Catchphrase of comedian Marty Allan
|Amazing Spider-Man page 25, page 4 panel 2: |
the whole story in a single panel
Once Smythe has been introduced, we pause for about a page. (When you are telling a story over 20 pages, you can afford to pause for a page.) Ditko adds an additional layer to the story before it has even got off the ground. Spider-Man being chased by a silly robot would doubtless have been fun. The Terrible Threat of the Living Brain (#8) was great fun. (I always assumed that Smythe’s robot was green because the Brain was green and because it was coloured green on the cover of the UK reprint. It is actually gunmetal grey. There is a precedent for gun metal gray things turning out to be green. I like green better.) We can see that the robot is ridiculous; Jameson can see that the robot is ridiculous; Parker can see that the robot is ridiculous. So it is Peter Parker who persuades James to hire the obviously useless piece of hardware. So when the robot really does come after Spider-Man; and when it turns out to be very dangerous indeed, he has only himself to blame. Much has changed since Amazing Fantasy #15, but one thing remains constant: Peter Parker is a dick.
It may be, as Betty says, that Jameson has a reason to hate Spider-Man. But we have long forgotten what that reason was, and so has he. Jameson wants to capture or beat or defeat Spider-Man to get his revenge on him for making a fool of him the last time he tried to capture or beat or defeat him. And Peter, at some level, is getting off on this. He wants Jameson to hire the useless robot “to get even with him for all the trouble he’s caused me in the past."
|Boys chasing Peter, Robot also chasing Peter, bystanders chasing robot.|
Note that Mary Jane has traveled some distance to see Aunt May. She may be the niece of Aunt May’s neighbour, Anna Watson, but she evidently lives in another part of town. Any suggestion that she was literally the girl next door while Peter Parker was growing up is a later accretion.
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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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