Spider Man

Unearthed: Amazing Spider-Man #1, Part 1

Welcome back, True Believers! Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 (which was to be the final issue of that series), but he proved to be so popular he got his own series. Here it is:

Nothing like a boost from an already-successful series to bring extra eyeballs. Note: this cover was drawn by Jack Kirby, but Steve Ditko did the interior art. On we go!

Fresh off the murder of his beloved Uncle Ben, Peter laments that he was “too late to save him”. Really, it’s more that he failed to stop the burglar who later took Ben’s life when he had the chance. Kind of weird that Lee words it this way.

This is a sad scene, but if the landlord’s already after May to pay the rent, were they living hand-to-mouth? Were they late every month?

Pete momentarily considers a life of crime, but rejects it out of hand because he’s such a nice boy. This will prove to be ironic later this very issue.

There are a couple of ways around this that a science nerd like Pete should have been able to figure out. But it does point up an interesting aspect of superheroing that would be fun to explore in more depth.

Why does the clerk look like he was drawn by Dr. Seuss?

Jameson goes a little overboard with this stance over the years, but initially, hey, he’s not wrong.

Really, the rule of law means nothing in the Marvel universe. Just like ours! OOH TOPICAL

Note: at this time, there was no Avengers comic. And as difficult as it may be to imagine, Ant-Man was popular.

Poor Aunt May! Desperate for cash, she’s managed to find her way to a card sharp from the 1800s! Look at those sleeve bands!

In this panel, the role of the policeman is played by Peter Sellers.

Why in the hell is the guidance package 1) on the outside of the craft, and 2) so poorly designed that it breaks loose while the craft simply does what it’s supposed to do?

Jeepers creepers, Jonah, he’s offering to HELP! Take it down a notch.

So they didn’t bother to radio ahead and warn the guards he was coming?

I love Stan Lee’s willful ignorance of the laws of physics. There’s no got-damn way Spider-Man could stand erect on a jet plane like this, super-strength or not. Even opening the hatch would cause all kinds of havoc. But hey: comics, huh?

A super-light strand of webbing… forcing its way through incredible wind resistance… hitting a target traveling at hundreds of miles an hour… from a jet also traveling at hundreds of miles an hour PERPENDICULAR to the first craft… yeah.

Oh NOW you want to talk physics, Stan?

So there was no lid or anything? What was it, a screw-in? Then how — you know what, I’ll just shut up now.

This panel, and the ones to come, display Lee’s ability to REALLY let Peter have it. It’s gonna get ugly, y’all.

I’ve left out the panel in which people on the street are seen commenting how much of a menace Spider-Man is.

Even AUNT MAY is against him! Holy cats, Stan, stop the madness! What’ll happen next? Tune in on Wednesday for the second half of Amazing Spider-Man #1 to find out!