the Daily Bugle will become more prominent.

They publicize the shipping of millions of dollars worth of diamonds? Really?

My thought was the police thought it would be the best way to flush the Vulture out - as they think they were completely ready for him (wrong!).

His spider-sense detects the Vulture as he's flying nearby. Spidey's thought balloon says he can detect him if he's "anywhere in the area." This sounds like what was mentioned in the Stone Tablet Saga discussion where he used his spider-sense to find a bad guy by just swinging around town. I think it works better as an anti-attack sense.

Agreed on the last point.  This is early and they are working the kinks out.  That bit in the Stone Tablet saga was a bit of a goof, imo.

Peter beats the Vulture by making a scientific leap that because there is no noise his power of flight must be magnetic. Luckily for him he was right.

It was a theory or hypothesis more than a lucky guess to me - and a good reminder that teenaged Peter was a genius.

After selling his first set of pictures Peter has enought money to pay Aunt May's rent for a year and buy her all-new kitchen appliances. Jonah must have drastically cut what he paid in future stories or Peter wouldn't have had all the money problems he continued to have. They are also continuing with the idea that May rents her house.

JJJ is much nicer overall here than in ASM #1.  That will change.

As I recall, the Spider-Sense doesn't work the same way all the time, not even now. Sometimes it's an early attack warning, sometimes he can utilize it in a more proactive manner, i.e. using the Spider-Tracers, sometimes it seems to work in very odd ways. It's not quite as bad as the Silver Age Superman seeming to gain a new power when needed (or worse, Thor), but it does seem as if it works in a way to fit the story.

FWIW, I don't mind it working in different ways. Maybe they'll even explore it one of these days.

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