Monday, July 4, 2011

Marvel History Post 106: Amazing Spider-Man # 8

Issue: Amazing Spider-Man # 8
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Publication Date: January 1964


Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_8




Commentary:


Peter Parker and Flash Thompson finally get into a fight, and Pete blasts Flash, as you might expect in combat between superhero and imbecile.  


The Living Brain is not Stan's strongest creation, which is likely due to it's complete lack of a personality.  It's hard to rank the Living Brain in the same category as the likes of Dr. Doom and Namor.  The Brain is also not imposing in it's design, like some of the later robotic creations in the MU.


Spider-Man weirdly instigates a fight with Human Torch in the backup story, which seems out of character for Parker.  Indeed, in Spider-Man's interactions with the FF, he seems more haughty and arrogant than he ever does in his solo stories.



Quick Thoughts:

  • Stan includes two stories in this issue, headed in the opposite direction from some of the two-parters we've recently seen.
  • Spidey declares Sue Storm the only good part of the Fan 4, and leaves a web fluid heart for her.

Favorite Panel:


Who said the Spider-Man musical was a bad idea?

Next: 


Fantastic Four # 22

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Marvel History Post 105: Tales to Astonish # 50

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 50
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publication Date: December 1963


Brief Summary:


http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_to_Astonish_50




Commentary:


We get the first sense of Pym having a high opinion of himself, something that will become a large part of his character down the line.  It seems to be in relation to his transforming into Giant-Man.  


There's not much of an explanation of how Human Top gets his powers, other than that they manifested when he was a young boy.  Human Top is actually another early mutant, something that Marvel will start deploying with increased frequency as an origin explanation.


This also marks our final issue of 1963, an enormous year for Marvel that saw the introduction of Nick Fury, The Avengers, The X-Men, etc.  Next year will see some other big characters make their first appearance, although a lot of the heavy hitters are out of the way. Marvel's emphasis has clearly shifted from Romance and Westerns to the superhero genre.  Even Fury's book, a war comic, is integrated into the narrative of the core Marvel universe.




Quick Thoughts:

  • Pym refers to Wasp as cute at one point.  There's hope yet!
  • Ants chew up a sidewalk pavement in a matter of seconds.  Right.

    Favorite Panel:


    A good example of super hero inner monologues.  Wasp watches on as Giant-Man trains for a fight she believes he cannot win.

    Next:


    Amazing Spider-Man # 8

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Marvel History Post 104: Tales of Suspense # 48

    Issue: Tales of Suspense # 48
    Writer: Stan Lee
    Artist: Steve Ditko
    Publication Date: December 1963



    Brief Summary:

    http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_48




    Commentary:


    There's ample hilarity when Pepper Potts thinks for a moment that Tony Stark is interested in dating her.  Tony's interested in only two things more than Pepper: Being Iron Man, and every woman on the planet that's more attractive than Pepper.


    This issue debuts a new costume for Iron Man as well, which is much more similar to his usual red and gold appearance.  Stan also takes a good long time explaining why it's a vastly superior suit, which is always a big part of Iron Man upgrades.




    Quick Thoughts:
    • Happy Hogan should probably stop pointing out that there's really no point in Stark paying him.
    • The Doll Man's "I got this thing from a dude in Africa" origin is questionable at best.
      Favorite Panel:


      Iron Man's first major cosmetic overhaul.  Lookin good.

      Next:


      Tales to Astonish # 50