Aunt May, J Jonah Jameson, "Moose" (Flash Thompson), Jameson's secretary
Utility Belt, Automatic Camera
|Close up of Vulture, Amazing Spider-Man #2|
Peter Parker does not see it as his duty to capture or defeat the Vulture. In their first encounter Spider-Man is following the villain at distance and setting up his camera, thinking “If these pictures come out, the ought to be worth a small fortune”. The Vulture spots him, knocks him out, and leaves him for dead; and when he recovers, he takes the pictures to Jameson. When Parker witnesses the Vulture’s jewel heist, he thinks “If I can get some new pictures of him now, I’ll be able to name my own price for them.” After the fight (in which Spider-Man deactivates the Vultures wings with some Science that he made in his laboratory earlier) he immediately thinks “this is my chance to get some exclusive pix of the capture of the Vulture”; as the police arrest him, he think “these pictures should be prize winners”. Peter is not an altruist; he is not driven by a sense of duty. He becomes embroiled with the Vulture while trying to make an honest buck taking photos.
|First Appearance of Betty Brant, |
Amazing Spider-Man #2
|Note wads of cash in |
Peter and May's hands
At today's prices, a years rent on a two bedroom house wouldn’t leave you much change from $15,000, before you’ve counted in whatever a new washing machine and dishwasher costs. Parker has taken home practically a year's salary in one day. Jameson clearly doesn’t deserve his reputation as a skinflint.
The Uncanny Threat of the Terrible Tinkerer
Dr Cobbwell, Flash Thompson
One is tempted to imagine Stan Lee, one issue into his rule-breaking game-changing realistic new super-hero, looking up from his typewriter and saying “Oh, soddit. Let’s just do monster stories.”
In a filler strip entirely without redeeming features, Peter Parker (having just trousered a year's wages for one afternoon’s work) takes a weekend job running errands for an electronics expert and…foils an alien invasion.
The plot has been phoned in from Amazing Adult Fantasy: a shop offers to fix radios for a dime; everyone takes them up on the offer; but the radios are being bugged by extraterrestrials to enable them to spy on the human race. The idea of a radio that listens to you while you listen to it could have been quite spooky, but isn’t.
The story follows the formula that was established in the previous episode: Spider-Man fights the baddies; Spider-Man is defeated by the baddies; Spider-Man uses his brain and beats the baddie on the second attempt. This time he is zapped by a ray-gun and imprisoned in an unbreakable glass container, oddly like the one the Fantastic Four tried to trap him last issue. (Could that be because people who don’t like spiders sometimes trap them in glasses?) I have never thought that “escaping from the water tower by jumping” or “defeating the Vulture by rustling up a special anti-Vulture-wings-zapper” were very interesting ploys, but this one is actually quite clever. There must be air-holes in the container (because he isn’t suffocating) so all Spider-Man has to do to get free is fire a tiny thin strand of webbing through one of the holes and snag the “open unbreakable glass prison” button on the aliens' control panel.
Decades later it was decided that the Tinkerer wasn’t an alien after all, but was pretending to be because of Reasons. This doesn’t retrospectively make the story less awful.
The story does have two points of interest:
On page 8, one of the aliens cries out “Look! It’s impossible! But he’s loose!” and Spider-Man, punching two aliens with one blow, retorts “Who do you think you are — the town crier?” This is, to the best of my reckoning, the first joke Spider-Man ever makes. Up to now, his dialogue has been melodramatic (”there’s no place on earth where you can hide from me”) boastful (”the sky is my element just as much as it is yours”) and arrogant (”ya big ape who do ya think you’re pushing around”) but this is the first actual wisecrack. By issue #7, telling jokes will be specifically mentioned on the cover as one of things Spider-Man is famous for.
First appearance of Peter/Spider-Man
Next issue, Lee will claim that the Doctor Octopus story is the first one to end without Parker selling pictures to Jonah Jameson; but in fact (despite a brief look at what might be a camera on panel 5 of page 2) there is no reference to photo-journalism in this episode. Stan Lee is obviously pretending it didn’t happen. I advise everyone to do the same.
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Amazing Spider-Man was written and drawn by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and is copyright Marvel Comics. All quotes and illustrations are use for the purpose of criticism under the principle of fair dealing and fair use, and remain the property of the copywriter holder.
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