Midtown Bloggerinos! Raph here, with a special post regarding our favorite wall-crawler! This year marks the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man’s first appearance, and we here at Midtown got to be involved in a special party with Marvel Comics involving the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, making a brilliant cake to celebrate. I’ll wait until the episode premiere to actually get into it, but for now, I’d like to share some of my favorite moments in Spider-Man’s history.
1. Spider-Man lifts the impossible: This ISN’T from the original Amazing Spider-Man #33, which is a classic from Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, but the 30TH Anniversary issue of Amazing Spider-Man #365. Why is this so special to me? It was my first Spider-Man comic. I was eight years old, and I knew who Spidey was, but I had no idea who Steve Ditko was and I’d never read the early stuff (this is before Marvel Masterworks and Essentials). All I can remember is Spider-Man is chasing someone, and suddenly the tunnel he’s in collapses. Where is he? Underneath Penn Station… and I remember the line “Penn Station… at rush hour… all those trains”. Spidey is under tons of rubble that he says even the Hulk couldn’t lift! And he does it. I’ve since read Amazing Spider-Man #33, and I love that original issue, but this is my first Spidey comic, and you never forget your first. You can check out the awesome Amazing Spider-Man #33 in either Marvel Masterworks or Marvel Essentials formats.
2. Death of Gwen Stacy: I don’t necessarily “like” this moment, but it is one of the most poignant moments in Spider-Man’s life. Peter Parker didn’t stop a thief, and that thief ends up killing Uncle Ben. That’s all well and good, but this is a moment in Peter’s life where he is DIRECTLY responsible. Norman Osborn’s son is spiraling into drug abuse, and he himself is facing a lot of pressure. The psychotic break unleashes Norman’s previous history as Goblin, and he goes after Peter through his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. A fight on the Brooklyn Bridge and an ill-timed web line later, Gwen Stacy is dead, having her necked snapped by Spider-Man. It has to be one of the most agonizing moments in the history of fiction, and it’s the moment I believe is most poignant, Uncle Ben’s death aside.
3. Face it Tiger… : In what has to be one of the funnier swerves of the early 60’s, Mary Jane’s first real appearance turns out to be a shocker. For months, Peter (and the readers) were told by Aunt May that he should meet with their neighbor Anna Watson’s niece. Peter, being ambivalent about a girl Aunt May would like, would always flake. Finally, in Amazing Spider-Man #42, we meet MJ, and boy is Peter in for a shock! Even though Peter eventually goes for Gwen (MJ was a bit of a vapid party girl in the beginning), she eventually became the love of Peter’s life… until, well… that’s for another discussion.
4. The Black Suit: Everyone under the age of 40 that loves Spider-Man apparently LOVES the black symbiote that Peter picked up in Secret Wars. The symbiote gave Peter more strength, organic webs, and a dangerously aggressive persona (it also gave artists a break with all those web lines!). Of course, Peter ditches the suit, and Eddie Brock becomes the 90’s most beloved anti-villain, VENOM. Everyone who was a kid in the 90’s who says they didn’t like Venom is lying to you. Venom still exists, now as a Secret Avenger black-ops soldier controlled by Flash Thompson.
5. Reunited and it feels so…DOOM?!?: JMS had a very tumultuous run on Amazing Spider-Man, but his early work is what I started to read hardcore. The Ezekiel/Spider-Totem stuff was interesting, but it’s the small, character moments that really made JMS shine. Peter and Mary Jane had been separated for quite some time, and in Amazing Spider-Man #49, they decided to visit each other, only to find the other person not home! A miraculous layover leads to them talking, until in issue 50, Dr. Doom shows up! So not only does Peter try to work things out with his estranged wife, he also has to help Captain America protect Dr. Doom from terrorists! A fun 2 issue romp
That’s it for this week! You can check out our selection of Spider-Man books and merchandise here! As I said before, this is only a few of my favorite moments, so please share what your favorite moments are in the comments section! Until next time,
Be A Hero, Read A Comic!