Spider Man

Unearthed: Amazing Spider-Man #1, Part 2

My apologies for the delay, True Believers! Today we’re finishing up Amazing Spider-Man #1, which features both the Fantastic Four and the Chameleon!

Steve Ditko’s take on the FF is a little different than Jack Kirby’s. It’s a little uneven, a little weird. But let’s give some love to Ditko’s amazing hands. Nobody does ’em like him!

It’s in the NAME, Petey. You think they’re gonna get rid of one of their number just to have you? This surmise is officially the most fantastical thing about this whole issue.

Here’s how the FF are always portrayed: Mister Fantastic doing some kind of experiment, the Thing being the butt of the Torch’s prank, and the Invisible Girl just kind of hanging out. Clearly, unless she’s shopping, Stan Lee doesn’t know what to do with a woman.

THAT’S going to stop someone determined to break in, Reed? Guilt?

I love that this was the bit that really captured Stan Lee’s imagination: the proportionate strength of a spider. Do we know that spiders are strong? It’s ants that are historically known to be strong relative to their size.

But even then, shouting out the word ‘proportionately’ isn’t a fear-inducing move.

Psst… Sue. The rope isn’t invisible, so you being invisible yourself isn’t really doing much. But wow, your lassoing skills are amazing.

Of all the things Reed can do with his body, this is one of the funniest.

I can’t shake the image here that Ben’s just a guy in a Thing suit. I think it’s the eye. Also, this whole thing about scientific research is the thing that’s been missing from all the FF movie adaptations. In my mind, the Fantastic Four is about exploration into weird places and committing superscience. Without that, they’re a not-quite-as-interesting superhero team as the Avengers or X-Men.

Anyway, here’s the Chameleon, with his weird goggles that never get explained.

Reminiscent of Game of Thrones, with the Hall of Masks or whatever it’s called. Arya stuff. You know.

Also, what’s up with this guy? That weird mouth slit is creepy as hell. Why’s he got this full-head mask on at home? What the hell are the goggles for?

And then the goggles finally come off and he’s got these weird eye slits. Or are those his eyes? Do we ever find out?

Here’s a weird one. Spider-Man’s spider sense never works this way in any future comic, as far as I know. But it does here.

Did he make that web gun? Did he buy it somewhere? There’s so much that Lee just never bothers to get into.

Yeah, again, NOT how spider sense works. I get that Stan Lee invented the character, but why introduce things like this and then never show them again?

The mask, the goggles, the vest… THAT’S a look.

How ironic this statement appears now, in 2020.

Peter, no! If you don’t help now, the Chameleon will just escape and murder your uncle! Oh wait, that’s already happened. Okay, you’re good.

This is when I remember that Peter’s a teenager. The DRAMAAAAAAAAAAA

Okay. It’s comics, sure. But even then, he can’t possibly be making some of these things without some kind of structural underpinning. A shield? Skis? A raft?

I love getting indignant about things that don’t really matter!

And there you have it: Amazing Spider-Man #1! Join us next Monday for something completely different!