Steve Ditko

Creatures on the Loose 17 (May 1972)

For some inexplicable reason, probably because he liked to read himself (I don’t think Marvel paid by the word in the seventies), Roy Thomas has his protagonist spouting expository dialogue every panel. Thomas and Gil Kane do the feature, Guillvar Jones, and it’s beautiful to read. Kane eventually does have some weak panels, but most […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 13 (June 1964)

Peter appears to be pushing Betty away at this point, but he might just be obtuse. The first appearance of Mysterio is decent, but not anything special. Lee spends a lot of time on Mysterio’s origin and the nature of his outfit–Lee’s pacing is great here, the amount of story he fits into the issue, […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 12 (May 1964)

I can’t believe no one’s ever talked about Lee’s plotting pattern. It’s pretty apparent here, twelve issues in–Spider-Man somehow gets beat in the first fight, wins in the second. Meaning there have to be at least two fights a comic book. How things have changed… Marvel comics now do a cliffhanger in the middle of […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 11 (April 1964)

I always forget how small the Marvel Universe is–if you’re going to get broken out of jail, might as well have Doctor Octopus do it. If you’re going to be a mobster and have a lawyer, it might as well be a lawyer whose sister is Spider-Man’s girlfriend. There’s a lot of cool action in […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 10 (March 1964)

So I’m not imagining things–Lee was getting sick of the high school constraints. He sends Aunt May (all better after her operation, though she does need a blood transfusion, which apparently weakens Spider-Man, but it’s hard to gauge his abilities since… well, Lee always fluctuates them anyway to add drama to a fight) off the […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 8 (January 1964)

So, there’s a point to about seventy percent of this issue. The rest is a back-up with Spider-Man battling the Human Torch, then the rest of the Fantastic Four, because Spider-Man wanted to show off for the Torch’s girlfriend. It’s an addle-brained waste of pages. The only possible purpose would be if Sue Storm ever […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 7 (December 1963)

When I started reading these comics again, I had no expectations. I read them as a kid, but as I grew up, I really only read Silver Age on recommendation and no one ever recommended a reread of these. Most of these issues, so far, are absolutely fantastic. This issue, with the Vulture returning, has […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 6 (November 1963)

Lee gets back on track (subtly developing Peter Parker too–the flirtations with Betty Brant at the Bugle give him the courage–apparently, it’s never pointed out–to ask Liz Allen out on a date), not just introducing the Lizard, but also sending Spider-Man to Florida. The comedy scenes with Peter and Jonah heading down are absolutely hilarious. […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 5 (October 1963)

Guess who wins in a fight between Doctor Doom and Spider-Man? Guess who wins in the rematch? If you guessed Doctor Doom both times, you get a twelve cent sucker, which is what this issue cost when it came out. It’s a twelve cent sucker too. Lee opens it with some expository paragraph about how […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (September 1963)

It’s the first appearance of Betty Brant. I hadn’t been expected it, but now I’m looking forward to it. She and Peter’s romance was always effecting. Even here, her thought balloon foreshadows the eventual dating. Lee fits a bunch into this issue (oh, it’s the first appearance of the Sandman too), including the first battle […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (July 1963)

Besides the first appearance of Doctor Octopus–and the Spider-Signal–there are a couple other things I noticed. First, Spider-Man’s catching bad guys at the beginning of the issue. That brief scene is the first suggestion he’s actually been out crime fighting. Second, the banter starts this issue, between him and Doctor Octopus (or am I supposed […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 1963)

Again, Lee goes an interesting route here. There’s no real introduction to the supporting cast yet–Aunt May’s in the issue, but the police chief has more effect (I don’t think Aunt May has any lines)–and Spider-Man’s still all about the benjamins. I’m not sure what rent was back in the 1960s, but he must have […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man 1 (March 1963)

Brisk doesn’t even begin to describe how fast this issue moves. Not having read it in years–but having read Ultimate Spider-Man, seen the movie, etc–I forgot Lee didn’t give up on Peter Parker trying to find a way to make a living as Spider-Man for a while (or at least this issue). It’s a neat […]

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Amazing Fantasy 15 (August 1962)

I’ve probably read the Spider-Man story from Amazing Fantasy #15 ten or fifteen times, but nothing else. It’s such a famous story, I’ll bet one could recount it panel-by-panel with some effort. I did manage to find something new this time, something I hadn’t thought about before. Lee doesn’t do anything to make Peter Parker […]

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Rom 72 (November 1985)

Oh, is Rick Jones green and fat as a superhero because he’s supposed to be “hulking out?” Mantlo never made it clear in the writing. I think I’ve tried to read Rom before and failed. This issue is better–and Rom-free–than the last one I tried. Maybe because Ditko draws the Beyonder like Gene Simmons with […]

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