Characters Appearing: Aunt May, Aunt Watson, J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
Amazing Spider-Man annual #11
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man annual #11
When i started reading this issue, i had a real sense of deja vu. It started off so familiar. Aunt May getting arrested during a Grey Panther rally...
...Peter having to use his rent money to pay for bail...
...and JJ refusing to give an advance.
Then i got to the villains of the piece and... oh hell no. This i would have remembered very clearly.
To back up a bit, Mary Jane invites Peter to watch her perform as an extra in a film about a Man-Spider. But the Man-Spider's costume interferes with the stuntman's vision, and causes an accident. Peter changes into his Spider-Man costume and rescues the stuntman.
The action results in him getting a job offer, which he needs due to the bail incident. And he smartly remembers to ask to be paid in cash. However, the costume designer is outraged by the suggestion that his costume was responsible for the accident, and he's subsequently fired. The next thing you know, we have a mysterious stranger arranging the Spider-Squad. Inside the costumes are a "strongman, acrobat, and tumbler", all previously sent to jail by Spider-Man (although we've never seen them before).
When they attack the movie set, Spider-Man knows right away to call them a Spider-Squad.
What follows is absolute nonsense...
...and the twist is that it's the movie producer, not the costume designer, that is behind the attacks.
In the end, the charges against May are dropped and the bail money is returned, so that's a wrap.
I'm still not sure why the first few pages seemed so familiar. Aunt May does have a heart attack while assaulting a different policeman during another Grey Panther rally in Amazing Spider-Man #176, so maybe that plus some very common Peter Parker tropes is what made me "remember" it so well. Or maybe i read that portion of it on a blog or something somewhere. In any event, the rest of it was certainly a unique experience.
The second story in here was John Romita Jr.'s first published work at Marvel. It's a simple story with MJ and Peter returning to the Coffee Bean setting that was used during their early college days.
There's a robbery at the coffee shop...
...and the robber turns out to be the agent of the shop's regular performing musician.
Romita's work is obviously nothing like his later stuff but it's got nice clean storytelling.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story is context free. The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #171-172, making this Grey Panther rally earlier than the one in Amazing Spider-Man #176 (and the reasoning for placement is probably due to that heart attack; Spider-Man gets an injury in #172 that isn't resolved until Aunt May's heart attack which puts her out of commission for a while).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
THAT is JRJR's first work for Marvel?! The storytelling may be okay, but the anatomy, the movement, the faces... good lord, it's horrible!
Posted by: Berend | February 19, 2015 7:24 PM
JRJr has stated several times that Al Milgrom basically saved the story.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 20, 2015 12:02 PM
The main story was originally announced as being strictly Goodwin/Perlin.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 28, 2015 4:02 PM
Colorist Nel Yomtov appears on the first page of the backup story wearing a Spider-Man shirt.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 17, 2016 11:59 AM
I halfway wondered if the three goons weren't originally intended to be the Enforcers, but I guess only Ox really fits with the abilities described in the story.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 11, 2017 4:30 PM
Comments have been disabled for the summer while i'm not around to moderate.
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