Monday, November 8, 2010

Amazing Fantasy #15

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Does whatever a spider can! ...which is apparently to be mopey and depressed.



58 comments:

Trevor said...

Hooray! My favorite character's origin was on AT4W! Although why did you subject us all to seeing "Saturday Night Peter" again, Linkara?! WHY?! Love to see that you think this origin is a classic, as I agree with you. In fact, if you ever get a chance, pick up Spider-Man: Mythos and it's a virtual reprint of AF-15 with different art work. Also, there is an old issue of Spider-Man I remember having where Crusher Hogan was a janitor at a boxing gym where he told stories that he was the one who helped Spidey become a superhero after their match! I also enjoyed your brief history lesson on the history of who the true creators of Spider-man was. Personally, I atribute Spider-man's creation to Stan Lee as writer, Steve Ditko as artist, and Jack Kirby as creator of that amazing cover! Yes, spidey does vocally narrate alot, but it was the 1960's! At that point, everyone was on drugs so who cared about spider-man talking to himself? Finally, great use of connecting Spider-Man to one of my favorite movies, GHOSTBUSTERS!

Kriken said...

Nice review Linkara, I thought it was pretty fair for a story that does hold up today a bit better than Superman's story. Looking forward to next week's review.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Uncle Ben stays dead... His creepy.

A straight forward origin sotry with quite possibly the most over quoted mantra ever.

Next week is what I'm looking forward too, How many batman jokes can you make in a single ep?

A loyal Fan: RWG

Lotus Prince said...

Woah, the identity of the killer startled Spidey so much that...he grew pupils in the eyes of his mask!

Also, I'm an English major, and now I feel that Spiderman looks down on me. :-P

Also also, I was REALLY happy to see that Gumbi MST3K clip. That brought back hilarious memories. :-D

Kevin "Jester" McGill said...

Great review, Lewis.
Some how I wound up with 2 re-prints of AF 15 (one came from Marvel Legend's 1st Appearance Spidey not sure where the second came from.) The unknown re-print has some subtle color changes, bust also takes every reference to "Spiderman" sans hyphen with a newly inserted hyphen, since it's the preferred spelling.

Just Gavin said...

Well that video certainly made for an amusing break from my work, AS AN ENGLISH MAJOR student!

Seriously though, very amusing video, and that line amused me greatly.

Now I'll get back to that English Major I'm working on.

CMWaters said...

You know, I still have to wonder why they decided on red and blue for the Spider-Man outfit when they created him insted of black like most people associate spiders with as a color. Was it simply a Silver Age choice that no hero had black as the primary outfit color?

Crusher HOGAN, huh? And here I thought World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) only had to pay Marvel for the HULK part of the name Hulk Hogan.

Lastly, anytime I hear the line "With great power comes great responsibility", I think of the Weird Al song done to the song "The Piano Man" that tells about the first Spider-Man movie.

~0/With great power comes great responsibility
That's the catchphrase of old Uncle Ben.
If you missed it don't worry, they'll say the line...
Again and again and again.\0~

...one more thing, how the hell did Peter AFFORD whatever chemistry kit he got to MAKE the webbing?

Anyway, nice look at Spidey's start there. Will be interesting to see if the first Batman story holds up as well or not.

Rafat said...

Oh Spiderman you and your...talking about sad emotions?

But still. i'd rather have emo Spider man than Clone Not Clone Not Clone Clone Cloney Clone Not Clone Mutant Clone Not Clone Spiderman.

And truth be told, even though i like DC over Marvel, Spideys first appearance is better than Supermans and Batmans.

deuxhero said...

Uh, what about art quirk of Spiderman having pupils on the spider mask in the one panel (the one where he realizes who the criminal is)

Octo7 said...

yay. I didn't use the f word

SP4Mew said...

The comic itself almost plays out like in the original Spiderman cartoon. I've only seen the first episode, and while it seems dated, still seems very nostalgic. Nice touch with the theme song, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Wait, that kid had to be around 6 years old, and his mom lets him go see horror movies?

Great review as always! Looking forward to your epic battle with Lord Vyce!

Joe Green said...

BONESAW IS READY!!!

Anonymus said...

How dare you not make a Roger Rabbit joke!

Mountain King said...

Much like yourself I don't know if there's anything I can say about this comic or your review.
The comic's not bad, or spectacular from todays perspective.Yes it's a good start for our arachnid hero with some classic art and story telling but not much else.
That didn't give you much to review, one or two changes and a couple of clips was all you could really do for this one in the end. Once again feeling a bit like filler, opposed to the 'How the hell was this published?" of other episodes.
Still a good review that was above all fair. Something a lot of reviewers ignore in favour of being "funny"

Thomas

Erik Johnson said...

A regular zinger surplus! That Peter Parker Dance joke is just so hilarious in hindsight and had me laughing so hard that the neighbors heard it.

Oh, and in answer to your question, Hank Venture dresses in long underwear like that.

Yogurt said...

Interesting fact about the later Crusher Hogan/Spiderman team-up: it was co-written by professional wrestler (and fellow Jew) Scott Levy (better known as Raven).

Ah, Spiderman weeping over his own bad choices leading to the death of/misfortune to those he loves...amazing how he seems to forget this when he's, oh I don't know, MAKING A DEAL WITH MEPHISTO.

Linkage said...

When you mentioned the ACME warehouse, I was hoping you would get a clip of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

Still a great review. Looking forward to seeing you go over the early Batman and his not-so-much hatred of guns

Caitlin R said...

Darn you Linkara. You have entered the Spider-man song into my brain, and I will now be humming and singing it all night long. Grr...
Great review. I love Spider-man, and he's one of my favorite superheroes. I loved the cartoon as a kid. I loved the movies. I even enjoyed the third one(not as much as the other ones, but it wasn't horrible). Sadly, I haven't read any Spider-man comics(other than the Obama one, but does that one even really count? I guess so.) So I'm so glad you decided to do this comic.

h2o589 said...

I'm really liking this month. I love Spider-Man and this is one of the funniest episodes of AT4W yet.

Also I love how Lewis uses his idea of a "dorky" voice instead of just using his normal voice for Spidey instead.

Jer Alford said...

Need to have Bonesaw take on the Kool-Aid Man!

SchweitzerMan said...

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

One of the few lines from Ghostbusters that I use in everyday conversation

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

Personally, I would have made the joke "My God, he was shot by Wily Coyote!"

Radar said...

Do high schoolers have majors?

Gyre said...

I have to say that the complaints about Spider-Man would have been valid in a different era. It worked for him because he was a subversion of the typical superhero of the time. Sure, Superman did have to pretend to weak for his cover but it was obvious that he was pretending and Clark Kent still got more respect than Peter ever does.

Andrew Sorohan said...

This... seems a lot weaker than your Superman review. I'm not what the point is in doing this concept with Marvel characters, since most of their origins haven't really been changed over the years. With DC characters often they've gone through radical redesigns or been replaced by all new characters... not so much with Marvel. You simply won't get that sense of 'shocking contrast' with Marvel characters.

The other problem is that this doesn't really feel like a review, so much as a recap. Your decision to look at these comics with 'modern eyes' means that there's not much insight into the actual comic -- and your decision to use a Marvel Tales reprint is unfortunate too, since those were edited from the originals, to change old slang, old cultural references and update the dialogue for the 80s. (Though I admit I don't know if any changes were made to the Amazing Fantasy #15 reprint.)

Spider-Man just seems like a really iffy choice for an origin retrospective, since his origin is pretty much intact in every piece of Spidey fiction ever.

At least if you'd decided to give us context on the issue this might have felt more like a review. (The parrotting of Stan Lee's usual somewhat false account of how the comic came to be not withstanding.)

There were moments where it felt like you really NEEDED that insight and context -- things like when you were wondering about the chaptered nature of the story. Obviously the story is chaptered to disguise the fact that it doesn't end in 5 pages, which was the norm at the time. Comics usually had at least 4 stories, and dividing stories into chapters was a method used by all the publishing houses to make it feel like you were getting more stories than you were. (A 'value for money' thing.)

If you'd been talking about the comic in context maybe you could have talked about the incredible quality of the art -- or the real power of the dialogue.

Stan Lee's caption narration, for example, which directly addresses the reader, was revolutionary. Comics at the time often addressed the reader, that's not what's unique. What's revolutionary is how Stan Lee treats the reader as 'part of the club'. You commented on the "Long Underwear Crowd" narration... I've always thought that was a BRILLIANT piece of narration, immediately making the reader a part of the 'in crowd' by telling him this 'inside information'. That little lifting of the veil was such a different tone to the more stoic DC narration of the time, or even the deliberately creepy EC comics narration of previous decades. In fact, it was an entirely new style for Stan Lee himself -- not at all like his romance comics, or horror comics of the time.

Throughout your review you don't even really MENTION the art. Could you find nothing to say about Steve Ditko's revolutionary pencils? Even if you're looking at the comic from modern eyes, surely there's something that could be said about the art?

--Andrew S.
(In the end, maybe choosing Spider-Man at all was the mistake. The Fantastic Four have a much more dated, and frankly terrible, origin which would make much better fodder for a 'review without context'.)

Anonymous said...

One thing I never understood about Spider-Man: this comic leads you to believe Peter absorbs the DNA of a spider, hence why he can stick to walls. If that's the case, why does he need to create web shooters? Shouldnt he have had this ability at the onset?

PickPikmin said...

Oooo! New opening!

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Science majors heck yeah! (I'm a biology major so I actually thought that was pretty funny.)

But didn't we see Spidey at a high school at the beginning of the comic? How is he a science major if he's still in high school? Or is he just taking some classes at a college while he's finishing up high school? I'm so confused.

Truce Weston said...

Very cool video! I'm playing serious catch up now, having missed a few (sorry about that)

I actually smiled because I own that reprint issue also myself! And those MST3K references are the definition of win!

Great review! So until we figure what goofy development awaits Plastic Man (after Wonder Woman's new outfit, Batman's revelation of Bruce Waynes money, and Superman's new emo version), MAKE MINE LINKARAdessoch

Benjamin J said...

Being the only one of the Secret Origin comics I've actually read, (dozens of times via a reprint that pretty much disintegrated through repeated usage) I was really looking forward to this one. Spider-Man is by far my favorite superhero and although Marvel has done some horrible, unforgivable things to his character as of late, I can still look back on this (and the others in the early Stan Lee years) and smile like a little kid.

Honestly, Lee and Ditko deserve a lot of praise for how incredibly gutsy a book Spider-Man was in it's day: A teenage superhero that focused as much on the drama in his civilian life as in the costumed one...sometimes even more so (Although it was Lee's brainchild, Dikto actually became the driving creative force behind Spider-Man very quickly and deserves just as much recognition for the character Spidey became). And for as much as we can joke about how overused and cliched the "With great power comes great responsibility" moral has become in the past 48 years, in 1962, the dramatic circumstances that brought it and the hero it created about were so ahead of their time that there was literally nothing like it, and every attempt since to duplicate it has paled in comparison.

For Linkara and anyone else - if you haven't yet, try and get your hands on the reprints of those Lee/Ditko/Romita issues (easily accessible in Marvel Masterworks or Essentials form) if you're interested in some truly enjoyable, old school swashbuckling superhero action, free of cumbersome continuity, gratuitous, matter-of-fact graphic violence, and unlikable asshole protagonists we're meant to sympathize with.

It was (and remains) some of the best of it's kind.

LordOrion said...

Great review man. I like the information that you provide in your reviews, it allows even people like me, who isn't really that much of a comic fan, to follow what is going on, although watching your reviews of bad comics is wanting me to go get and read more good comics(besides Watchmen and The Sandman series, which I have read).

I am especially liking your secret origins month since as a history major I have a certain love for the origin of things and I was also very interested in the fact that the beginning of the first movie looks like it followed the origin story for Spider-man quite closely.

I look forward to your next review.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"(In the end, maybe choosing Spider-Man at all was the mistake. The Fantastic Four have a much more dated, and frankly terrible, origin which would make much better fodder for a 'review without context'.)"

Fair enough criticisms, though I should note that I used a digital copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 for the review, I just had the reprint in Marvel Tales as something to hold, so all of the dialogue was the same as in the original.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"One thing I never understood about Spider-Man: this comic leads you to believe Peter absorbs the DNA of a spider, hence why he can stick to walls. If that's the case, why does he need to create web shooters? Shouldnt he have had this ability at the onset?"

Yes, but consider where the webbing comes out of on a spider and the equivalent on a human.

sean said...

I don't kno0w about you, but I became a nerd right b4 high school and got my glasses at the same time. Coincidence? I think not.

Peteman said...

You know, you could do both. Use your abilities for personal gain, and when you see bad things happen, intervene.

Entertainer13 said...

Man, I wish my boy Captain Marvel would be getting the treatment this month, but alas, this is for the big boys. Mayahps I should bust out my reprint of Whiz Comics#2 and do it myself.

Great job, Linkara!

Anonymous said...

Hi linkara I hope it is ok to suggest to make a suggestion of making brute force no.2 a double feature with a oringn.

I hope its not too late suggest, sonic no.0 it can be found in the sonic the hedgehog the beginning trade paperback, if you are looking for a scan of sonic no.0 you can find it on a site called the sonic zone.

a much better oringn of sonic is sonic the comic no.8 it's was only in europ but it has alot of amrican fans too you can find a scan of it at the same site finding a actule issue of of it is near inpossble.

anyway feel free to reply linkara and have a nice day

corey said...

considering he was bitten by a radioactve spider wouldn't that be a little bad for his health seeing as how getting somthing like radiation in peters blood could hurt a him as well as give him kick ass super powers.

Satire Knight said...

Well, you could argue that Dracula has a guy creeping up a wall... but I dunno if that was actually in any of the movies before 1977.

Uncle Ben is creepy. Aunt May looks like she's already dead.

Anonymous said...

Actually, spiders are pretty slow when compared to other similar arthropods and insects. It's why the build webs in the first place, so they can just hang around and wait for food to come to them. They're ambush predators, not speedy and agile hunters.

Science majors unite! :D

This was a really funny episode, and I definitely agree the story has held up even by today's standards. It's concise, giving the character's background, abilities, and a reason for why he decides to fight crime that the audience can empathize with.

dreamerhorwitz said...

Good review.

Acme warehouse. Wow, the thief is thick. He's got a ton of props that are both funny and deadly and he never used so much as a fake hole. (Roger Rabbit pun)

Just thought I'd add that.

John Casablanca said...

Actually I think Peter's relationship between his uncle and aunt is pretty adorable. You can see why Peter, who seems like a lonely person, loves them so much. Man, Uncle Ben's death is actually pretty sad because of that.

BWP said...

I'm surprised that someone who apparently has constructed plastic models has never heard the term "liquid cement". Maybe you only ever used tube glue .... Liquid cement is sold in small bottles and is designed to join plastic parts to one another. How this would make Spider-Man's webbing stick to anything not made of polystyrene is unclear, however. I'm also surprised that you didn't make a single comment about how Peter Parker invented a brand-new chemical substance out of a home chemistry set; sewed a tightly-fitting, intricately-patterned costume out of ... Aunt May's curtain leftovers, maybe?; and built a couple of pairs of precision-engineered web delivery systems using, I guess, his uncle's toolbox in the garage. What's more, he did all of the above simultaneously in just a few days! -- But the only job he can get anywhere is as a photographer.
Peter Parker is not a nerd, he is a Nerd God.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"What's more, he did all of the above simultaneously in just a few days!"

Eh, sometimes things just slip my mind, is all. As for the plastic models, I've actually built very few. Most of my ships and whatnot are toys... though it's hard to spot, there is a TOS-style Romulan Warbird sitting on the bookshelf that I DID have from a model kit when I was a little kid.

Still, my point stands - liquid cement does not work that way.

Anonymous said...

@Lewis Lovhaug I loved your review of this, however I feel inclined to say the following of Spiderman in his origin, simply put: THIS COMIC SUCKS! But that's because I'm coming from a straightforward Point Of View & the fact that he has become a JOKE of a superhero!

MrVorhias said...

No Insano/Linksano jokes at the mention of only a science major? I'm a bit disappointed. :<

Great vid as always, though.

FugueforFrog said...

SCIENCE! That's...all I need to say about this one. Oh and...Peter should have really gained the power of honking fingers...but then again he'd probably look like one of those Honkers from Sesame Street.

Ein said...

Wait, I thought he got his powers from a crashed alien ship called the Marveller from the planet Spider?

Does he still get the Leopardon to fight the nefarious menace of Doctor Monster?

Anonymous said...

You rule!

BTW, Linkara, will you review Amazing Spider-Man #509-514 (Sins Past)?

Night said...

It's been awhile since I looked in on you and your reviews, and for that have my sincerest apologies sir.

So we have...Season 3 opening, now? Like most opening changes, I'm somewhat unhappy with it. But it's not as bad, say, when they changed CSI New York's. And you kept the song, so I suspect I won't care soon enough.

And...uh...well. Actually, what surprises me is that this is New York, supposedly, so why the lady doesn't actually assume someone is climbing the building is a good question.

"Somehow, in some miraculous way-" WHO TALKS LIKE THIS. Seriously, I want to know so I can slap them. You only ever see people speak like this in comic book narration. Peter's doing it again talking to Bonesaw! Bad Peter! No biscuit!

I'm sure there's some fascinating sociological stuff to discuss in the naming of Spiderman. And I could observe that Spidie is probably the most enduring of Marvel's characters. The X-men pass in and out of public consciousness, and the team lineup isn't terribly stable, and there aren't that many other big ones. You could make comparison to DC's Batman, Superman, etc. in the naming. I wonder if the simplistic nature of it isn't why it endures?

He's got webbed armpits, watch out people! (Seriously? Webbed armpits?) Glad that bit was dropped.

As an English major myself, I'm going to hunt down Peter Parker and beat him up by using the power of...actually you know what, no. I'm just going to make him go broke with my banking degree (I know, not the proper term) instead. Then he can whine some more! It'll be great! I dub myself...ACCOUNTINGMAN. It'll be the greatest feud Spiderman comics have had since The Jackal!

Peter's action lines when told about the burglar killing his Uncle make it look like he's vibrating. Seriously, there's no directionality to them. They're on both sides. Is this a spider-power too? Did the cop flip the high-speed switch on his vibrating glasses? Inquiring minds want to know.

Police siren lights nothing, they'll haul out the spotlights for this! Don't fire until you can see Spidie's pupils! (He has pupils, too. In the words of The Internet, "what")

God, the narration's at it again. Take a writing class you hacks! Stop talking like you're Hemmingway or something, it's disgusting.

le-messor said...

@Lewis:
"Spiders aren't insects"

True dat...
But didn't you just in your last History of the Power Rangers call a chimpanzee an ape?

le-messor said...

... did I just say 'ape'? I meant 'monkey'. Chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys.

Ben Pounds said...

What kind of stories did "Amazing Adult Fantasy" run anyway? (you see where I'm going with that).

Le Messor said...

Ben Pounds:

"What kind of stories did "Amazing Adult Fantasy" run anyway? (you see where I'm going with that)."
:D

Judging by my reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15, it was a Twilight-Zone style anthology, and not at all what you're implying

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your Peter Parker, only a science major could pull off that level of adorablity :D

Toby'c said...

Interestingly, there's a 1990s Simpsons Comic called "Gladys the Groovy Mule" with a very close parody of the opening panel of this one for no obvious reason. Bart and Milhouse are watching one of Troy McClure's early movies (the movie they wanted to see was shipped to Shelbyville by mistake) and Bart raises the same question about why you'd need one more guy for a dance.

Anonymous said...

Strange. I'm not getting advertisements. Is it a problem at Blip's end or my end?