Amazing Spider-Man #100-102
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #100, Amazing Spider-Man #101, Amazing Spider-Man #102
After blowing off both a date with Gwen and a photo assignment from the Daily Bugle, Peter contacts Dr. Curt Connors and asks for permission to use his lab as Southampton. But when he gets there, he finds the building is already occupied by a "vampire" named Morbius.
Then Connors, curious about the request from Spider-Man, shows up as well, and promptly turns into the Lizard.
Spidey gets knocked out and then the Lizard and Morbius fight for the right to kill him. Morbius wins, and bites Lizard, but Spider-Man recovers and chases Morbius away. However, the bite causes the Lizard to somehow retain Connor's personality.
Reasoning (somehow) that Morbius' blood will both restore Connor's and remove Peter's extra arms. After an extracted search and fight, Spider-Man manages to get what he wants but Morbius apparently drowns (leading to a Roy Thomas clunker: Peter says, "Things: Somehow, we always manage to hold on to things while men sink, doomed, around us!"). The cure works, of course.
Morbius has just arrived after a sea voyage in which he killed all the seamen...
...and prior to that, his best friend. He had leukemia, and he cured himself through a combination of electricity and vampire bats.
Interesting note in Marvel Selects #2:
In creating... Morbius, Thomas and Kane also took Marvel's first modern step into the horror genre. In the 1950s comic books had been accused of causing juvenile delinquency... In response, the comics industry established the Comics Code Authority, which banned horror comics. By the early 1970s, the furur against horror comics had died, and thus Morbius debuted in 1971. Note, however, that Morbius is presented not as a "real" supernatural vampire but as a "living vampire", a human being who was mutated into a creature with attributes resembling those of a vampire.... In the following year, under a modified Comics Code, Marvel launched a line of horror comics, starting with Tomb of Dracula.
Roy Thomas is a terrible writer. His Gwen Stacy is a helpless sobbing idiot, and his writing is just sooooo melodramatic.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #251, Marvel Selects: Spider-Man #2, Marvel Selects: Spider-Man #3
Inbound References (10): show
Roy Thomas has said in interviews that he didn't want to write this title(he's never liked Spider-Man that much)and only did so because Stan requested it.
The extra-large issue(#102) is that way because publisher Martin Goodman decided to pull a fast one on DC. He increased the size of the books with more original material for 25 cents, and DC quickly followed suit, but with reprints. After one issue of each title(two for some, and zero for others) Goodman switched again and went to standard size, but for a 20 cent price. DC took months to counter this, so comics fans ended up giving Marvel's 20-cent books the leading market share from DC's reprint-filled 25-centers. This was the first time Marvel took the sales lead from DC, and DC spent several years sputtering and scrambling trying to reclaim it.
According to John Romita in Back Issue #69, Gil Kane's initial sketch gave Spider-Man 4 arms and 4 legs.
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