Back to back Doc Ock! First one he helps Blackie (who is owed money by Betty Brant’s brother, Bennett) escape but is foiled by Spider-Man. They both get away from the police. Bennett is murdered accidentally by Blackie in the fight with Spider-Man and Pete can’t reveal his secret.
Ock captures Betty and Spidey is too weak to save her, defeated and unmasked, but since he didn’t put up a fight nobody thinks it *really* was Spider-Man. The rematch goes badly for Ock and he is captured.
Kind of a happy ending, although Betty has some Spidey issues.
Weird issue. Betty Brant has some issue so she runs away. Pete gets involved with the Enforcers by getting himself intentionally captured to find the hideout (and the Big Man) and then escaping and fighting as Spider-Man. At the end of the issue the police arrest Frederick Foswell as the Big Man. That was weird. I like the idea that a major crime boss will immediately find out that a high school kid knows his secret identity so he sends goons out to kidnap him.
First Doc Ock. Impressed by the characterization of Ock. It’s amazing that his character remained true for 50 years. Same for Sandman in 4, although not nearly to the same degree. A little more of ‘fun’ Spider-Man.
Strange Tales Annual: First two pages, Spidey is framed! Next seven pages, Spidey fights Torch to convince him he’s innocent. Last few pages, they catch the Fox using mostly Spider-Sense. I’d actually never read this comic and it was nice to see the first time Johnny and Pete became friends.
Great ending, really hard to get into middle. The whole bit about Peter “borrowing” and getting caught seemed (again) forced and hard to believe. But at the end, the conversation with Aunt May and the redevotion to being Spidey made 1.5 fun to read.
Two stories: The Vulture (defeated with anti-magnetic inverter of some sort) and an alien invasion (The Tinkerer) defeated with good old fashioned fisticuffs.
Peter sells pictures to Jameson and pays the rent for a year!
I’d forgotten how crazy these original stories were. They imply a lot of Spidey adventures that haven’t been shown (when Spider-Man taunts the aliens that others had tried to pileon him and beat him with force of numbers), so maybe there really is a place for the upcoming Untold Tales comics. I’ve read them but don’t really remember them so we’ll see. I usually like Busiek.
This was where I started having Learning to Crawl issues. I didn’t like the cover (I tend not to like Ross Spider-Man covers), mostly due to the color. The story itself of Clash seemed forced and needy. The principal and counselor at the school didn’t feel like real characters, and I guess it felt more like a Spider-Man fanfic story than a real Spider-Man story, which is always the danger with these kinds of things.
I liked Learning to Crawl 1.1 a lot more in rereading it than I did when it first came out. It’s a nice companion to the early stories. Amazing 1 is such a wild story with Spider-Man saving a rocket and then saving missile defense plans.