Amazing Spider-Man #182-183
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #182, Amazing Spider-Man #183
...i'm not reviewing this.
...oh fine! I'll tell you two more things. First, the Big Wheel got his equipment from the Tinkerer, and we get to see the Tinkerer pull his strange boy toy out of his box.
Second, Peter proposes to Mary Jane in issue #182, and she rejects him in #183.
But that's it! Let us never speak of these issues again.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc ends on a cliffhanger. Someone is in Peter Parker's apartment. It'll turn out to be Betty Brant. Normally, since issue #183 ends on a cliffhanger, i would include issue #184 in this entry, but i'm breaking the rule in order to quarantine the Rocket Racer/Big Wheel story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
Marv Wolfman's nearly two-year run on Amazing Spider-Man is, in my opinion, completely frustrating. It's almost as though Wolfman totally forgot that he has super-strength and as a result, he constantly gets taken down by ordinary thugs--something even Gerry Conway at his worst never inflicted on us.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 17, 2011 6:03 PM
Why does everyone bag on Big Wheel?
Granted, he is absurd, but people can say that about a lot of characters.
Big Wheel has a crazy, unmistakable visual even 30 years later.
He is far more memorable than, say, Lightmaster. He is also not a contrived metaphor to prove one of Steve Englehart's political points, like Mad Dog. He is not one of Roy Thomas's horrible, continuity-laden superfluities, like the Liberty Legion.
I realize that I'm not really helping my argument, since I am comparing Big Wheel to some of the worst characters ever created. But I guess I'm challenging the assertion that he is uniquely bad.
Posted by: James N. | August 28, 2011 9:56 AM
FOOM#20 stated that Wolfman wanted to use Will-O-The-Wisp and Stegron eventually, but he never did.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2013 6:57 PM
The Big Wheel vehicle will change hands a few times over the years.
It was recently used in Superior Spider-Man as a getaway vehicle by Overdrive for their poor man's Sinister Six (something that was considered overkill by one of his teammates.)
But before that, it was aquired by Rocket Racer and put to use during Modok's 11. Rocket Racer driving Big Wheel!! :D
Seems to be a thing for Big Wheel being used by supervillain groups who end up with their own book, eh? Why, its almost as if you could just base a whole book around one particular aspect...
Posted by: Max_Spider | September 12, 2013 11:51 AM
Big Wheel would later show up as a boss in Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace for the Game Boy Advance for some reason.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | September 20, 2014 7:58 PM
IIRC, Tinkerer says that the Whell was adapted from some other customer's order. I wonder if it was revealed or hinted who would that be?
My only guess is that it might be a reference to the Blackhawk's old nemesis, the War Wheel.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 17, 2015 8:02 PM
I don't know, the A-plot is garbage but doesn't the proposal/rejection storyline warrant at least a 2 for historical significance?
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | June 20, 2015 12:23 PM
I don't think so, gfsdf gfbd. The rejected marriage proposal in itself didn't necessarily lead to anything. Sometimes, a good check on my historical rating is the number of Inbound References, and you can see for this issue that there aren't that many, and most of the ones that exist are about Big Wheel or the Tinkerer. The one link from the build-up to the actual marriage was just me pointing it out, it wasn't referenced from the comic. I'm not saying that's the only criteria but in this case i don't see that this proposal led to anything except some short term churn. Peter and MJ were already established to have an on-again-off-again relationship.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 21, 2015 11:41 AM
Fair enough. Thanks for the feedback!
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | June 21, 2015 1:17 PM
As Luis hints above, Wolfman says he was inspired here by the Blackhawks' War Wheel. He went on to say the Big Wheel fits with Spider-Man because "a true Spider-Man villain does not have super powers." Wolfman says he tried to make "gimmick villains" to emulate these, such as Doc Ock had arms, the Goblin flying bats + other things, the Vulture mechanical wings, and "even Electro was a guy who wore a harness that had to be recharged." He continues: "With the exception of the Sandman, I can't think of an early Spider-Man villain that had real super powers and not some kind of gimmick." ...And neither can I, if you miss out Lizard, Scorpion, Molten Man, Kraven, Rhino, robots, spider slayers, Looter, a guy named Joe... :)
Posted by: Jonathan | June 29, 2015 5:46 PM
@ fnord12: I do believe they were in fact exclusive at the time. Not on again off again.
Posted by: Al | December 14, 2015 11:28 PM
Al, my point to gfsdf gfbd, in the context of the historical significance rating, was that Peter and MJ were already established as love interests with ups and downs. MJ and Gwen were rivals for Peter's attention before Gwen died, there was a big break-up between Peter and MJ circa Amazing Spider-Man #151-156, etc.. So i didn't think that the proposal here merited an increased historical significance because it doesn't lead directly to the eventual wedding in the 80s. As i mentioned, it wasn't even referenced at that time. But yes, they weren't seeing other people at the time that Peter proposed to MJ here.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 15, 2015 8:20 AM
@fnord12: I think it warrants maybe a 2. whilst it doesn't lead to their wedding it does lead to the beginning of the end of their relationship and this first proposal is an underlying aspect of their relationship going forward, explained later as tying into MJ's major character development as well as her knowledge of his secret identity.
Additionally it was referenced perhaps not every issue but in several issues following her rejection.
Posted by: Al | December 23, 2015 8:56 PM
Jackson Weele will later pop up during the 3rd volume of Spider-Man Unlimited and make sporadic appearances since then while his counterpart in Spider-Man: The Animated Series not only has a gang of high-tech thieves working for him, but he's a lot more effective and dangerous in using his vehicle properly.
Posted by: D09 | August 25, 2016 3:51 PM
I think i just couldn't bring myself to list him as a character, but i've done so now. :-) Thanks D09.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 25, 2016 3:57 PM
Just about the only thing in this story worth a darn is the Tinkerer's dialogue when Weele comes to him as a client; Wolfman makes Tinkerer seem like a "seen-it-all" type: "Ah yes, I see; 'Vengeance is mine!'" and "Do you have any particular motif in mind?"
You can just about picture how exasperated Tink must get with all the wannabe villains and loons in costumes he has for customers.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 15, 2017 7:00 PM
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