Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marvel History Post 50: Amazing Spider-Man # 2

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 2 Writer: Stan Lee Artist: Steve Ditko Publication Date: May 1963 Brief Summary: A creepy old dude with a set of wings called the Vulture is stealing from the good people of New York. J. Jonah Jameson wants a photo of the guy, and Peter Parker catches wind of this and realizes as Spider-Man he could probably get such a picture. He catches some pics of the Vulture, who is planning a huge jewel heist. Vulture catches onto the spying Spider-Man, and attacks him, wins, and throws Spidey in a water tower. Spidey escapes, pictures intact, and then sells the photos to Jameson. Shortly thereafter, Vulture steals a bunch of diamonds, and then Spidey is after him. The two tussle, and the Spidey shorts out Vulture's wings with a special device of his. Spidey turns in the Vulture, turns in more photos to Jameson, and gets enough money in return to feel pretty good about himself. In the second story, a famous scientist asks for a helper from the local high school with an experiment over the weekend, and Parker is nominated. The scientist asks Pete to pick up a radio from a shop run by a creepy dude called the Tinkerer. Tinkerer gives Pete the radio, but after Tinkerer consorts with an alien about how they have somehow tinkered with it as part of a plan. Parker delivers the radio, and then notices his spider sense is going crazy. He realizes its the radio, and that something fishy is happening. He returns to the Tinkerer's shop, and realizes that the Tinkerer is working with aliens, and that the radios he "fixes" are being used to spy on prominent earthlings. The aliens catch Spidey and trap him, but Spidey breaks free and destroys their equipment. The aliens escape, but Spidey hangs on to the Tinkerer. He loses the Tinkerer in a fire caused by the fighting, but manages to hold onto the Tinkerer's mask, and realizes the Tinkerer was an alien as well. Commentary: Peter Parker is pretty nonchalant about fighting a bunch of aliens. I suppose that developing super powers from a radioactive spider makes you less easily impressed by strange happenings in the world around you, but Spidey barely blinks an eye when he encounters the aliens in this issue. Spider-Man's rogues gallery continues to develop with the appearance of the Vulture. The Vulture's only motivation in this issue appears to be monetary, and then, at issue's end, his grudge with Spider-Man begins. Quick Thoughts:
  • J. Jonah Jameson is the editor of NOW magazine, and has not yet ascended to the Daily Bugle.
  • Spidey looks way too old for a high schooler in these early images of him.
  • Jameson tells Parker to spend some of the money he gives him on one of those twist records.
  • Flash Thompson is seen here as a bully making fun of Peter Parker.
Favorite Panel: I enjoyed this advertisement for Marvel showing their early power hitters. No Hulk, alas, as his series has been canceled. Oh well. Next: Fantastic Four # 14