Amph Making Mine Marvel, from the beginning

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Mastadge, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I'm terrible at these hosted thread things. I get bored, or have a busy week, or fall behind for whatever reason, and leave them behind. It probably doesn't help that they tend to be ridiculously ambitious. Well, this is my most ambitious one yet.

    The Marvel universe. Comic by comic. From the beginning.

    We'll see how it goes.

    I'm starting with what seems to be the start of the modern Marvel universe. Going to take it month by month. Starting tomorrow with Issue #1 of The Fantastic Four from November 1961. I'll work my way forward, adding Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man and the Thor stories of Journey into Mystery as I get to them in 1962. Doctor Strange in Strange Tales, The Avengers and the X-Men in 1963. Daredevil and Captain America's Tales of Suspense in 1964. I want to see how the universe I know and love today came to be. I have for the most part not read these early stories. And obviously I will not be able to read everything. I have a good number of complete runs, plenty of Essentials and Omnibus editions, etc etc, but I don't think I have, for instance, Tales of Suspense #52, the first appearance of the Black Widow. I don't have any of the early Fury stuff. So if any of you have old comics and want to chip in to the conversation when we get to the month in question, I certainly welcome that.

    I'm only going to be reading books in the "616" universe. I don't care, for the sake of this little undertaking, about what-ifs, MC2, the Ultimate universe, (though that won't be an issue for the foreseeable future), or any comics that aren't part of the "Marvel Universe". If you think I'm overlooking a book that is part of the MU, please let me know! Haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do the horror books: Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, etc.

    Also, I'm going by cover date. I know a lot of Marvel comics are post-dated, and recently at least are several months off their actual release date, which is annoying, so I'm just going by cover date all the way. I'm sure I'll get the occasional comic slightly out of sequence because of this, but there's nothing for it.

    Anyway. I begin tomorrow. Come along for the ride. Or at least wish me luck.

    And Make Mine Marvel.

    Excelsior!
  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Wow, this is a really big undertaking!! How did you get copies of everything?
  3. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Way too much money spent on eBay over the years, way too many longboxes stacked in my closet. There are also some nice DVDs that have full runs of Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Cap, Iron Man, Hulk and Ghost Rider. (They were working on Thor and Daredevil when Marvel cut them off because they were starting their own, terribly inferior, digital comics project. Bah. Bastards. Those complete run DVD sets were absolutely amazing, eliminating the need for longboxes and old yellowing floppies, and the scans came complete with old ads, letters pages, pin-ups and everything, all for a reasonable price. Stupid Marvel.)
  4. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Wow. I'm here to wish you the best of luck with this undertaking. Oh, and to say Iron Fist rocks my socks. I'll follow along when I can! :D
  5. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    Wow, good luck with all this. Personally, I have trouble going back and reading Golden Age or Silver Age comics. I just can't seem to get through them.
  6. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    That's why I'm doing it one-per-day in this format rather than sustained read-throughs. There are some gems, but there's also a lot of wonky comics science and real clunkers when it comes to plots and villains and old, all-ages dialogue. It definitely takes me at least three times as long to read one of these as it does to read most new comics.
  7. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Fantastic Four #1
    "The Fantastic Four!"
    November 1961
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    [image=http://www.historyguy.com/comicshistory/ffv1%231.jpg]

    Reed launches a flare that writes The Fantastic Four! across the sky. We're introduced to the others as they see the signal and rendezvous with Reed. And then we flashback to the origin story:

    Reed Richards, his fiancee Susan Storm, her younger brother Johnny Storm and pilot Ben Grimm hijack a spaceship Reed built, despite Ben's objections that not enough is known about the effects of cosmic rays, and launch into space, where they enter the "cosmic storm area". The cosmic rays are tangible enough that they can be heard hitting the ship's hull but the impacts can't be felt by the crew. Things go awry, they crashland, and discover their powers. They agree that they have to use their powers for the betterment of mankind. End flashback.

    Reed's noticed that something is destroying atomic plants around the globe. Exactly between the places that have been hit lies Monster Isle! So there the Fantastic Four head, and there they discover the Mole Man! His plan: to wreck every source of earthly power, and then invade the surface world with his subterranean creatures. So the Fantastic Four stop him, sealing him underground, and he destroys the island.

    ------------------------

    Dr. Reed Richards -- Boy does this guy have an ego. Everyone else selects their names based on their transformations. Not this guy. He's not Mr. Elastic or Stretchman or anything. No, he's Mister Fantastic! I guess he's earned it, though, given his genius. He's also tough. He's snatches a missile out of the air. He restrains The Thing without breaking a sweat.
    Ben Grimm -- This is far before his modern wisecrackin' self. He's just bitter and confrontational. Funny thing is, it's not just a result of his transformation: he was a jerk from the start. And as the thing, he seems utterly unconcerned with property damage: even when there's not an immediate threat, he seems to have no worries about knocking holes in buildings or tearing up streets to get where he's going. His appearance is a lot more lumpen than it will be.
    Susan Storm -- The Invisible Girl. I'm sure there have been plenty of graduate papers written on the significance of the woman's power being to turn invisible, and that she chooses to be known as girl rather than woman.
    Johnny Storm -- The Human Torch. Not as much the hothead as he is today. Doesn't have a huge amount to do in this issue. Also unconcerned with damage. He's working on a car at a service station when he sees the signal. Rather than getting out, he flames on in the car, slagging it on his way. Wow.

    The Mole Man -- Now this guy is awesome. He wasn't originally bent on world domination or anything. His only problem was that he was ugly. Couldn't get a job, couldn't get a woman, was mocked by peers. So he struck out to find "a new world...the legendary land at the center of the earth!" And he found it, and found himself stranded there, but nevertheless mastered its creatures, "learned" to sense things in the dark, developed a warning "radar sense". He's fast and agile. He'd be a good Spider-Man foe. Too bad he's such a joke.

    This opening issue oddly chooses a conflict completely out of the public eye. They face a subterranean enemy and defeat him in the middle of nowhere. There are various oddities: the armed forces fire a missile armed with a nuclear warhead over New York. Johnny seems surprised that fighter jets don't listen to him when he's speaking to them from the air. I love that there's a "spaceport at the edge of town". The Fantastic Four have a small private jet -- where did they get their funding, since they're not celebrities yet? It's also completely awesome how, when they get their powers, they go from a big fight to an abrupt agreement to use their powers to help mankind.

    Not so awesome is Lee's amazing use of exclamations. Gets pretty annoying by issue's end.

    Anyway, not a terrific issue, to my taste. Very interesting to take a look at how the origin sto
  8. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    [face_laugh] =D= Wow! Great commentary! I'm really not a big Fantastic Four fan, but this waaaay older stuff is just hilarious, as you've keenly identified.
    Most of these older comics don't deal with realism very well, indeed. Destroying all of New York City was usually par for the weekly course in the Marvel universe. [face_laugh] Not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Some modern comics seem to be bogged down by political philosophy and stuff that tends to run on the boring side if dwelt upon. Sometimes it's just nice to see a feel-good comic with no concern for damage like ol' Johnny or Ben. Character development and evolution? Bah! Let's just save the day every issue and be done! :cool:

    Great analysis! I'm looking forward to more!

    Trikes
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Fantastic Four #2
    "The Fantastic Four Meet the Skrulls from Outer Space!"
    January 1962
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    [image=http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/thumb/6/6a/Fantastic_Four_2.jpg/300px-Fantastic_Four_2.jpg]

    This issue is way more awesome than #1. For one thing, with no explanation, the F4 have become celebrities. Everyone knows who they are. I wonder what they did after issue one to get into the public eye.

    Anyway, this issue involves the first Skrull would-be invasion. There's a Skrull fleet waiting to invade the Earth, but they've sent down a small squad to eliminate the Fantastic Four -- at this point, Earth's only heroes -- first. Instead of engaging directly, the Skrulls decide, with their shapeshifting powers and advanced technology, to masquerade as the F4, terrorizing people until the people turn on their heroes.

    When the F4, conveniently away in an isolated hunting lodge, hear the news, Johnny's already familiar with the formula: "Reed will figure out what to do, and then we'll take care of them, I'll bet!" (A bit of exposition also reveals that their flight in issue 1 was intended to be to Mars. . .) But before that can happen, the military takes the F4 captive, and we see the first of those heroes-escaping-from-cells-designed-to-hold-them scenes that are such a cliche now. There's a scene where Reed pushes through a tiny hole. Is he still quite that fluid? Anyway, the F4 escape, and decide to confront their imitators. Johnny acts as a terrorist, and the other Skrulls mistake him for one of them, revealing themselves (and uttering the wonderful line, "Stop him! He has a flare gun!"), and the F4 take them down.

    But there's still the matter of the ship (or fleet, it's not quite clear) in orbit. The F4 take the Skrull landing vessel, go to the mothership, and convince the Skrulls that Earth's too dangerous by showing them pictures of Earth's "defenders" clipped from Strange Tales and Journey into Mystery! They go further and say that they will return to Earth, sacrificing themselves to remove any trace of the Skrulls from Earth. The Skrull commander awards them for their bravery and departs.

    The F4 return to Earth, where they are confronted by the police, whom they show the Skrulls to exonerate themselves. Not wanting to kill the Skrulls, They have them transform into cows, and then hypnotize them to forget their previous identities and leaving them grazing in peaceful perpetuity. . .

    -----------------------------------------------

    What a gleefully silly issue. It's a shame the Skrulls are just slightly more threatening now than they were then!

    This is the first time we see Ben returning to human form, only to revert back. How many times do you suppose that's happened to him over the years?

    I find it interesting that at this early stage Reed still has to "become" Mr. Fantastic. He's not perpetually stretchy. He has to turn it on.

    And the Torch can't flame up in his cell until he uncovers the air vent. I assume his cell was not a vacuum beforehand. . .

    Skrulls!
  10. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Wow, this is an awesome undertaking -- but I'm so glad you're sharing it with us.
  11. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Transformed into cows? Srsly? LOL. Great stuff.
  12. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Fantastic Four #3
    "The Menace of the Miracle Man"
    by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
    March 1963

    [image=http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/fantastic-four/3-1.jpg]

    The Miracle Man, who seems to be the only person on Earth with more power than the F4, informs (of all people!) the police commissioner of his intent to take over the world (with a note that reads: "I, the Miracle Man, declare war on the whole human race! I intend to conquer the Earth!"). He pretty much beats the crap out of the F4 while stealing an atomic tank, before Reed realizes that his only power is mass hypnosis. Johnny flares up, ruining his hypnosis, and the threat's over. But Johnny's sick of the infighting and leaves the team!

    ---------------------

    Lousy, lousy villain. But we have our first real Ben/Johnny fight, which is good. We see several firsts with read: he becomes a bouncing ball, and when a car loses a tire, he surrounds the wheel and acts as a replacement. It's Sue, naturally, who comes up with the costumes, which we see here for the first time (and which Ben promptly complains about). We also see for the first time the Fantasti-Car. Kind of odd that Reed's immediate reaction to Johnny leaving is not concern for his friend, but worry about what will happen to mankind if Johnny turns against them. We get here yet another recap of the origin story. I hope they don't repeat that too many more times. Still, not a bad issue -- I think I'm getting the hang of the sixties writing.
  13. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    Impossible, without resorting to "other" means. But I'm sure you have enough.

    Request: Highlights from the letters pages (not sure when they came around). What people where thinking/enjoying back then.
  14. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    When I'm working from Essentials, letters pages will be impossible. When from Omnibus, DVD or floppies, I'll do my best.
  15. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Speaking of which, what else should I be looking out for? Anything in particular people want to hear me ramble about with regards to these old comics?
  16. Zebra3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2004
    star 5
    I'd rather like to hear about the shape of the panels and how they progress over time. When did they first start really drawing 'out of the box?' I'm not sure why I find that interesting but as I was reading through my Essential Iron Man volumes I loved watching the art and how it was positioned on the page become much more dynamic.
  17. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'm curious about some of the old ads. There's got to be some stuff in there that's unintentionally hilarious.
  18. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    Interesting undertaking. I wonder how far you will get. I am trying something similar with strictly Spider-Man (read the entire chronology from beginning to end, including relevant spin-offs crossovers and appearances) but I am finding it difficult enough to try to make my way through the earliest material. Some of its fascinating, but some of its incredibly boring (even for a Spider-Nerd like me). :p I am, however, amused by the various problems and such (Peter Palmer?? :p ), especially when you can see Stan Lee trying to feel out the story. I will be intrigued to compare notes when you get to Spidey. ;)
  19. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I'm getting to Amazing Fantasy #15 today, and Amazing #1 probably within the next week.

    Over the last year I built up complete runs of Spectaculer, Marvel Team-Up, Sensational, Spider-Man, etc, and was going to do what I'm doing, one "family" at a time -- just the Avengers stuff, then just the Spidey, then just the X-Men, etc, but this way seemed a little more interesting, and seemed more likely to shake things up if there was a bad run on a particular title that I was having trouble getting through.
  20. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Fantastic Four #4
    "The Coming of the Sub-Mariner!"
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    May 1962

    [image=http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/fantastic-four/4-1.jpg]

    Picking up where #3 left off, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl and Thing are looking for the Torch who, fed up with the infighting, has left the team. Thing finds Torch, but then inexplicably reverts to human form. Torch escapes, Thing reverts. Torch goes to a men's hotel, where he finds a beardy amnesiac fellow with inhuman strength. Shaving the guy with his flame, he discovers it's the long lost Namor, the Sub-Mariner. To help Namor recover his memory, he drops him in the sea. Namor does recover his memory and full strength, but finds his city destroyed, his people gone, as the result of human atomic testing, and he swears vengeance against the surface world. He awakens Giganto, a massive leviathan, to attack the city; Thing straps a nuke to his back, goes into Giganto, and deploys the weapon, dispatching the beast. Namor attempts to rally more sea-monsters, but is stopped by the Invisible Girl, whom he sees and is promptly smitten with. He gives her a choice: marry him and he'll spare the world. Torch flames on, creates a giant cyclone that sucks up Giganto and Namor and dumps them in the sea. Namor swears he'll be back.

    --------------------------

    Ben randomly reverting to humanity? Srsly?

    This marks the first introduction of a golden age character into the modern Marvel canon. It's remarkable how little Namor has changed over the years (though in these old stories, his speedo is red not green). It's also incredible how thoughtless these people still are. In the search for the Torch, Reed yanks a guy off a moving motorcycle to ask if he's seen him. No thought for the guy's bike or the guy's health. And then he just leaves the guy behind when he doesn't know anything! Ben breaks things left and right. Doesn't worry about property damage at all.

    Giganto looks more sad than menacing.

    From the fan page: the pre-no-prize. A reader asks how, when Sue picks up something, it becomes invisible too. The response: "let's make a CONTEST out of it! We'll give $5.00 to the reader who sends in the best explanation." Pretty cool.
  21. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Incredible Hulk #1
    "The Coming of the Hulk"
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    May 1962

    [image=http://www.comicsinaflash.com/Incredible%20Hulk%201.jpg]

    And the origin story. Dr. Bruce Banner is working on a "G-Bomb", which is about to be tested when a kid drives into the test area. Banner runs out there, knocks the kid into the safety trench, but then the bomb goes off and he's irradiated. He miraculously survives, but when the sun goes down, he turns into the Hulk and goes on a rampage, followed by the teenaged Rick Jones, whose life he'd saved. He instinctively heads toward his home, which is being ransacked by Igor, a commie spy. He beats up Igor, but then the sun comes up, he reverts to Banner, and Igor is arrested. Igor sends a message from a hidden transmitter about the Hulk; the Gargoyle, the most feared man in Asia, answers the call. He's a genius and a monster, transformed by his own work on bombs. He comes to America to kill or capture the Hulk. He does capture Hulk and Rick, and returns to Asia, but upon crossing into daylight Hulk reverts to Banner. He says he's seen cases like the Gargoyle's, and that he can return him to human form, but he'll no longer be a genius. Gargoyle's okay with that. He'd rather be human. They revert him to humanity, he sends them back to America, sacrificing himself in the process. Meanwhile, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, in charge of the base where Banner's working, vows to bring in the Hulk.

    -----------------------------

    This origin story hasn't changed a whole lot, but the Hulk has. In this early issue, he was grey not green. He was also changed not by anger, but by nightfall, reverting to Banner at daybreak. When he changed, he could still speak, he was just no longer a genius. It still amazes me how in these origins all the elements are introduced in one issue. The origin, Thunderbolt Ross, the love interest in the General's daughter, Betty. The sidekick/conscience Rick Jones. The first enemy, who is beaten by the human side of the Hulk rather than the monstrous side, by compassion rather than violence.

    I've never been a big fan of the Hulk, but this origin issue was far more appealing to me than F4 #1 was.
  22. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Fantastic Four #5
    "Prisoners of Doctor Doom!"
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    July 1962

    [image=http://www.teako170.com/ff17.jpg]

    And here we have the introduction of the F4 archnemesis Doctor Doom, Reed's old schoolmate, a brilliant scientist who dabbled in the forbidden and injured himself in an experiment. Disfigured and expelled, he left for Tibet in search "forbidden secrets of black magic and sorcery". And now -- he's back. He traps the F4 in their building, and takes Sue hostage to keep the others under control. He takes them all back to his castle, from where he uses his time machine to send the three men back in time to recover Blackbeard's treasure chest. Through a strange turn of events, it turns out that the Thing, in disguise, is Blackbeard, and ends up leading a ship. They get his treasure chest, but Reed dumps the treasure overboard and fills it with chains -- Doom only specified that he wanted the chest, not its contents. Thing wants to stay behind where he's accepted, but a storm comes up, foils his plans. They go back to the future, where Doom finds of their duplicity, and he sucks the air out of their room -- but Sue sabotages his plans, opens the door and saves the day. Doom disappears by way of a jetpack, and the F4 vow to track him down and stop him.

    ---------------------

    First appearance of Doom, first Doombot.

    I am curious about Ben. He's apparently buoyant enough to swim, and not so heavy that people don't notice anything amiss when the F4 are taken captive. . . Also, Mr. Fantastic's powers seem to be changing. Whereas at the beginning he could escape a military prison by pushing through a tiny rivet, here Thing has him wrapped up in a sail and he can't get out. Odd.

    For the first time the Ben/Johnny bickering seems more good humored than actual outright hostility.

    From the letters page: the comic is 12 cents: one fan writes in asking for it to be 25 cents! Marvel only wishes fans would be so happy about the price hikes today!
  23. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The Incredible Hulk #2
    "The Terror of the Toad Men!"
    by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    July 1962

    [image=http://www.comicscardsandmore.com/comics/hulk2.JPG]

    Banner and Rick find a subterranean cave that they're going to try to seal the Hulk into each night behind 10 feet of concrete. As they go one evening to test it, the alien Toad Men identify Banner via their magnetic tech (in these days, magnetism was the big thing -- anything that needed to be immensely powerful was not atomic or gravitic but magnetic) as the smartest man on Earth, and kidnap him to get him to disclose how advanced Earth is technologically. They take him up onto their ship, where he turns into the Hulk. Meanwhile, Ross detects the ship, and launches missiles to bring it down. It crashes, the Toad Men escape, Hulk reverts to Banner, and Ross finds Banner on the ship, and assumes he was a traitor, piloting the ship by himself. (Not a very bright one, I guess.) But then the Toad Men send the signal to the rest of their fleet, which invades Earth! Banner becomes Hulk again, and kidnaps Betty, but then day comes on, and he becomes Banner and learns of the invasion. He first the Gamma Ray gun at the alien fleet, and the Gamma Ray reverses the alien magnetic technology, sending the fleet off into space. Banner is exonerated but Ross still doesn't trust him.

    -------------------------

    Hulk is now, and now has always been, green -- it just looks better on the page than gray. Still nocturnal Hulk. I wonder when it shifts to anger-based. Also, while I don't much care for alien fleet stories, I still like this more than the earliest F4. This, by the way, is the second major alien fleet threatening the earth since I started. The Skrulls, and now the Toad Men. The Stone Men from Saturn come next month!

    I don't know when the idea of a "shared universe" comes together, but I guess the reason the Toad Men picked up on Banner rather than Reed as the smartest man, and the reason the F4 didn't respond to this threat, is that while the Toad Men were invading the F4 were probably back in time working for Doom. Or is Banner smarter than Richards?
  24. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Journey into Mystery #83
    Thor the Mighty! and "The Stone Men from Saturn!"
    Plot: Stan Lee, script: Larry Lieber, art: Jack Kirby
    August 1962

    [image=http://www.virtualcomicartcon.com/0150b.gif]

    Dr. Don Blake is on vacation in Norway when a vanguard force of the Stone Men from Saturn invades. He hides in a cave, but the only other exit is blocked by a giant stone. He can't move it, but he finds an old gnarled stick in the cave. He tries to level the rock, but can't, and hits it with the stick, which transforms into a hammer (inscribed "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of . . . Thor"), and transforms him into Thor. He learns about his powers -- how to call storms and stop them, how to revert to Don Blake, how his Hammer will always come back to him, how to "fly" by throwing his hammer, then catching its thong and letting it pull him along, etc. He fights the Stone Men and their invading force, and they flee before his power.

    ----------------------

    Rather dull origin. A heavyweight hero, but the Stone Men are boring villains, and the introduction is far too straightforward rather than integrated into the story. Still, of all the original Avengers, I feel like I know the least of Thor, so I'm glad to be reading these stories.

    By the way, most of the heroes who would be Avengers are being introduced in Journey into Mystery, Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, etc, anthology titles, so each story is shorter. The reason for this is that the artists of the time, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, etc, were so busy that they didn't have time to do full length stories for every hero.
  25. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Amazing Fantasy #15
    "Spider-Man!"
    by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
    August 1962

    [image=http://www.samruby.com/AmazingFantasy/Large/AmazingFantasy15.jpg]

    Peter Parker, high-school science geek. Lives with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Bitten by radioactive spider, gains spider powers. Wrestles for money. Becomes a bit of a television celebrity. Lets a thief get away, because, aside from his aunt and uncle, he looks out only for himself. Days pass. His uncle, murdered. The murderer: the thief. Spider-Man delivers him to the police, having learned that with great power comes great responsibility.

    --------------------

    They thought Spider-Man wouldn't sell. Hence his introduction in the final issue of a canceled title: they weren't risking anything by having a bug character. Little did they know!

    Uncle Ben never says "With great power comes great responsibility."

    I'd always thought the whole escaped thief murder thing happens in the course of one day. Didn't realize that originally it was over the course of days or weeks.

    This is the first book I've read not illustrated by Kirby. I like Ditko's style much better than Kirby's.

    A much more compelling debut than Thor's the same month.
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