Amazing Spider-Man #12
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #12
Review/plot: This issue supports one of my pet theories about super villains in the Marvel Universe. Whenever you read about a super villain in a comic book, they wind up losing. They have to (i guess), because if they win even once, the hero(es) of the book would be dead and there would be no more book. But every villain after a while starts to build up a track record that makes them look like losers who are too stupid to know when to quit. So my theory is that the villains are mostly successful pulling off small crimes all over the country, and it's only when they try to pull off their biggest schemes near New York City where the majority of the super-heroes live that they get defeated (Los Angeles is also off limits due to The Pride).
In this issue, Doc Ock is on a huge crime spree throughout the country, gathering cash that will eventually be used to fund his future schemes, but he's also expecting Spider-Man to come after him. When he doesn't, he heads back to NYC for a rematch.
Meanwhile, Peter is coming down with a 24 hour virus. Doc Ock kidnaps Betty from the Daily Bugle, reasoning that if Spidey recently rescued her in Philadelphia he will likely try to come to her aid again. He does, but his virus has somehow wiped out his super-powers*, leading to an easy defeat and an unmasking, also observed by Betty, JJ, and a cop. When they see that it is Parker under the mask, they all assume that it is not really Spider-Man; it's just Peter dressed as Spider-Man to try and rescue Betty. Doc Ock assumes the real Spider-Man was scared off by the cops and he flees.
This is stupid. The guy who mysteriously gets impossible-to-get photos of Spider-Man (and *only* Spider-Man related photos) is seen fighting Doctor Octopus in a Spider-Man costume, and neither the police nor the publisher of a newspaper even consider the possibility that he is in fact Spider-Man? It's impossible to believe.
Anyway, the kids at school are impressed with Peter - especially Liz Allan who has been slowly taking an interest in him anyway. Having got his powers back after he gets better, Spidey goes after Doc Ock again, and after a long and difficult battle in a burning studio, Octavius is defeated and captured by the police.
A decent issue marred badly by the awful unmasking plot point.
Quality Rating: D
Historical Significance Rating: 3
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAunt May, Betty Brant, Doctor Octopus, Dr. Bromwell, Flash Thompson, J. Jonah Jameson, Liz Allan, Spider-Man
I think their skepticism is justified by how easy Spidey got beaten. If this had been a traditional Spidey/Ock fight, with them tearing up half the amusement park, and at the end of a long, hard battle, Octopus rips off Spider-Man's mask, then yes, they would be idiots to assume anything but "Peter Parker is Spider-Man!" But with his performance here? An impostor is very easy to swallow.
Posted by: Thanos6 | November 24, 2014 10:44 PM
The issue with the above is that the "traditional Spidey/Ock fight" you describe had not been seen yet. This was only their third encounter, and was actually the first to take place on the city streets.
Posted by: TCP | November 25, 2014 10:16 AM
But they're still two super-powered beings about to fight each other to the death. If I saw Godzilla and Optimus Prime about to fight right before my eyes, I'd expect them to trash the city as they tried to kill each other and would be fairly surprised if one of them was taken out as easily as Spidey here.
Posted by: Enchlore♠ | November 25, 2014 10:26 AM
I'm inclined to agree with fnord. This is like, Clark Kent glasses bad. Utterly preposterous.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 16, 2014 7:30 PM
As far as I remember Richards worked with bacteria not viruses and he would be a top idiot if he permitted them to propagate via air.
Posted by: Leves | January 26, 2015 7:43 PM
It was definitely said to be a virus in Fantastic Four #25 and your faith in the mad science of Silver Age Reed Richards is stronger than mine. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | January 26, 2015 9:01 PM
I just checked it fnord12, you are right but they also mangle terms like 'formulae' and 'bacteria'. I guess I shouldn't blame the editors for non knowing basic stuff about microbiology back in the '60s ;-).
Posted by: Leves | April 15, 2015 5:21 AM
The tricky thing about reading golden age or silver age comics now is that they aren't our first exposure to the characters in the way they were for readers when they were first published, so we tend to project much of our 50+ years of knowledge of the characters onto older stories, even when that knowledge was not relevant to the story at the time.
At the time of this issue, Peter Parker is not publicly known as the photographer who takes photos of Spider-Man, so the police are not aware of that connection -- all the Police know is that JJJ sent Peter to take photos of Doc Ock -- not of Spidey. In Amazing Spider-Man #2, Peter makes the deal with Jameson to not be credited as the photographer of any of the photos he takes. And in Amazing Spider-Man #9, we are shown an issue of the Daily Bugle where an anonymous staff photographer is credited with the photographs of Electro that Peter took.
Beyond that, Peter isn't the first teen that the public would have assumed was impersonating Spider-Man, as Flash Thompson did the same thing in Amazing Spider-Man #5, which Jameson comments on, so it was known by the press, as well as the students at Midtown High, as we learn at the end of that issue.
So making an initiative leap of a strong connection between Peter and Spider-Man is unlikely except for JJJ and Betty, both of whom already have contradictory biases regarding how they perceive Peter and Spider-Man.
Also, I think Ditko and Lee are treating the secret identity as a metaphoric device, as well as a literal one, much like Seigel and Shuster did with the early Superman. Their identities remain secret, not just through their efforts to keep it so, but also because the supporting cast are representative of people who are unable to see the hidden potential of others. Seigel experienced this in real life, so of course it is a theme in his stories. And Ditko's storytelling philosophy often portrays heroes as responsible, thoughtful characters who care for others as well as themselves, in opposition to other characters who are driven by self-centered motivations, which keeps them from seeing the true potential of others.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 16, 2015 3:44 PM
Dave Cockrum has a letter printed in Amazing Spider-Man #12.
And on the letters page, Stan Lee mentions that Betty is a few months younger than Peter -- who is supposed to be a senior at this point -- but she works because she needs the money, and she has hopes of attending night school to finish her degree.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 16, 2015 3:52 PM
Huh, that's weird. I always assumed she was a couple of years older than Pete.
I guess Betty being younger makes her jealously of Liz a little less embarrassing, at least.
Posted by: Mortificator | August 17, 2015 1:51 AM
I have a hunch that some killjoy complained about Peter dating an "older woman." Drop-out Betty just seems like a hastily thrown together retcon.
Posted by: Thanos6 | August 17, 2015 2:43 AM
Mortificator, I used to make the same assumption about Betty myself, even after learning that she was approximately the same age as Peter.
Thanos6, you might be correct. The letter's page comment about Betty is in response to such complaints, although Betty's leaving high school within the past year is mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #9 by her in talking with Peter, and her comment at that moment also definitely foreshadows the problems her brother has had, so it could be a deliberate decision to flesh out her character history instead of reacting to readers who were indeed complaining about her apparent age.
In rereading the issue 12 letter's page, I noticed that It also mentions that Stan Lee asked Ditko to change Betty's hairstyle. Maybe that was done to make her look younger?
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 17, 2015 2:13 PM
I wonder if the unmasking scene was done as a deliberate subversion of Superman being unrecognized when he's wearing glasses, that people don't see the truth even when it's right there in front of them, literally without being disguised.
I'd assume Betty's hairstyle change was done to make her look younger, or at least prettier. She was originally a generic secretary, but in the sense that creators learn about their characters as they go, she responds positively to his sense of responsibility and maturity. Peter responds because this is the first time in his life a girl has been interested in him. But Spider-Man serves as a wall to keep them apart, a theme developed through Ditko's run.
I always thought it was strange how the previous issue is barely addressed, even though it featured Betty, her brother's death and Doc Ock. For that matter, there's the fact that Doc Ock wasn't captured at the end of the previous issue. Had a supervillain ever blatantly escaped at the end of a Code-approved story before?
And what on earth goes through Aunt May's head? One can easily imagine her hysterical reactions to being told 'Peter's been in a car crash' or 'Peter's been arrested for selling drugs' or even 'Peter got a girl pregnant' but apparently she would accept all that with the equanimity when she's told 'Peter dressed up as Spider-Man and went out to fight Dr. Octopus.' Not even a 'where did he get the webshooters from?'
Posted by: ChrisW | August 17, 2015 6:18 PM
Aunt May never figured out Doctor Octopus was a super-villian. Guess she doesn't watch a whole lot of news. How much about Spider-Man does she know at this point?
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 17, 2015 6:37 PM
That he's a horrible horrible man. I don't know if she learned it from the Daily Bugle, since they printed stories about Dr. Octopus the supervillain. Or maybe she just likes bad boys, which Spidey clearly isn't.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 17, 2015 7:02 PM
When DID she realize Octopus was actually a bad guy? She had it figured out by the time she knew Pete's identity, but I don't know if it ever happened before that.
Posted by: Thanos6 | August 17, 2015 8:33 PM
If Aunt May thought Spider-Man was a horrible horrible man, she hardly would have taken Peter's decision to dress up as Spider-Man in stride. Save perhaps if it were for some Halloween party, at the most. I haven't read this story, so I can't tell what she found out about frail Peter's costumed hijinks, nor how.
One of the worst plot holes in super hero history is the whole notion that Clark Kent can't be Superman because he wears glasses--and Superman has x-ray vision. "C'mon, people! Why would a superhero WHO HAS X-RAY VISION need to wear glasses?!?" This being the entire premise behind Superman makes it a terrible comic from the word 'go'. I can live with ASM#12 because it is but a feeble episode in a generally worthwhile comic. [by which I mean a generally worthwhile comic up until 1995-1996]
Especially when we remember that Jonah Jameson is much too arrogant and delusional to ever imagine (or admit) that Spider-Man could outwit him. Could Jonah ever fathom that Spider-Man is a long-time acquaintance who has fooled him for years? I don't recall Jonah ever working with this scenario. And he was certainly all too willing to believe that the guy heroically fighting Doctor Octopus for Betty's safety wasn't the real Spider-Man--who's but a worthless criminal.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 17, 2015 11:23 PM
ChrisW, I completely agree with your explanation of the unmasking scene.
Your comments about Aunt May's reaction got me thinking about who must have taken Peter home, undressed him, and put him in pajamas. Ugh. I know, it can be creepy to consider. But from a secret identity concerns viewpoint, I'm assuming that a reliable doctor was involved, and that the web shooters and belt were just viewed as random items by the doctor, and that the police never even saw them. In today's culture, with cosplayers, the proper authorities probably would assume that they are just harmless accessories. Who knows what they would have thought in the 1960s?
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 18, 2015 9:25 PM
Don't give me too much credit. It's purely my speculation that the unmasking scene was deliberately refuting the entire concept of superhero secret identities, where Spider-Man is unmasked by his greatest villain in front of his entire supporting cast, and nobody believes it. They just shrug it off. Betty never connects anything, Liz never gives it a second thought, and neither does Flash who impersonated Spidey several issues earlier.
Jameson and Aunt May, they stretch the reader's credulity a lot further than Superman wearing glasses ever could. A highly-respected NYC newspaper publisher should be much less gullible, as should the woman who reared Peter Parker to become the man he is. At the very least, they would have a natural human reaction of wondering why the hell Peter decided to put on a Spider-Man costume and fight Doc Ock. I don't remember if Betty was explicitly in danger at the time, but they would have wondered why Peter didn't call the police, or the Avengers, or the real Spider-Man.
At least Jameson might have explained it to himself as the punk kid doing something stupid to rescue his girlfriend, and get a scoop. Not something he'd approve of, especially considering Peter sold him those phony pictures of Spidey turning into Electro a couple issues earlier, but Jameson could at least understand it. He'd remember it every time there's the slightest connection between Peter and Spidey, and wouldn't be so trusting of Peter ever again, but that makes a certain amount of sense.
Aunt May, on the other hand, must be completely insane if she doesn't notice this, or care. To her, it makes as much sense for Peter to set himself on fire and pretend to be the Human Torch, and then go fight one of the FF's bad guys. She's raised Peter. She isn't his biological mother, but she has earned that status where parents know their kids better than the kids know themselves, and the kids just assume their parents are *there.* [The first "Spider-Man" movie did a great job, where Peter treated Ben and May like they were automatically there and always would be - 'you're not my father!' - setting up the impact of Ben dying meaninglessly on the street, all because Peter failed to take responsibility.] She would know Peter better than anybody else, and the idea that he has some sort of secret life that he keeps hidden strains credibility. It would make more sense that she knows Peter's secrets, and knows that Mary Jane knows Peter's secrets, which would explain why she was so dead set on getting the two of them together.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 19, 2015 1:37 AM
ChrisW, I get where you are coming from regarding the supporting casts's reactions to Spidey unmasked as Peter, and I think you make a compelling case why Aunt May could have known Peter was Spider-Man and have it actually work well before JMS has her learn it.
But in my reading of the first 38 issues of Amazing Spider-Man, I tend to believe that Ditko was the guiding force behind the series, with Lee acting as a very involved editor, scripting dialogue to make sure that the book is marketable and does not violate the comics code (I tend to believe the same of Kirby's work and some of Heck's work as well).* As such, I tend to assume that Ditko's beliefs about human nature and public opinion and media influence shape the Spider-Man stories he plotted and drew.
So I think JJJ and Aunt May's inability to believe Peter is Spider-Man is shaped by Ditko's possible view of JJJ as being media savvy but biased and Aunt May as being an over-nurturing parent who doesn't fully trust her "child's" abilities.
*I'm making the assumption about Lee's working relationship with Ditko, Kirby, and Heck based upon inconsistencies in Lee's accounts over the years, and consistencies in accounts between independent statements from Ditko, Kirby, and Heck. I know that there's a lot of debate over this, but the more fresh evidence that I encounter, the more I find to support that assumption. And that assumption causes me to read and admire the silver age Marvel stories very differently than I did when I thought Lee was the primary author.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 19, 2015 4:41 AM
I don't mean to say that Aunt May knew Peter's identity at any point, just that it stretches credulity to think otherwise. One of my favorite jokes is "Lois Lane hates summertime because everybody is wearing glasses and she doesn't recognize them." Peter David did a funny riff on this in "Hulk," and wrote the punchline "no one wants to be the one to say 'hey Wolvie, what's with the stupid eyepatch?'"
Anyway, I completely agree that Ditko was the guiding force. He probably spent more time actively creating each page than Stan spent on an entire issue. I mean plotting and scripting, not so much running the Bullpen, making corrections, paying the letterer, getting the pages to the printer, making sure all the books are on schedule, etc. Important things which need to be done, yes, but not as important as thinking through each page and panel layout for drama, action, anatomy, lighting, perspective, how much pressure to exert with the pen or brush for each detail...
I don't disagree with your interpretations of JJJ and Aunt May. It makes sense and fits the established characters. If anything, I think it sucks that Ditko will go to his grave without ever telling us what he intended, whether or not it proves either of us wrong.
I would call Lee the primary author, but that may just be a semantic difference, because there's no doubt that Kirby and Ditko provided much-if-not-most-if-not-all of the creative spark. Stan was in charge and made sure that whatever Kirby and Ditko brought in conformed to his standards.
I'm probably more influenced than I should be by Earl Wells' October 1995 essay for "The Comics Journal" [which I cannot find online so far] entitled "Once and For All, Who is the True Author of Marvel?" It mostly focuses on Lee vs. Kirby, comparing classic Marvel scenes with Kirby's solo comics, noting the differences and pointing out that if Kirby were the true author of Marvel, he'd at least have been asked about the differences [the best example is the heroic self-sacrifice, Bennett Brant, Franklin Storm, and other characters who died redeeming themselves but never in an uncomfortable way, and always had time for speeches before death] and how that never again showed up in Kirby's work, but people dying quickly and brutally without any sanctimonious final words did. Kirby never commented on the difference, and Ditko never will either, but the evidence indicates Lee was the primary author. Even when Ditko or Kirby were doing the whole comic themselves before taking it to the office, they were still doing what Stan Lee wanted.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 19, 2015 7:20 PM
And I'm going to have to find my copy of #12. Just the unmasking scene indicates that Betty was in danger, Jameson knew it, and instructed Peter to take pictures without, you know, calling the police.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 19, 2015 7:22 PM
ChrisW, I've only found excepts and quotes from Wells's essay online when searching for it in the past, but your post has convinced me to finally buy from Amazon a copy of Jack Kirby: TCJ Library Vol. 1, which features a revised version of the essay.
I've read rebuttals and counter-arguments and agreements to Wells analysis, but I want to look at it myself, given your citing it. So I cannot comment on it yet, although I do think that your viewpoint and mine might not be too dissimilar, except by degrees -- with me leaning more towards Kirby, Ditko, and Heck as primary author, but as you mention, that might be semantics.
I agree that it would be nice to hear from Ditko on the subject, alas.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 19, 2015 8:34 PM
Unfortunately, the version of the article which appears in the TCJ Library edits out a section or two. It's still good, but by leaving out these parts, it's a bit slanted pro-Kirby. Which is fair, considering it's a pro-Kirby book. I hope you enjoy it. I had not read the Fourth World when the original essay came out, and it was very meaningful when I finally read "New Gods," but the essay in that book is not the original essay.
I'm fine with subjective viewpoints giving Kirby and Ditko [and Heck, I just don't know much about him] primary authorship. Much of the point of Wells' essay is that Stan himself often said the same thing. Ditko wrote "Spider-Man," Kirby wrote "Fantastic Four," Stan just filled in the word balloons and tidied up afterwards. But if we're talking about Marvel Comics as a whole, Stan was the Man.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 22, 2015 10:00 PM
ChrisW, thanks for the head's up about the differences regarding the versions of the essay. I'll have to track down the original at some point.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 23, 2015 1:51 AM
ChrisW, as a quick aside: just finished reading Wells's essay. my initial thoughts are that it is thoughtful and detailed, although I don't completely agree with his comparison between the Fourth World Series and all of Kirby's Marvel's work, as i think it would be more appropriate to compare the Fourth World Series to Thor, Kirby's 1970s Captain America run to the 1960s Kirby and Lee Captain America run, The Demon to The Hulk, and so on.
I really appreciate you mentioning the article and your insight about it, which I was mindful of while reading it. Your post had a big impact on me in a very positive way. And I'm going to reread Wells article in a few weeks to see if my perspective on it changes at all.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | August 30, 2015 11:51 PM
Hey, don't thank me. If I can help comic book fans enjoy their comic books, then all that's left is to hand over a silver bullet and gallop my horse to the next person in need. :)
Posted by: ChrisW | September 1, 2015 12:13 AM
Actually I'll keep the silver bullet. Do you know how expensive those things are?
Posted by: ChrisW | September 1, 2015 12:14 AM
I do think Wells' comparisons are appropriate, because he's analyzing the series that Kirby literally saved for himself, after the years spent at Marvel. I think he's right that one of Kirby's prime motivations would have been refuting all the 'anti-life' concepts he took part in at Marvel [given his own problems with the company along the way] particularly given Marvel's own success and how it denied him any credit.
In the heat of the moment or staring at another page - reportedly he didn't even want to draw the "Fourth World," he just wanted to plot, write and edit, in other words, to become Stan Lee, and got talked into doing three monthly series against his will - that was how he worked at a particular time and place. As a result, he created multiple classic comic books, and served as a perfect example of why creators still need an editor. And created amazing ideas that potential comics creators are still drawn towards to this day.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 1, 2015 10:36 PM
ChrisW, regarding the silver bullets, I just thought you were the Lone Ranger. 😀
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | September 5, 2015 2:56 PM
I've been reading "Essential Spider-Man" Volume 1. And I've been enjoying the hell out of it. Ditko's art gets better and better, and he starts taking over more of the plotting. Almost every issue has a sequence where Spidey or the villains describes their new innovation. And Stan's scripting also improves immensely.
I never really liked "Amazing Fantasy" #15, but now I can see that it was much more in-depth and thought-out than every other comic book on the stands. Could have been better - the sudden revelation that Uncle Ben has been murdered by the same ordinary robber Spidey allowed to escape still makes no sense - but it's clear that Stan and Steve put effort into this title that didn't exist in any other comics at the time. And subsequent issues just got better and better.
JJJ was immediately established as one of the great villains in history. I haven't even read up to the point where he personally funds the Scorpion, but every issue significantly focuses on his hatred of Spider-Man. Spidey is left scratching his head in #10 when it's revealed that Foswell is actually the Big Man, when he was suspecting Jameson all along.
And Peter's personal life takes us places comics had never been before. I am now convinced that Ditko wanted Betty to be Peter's true love, and threw up barrier after barrier to keep them apart so that it would be more meaningful when they got together.
She started off as a generic secretary, but started noticing Peter at the same time he noticed her. [#5] Around the same time, Liz Allen stopped being so cruel to Petey. By #7, after Spidey and the Vulture have trashed the Daily Bugle, Peter has enough confidence in himself that he can get comfortable with the only girl who's ever shown an interest in him. Liz is maturing enough to realize that brawn is not the only thing that makes a man.
In #9, Betty is revealed to have a dark secret [which turns out to be her brother Bennett, a lawyer covering for a gangster] and over the next couple of issues, she runs away from New York. Peter tracks her down, but in the fight with Doc Ock, her brother gets killed. It's a bit awkward how she shows up the following issue with a new hairdo and carrying no baggage whatsoever, but chicks, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Peter certainly doesn't mind.
Neither does Doc Ock. Literally the worst thing about this issue is how Doc kidnaps Betty in front of Jameson and Peter, and instead of following Ock immediately like a superhero should do, Peter waits until Jameson has posted a call to Spider-Man in the newspaper, and then pretends he has no idea what's going on as he talks to JJJ. How many hours did that take? Couldn't Spidey have followed Octopus then and there and, you know, maybe rescued Betty? At least the first annual avoided this problem, where JJJ was a blatant fool after being told to put an ad in his papers for Spidey to contact him, and Spidey never even came close. He was too busy hunting down the villains and rescuing Betty and Aunt May.
After this issue, Liz goes nuts for Petey, which inflames Betty even more. Liz would eventually become a girl Peter knew in high school, and he had to tangle with the more sophisticated Gwen Stacey. God only knows what Ditko intended with the Mary Jane subplot. He could never have pulled off the "Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot" that John Romita gave us, and I can't imagine it ending any other way. But through Ditko's run, it's quite clear that Peter and Betty are destined to be together, and only Spider-Man keeps them apart. Notice that in the first post-Ditko issues, they run into each other at the airport and have a friendly cup of coffee, realizing that there is no romantic entanglements between them. Stan was probably clearing the decks of all remaining plotlines.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 5, 2015 7:56 PM
Aaron, don't say that out loud. Do you want to get me killed?
Posted by: ChrisW | September 5, 2015 7:58 PM
ChrisW, oops --sorry! This is why Clark Kent stopped talking to me...
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | September 5, 2015 8:44 PM
ChrisW, I agree with your observations. Ditko and Lee were both doing wonderful work here. And your post reminded me of how I reread the first 13 issues over-and-over again when I first encountered them in the Marvel Pocketbook series. I can still remember taking those collections with me everywhere I went. These stories will always be great sources of joy to me.
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | September 5, 2015 8:54 PM
Like I said, I'm on "Essential Spider-Man" Volume 1, and I've only reached #17. Yeah, 50 years later, it comes off as a bit old-fashioned, but the plotting, the scripting, the pacing and layouts, the characterization, the action scenes, the villains, the soap operas, there's so much going on in each issue that Spidey himself is almost the least important part. Could have been any generic long underwear character and it would have been just as good.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 6, 2015 4:15 AM
With the Peter and Betty relationship, I wonder how much Ditko was copying Ayn Rand. Her breakthrough novel, "The Fountainhead" had the hero Howard Roark and the heroine Dominique as destined to be together, but she went through two marriages before it actually happened. Ned Leeds made perfect sense as someone Betty demanded to marry to protect herself from her true love, Peter/Spider-Man. Even funnier considering what happened to Ned after Steve and Stan left the book. The Goblin ruins everything.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 6, 2015 4:38 AM
I have to defend this issue's unmasking scene--it is early enough in the life of Spidey that it makes sense to me. There is absolutely no reason why any of the kids at school or cops would think Peter is Spidey, as they are unaware of his photographic connection. Aunt May doesn't really know and is usually depicted as somewhat clueless anyway. Jameson is a doofus who is more concerned with his own reputation. Betty perhaps should suspect as she has all of the clues and is a sane person, but is perhaps psychologically blocking her own conclusions.
But most pertinently, the idea that Spider-Man could be a high schooler is implausible for everyone involved.
Regarding Superman, I was always surprised with the plot point of "finding Superman's identity"--why would anyone assume he had a secret identity? He doesn't wear a mask and he's an alien.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | September 29, 2015 12:38 AM
I don't have an issue with the unmasking scene, either. As others have said, it's early in his career and he's beaten soundly and quickly by Doc Ock, who comments before the unmasking how this can't be the same Spider-Man he's fought before (in front of the witnesses). JJJ not believing is easily explained away by his own biases regarding Spider-Man and Peter, respectively. Betty is explained away by her wanting to believe Peter was just the nerdy nice guy she loved wanting to do something heroic to save her. May is shown to treat Peter in these early stories like he's 8 so it's not surprising to me in the least she wouldn't put 2 & 2 together. Plus the police told her they found him passed out on the street and it wasn't until the next morning she received the costume, so I think Peter was changed into regular clothes before they took him home. Anyway, I think she was later shown to have known all along but that was probably retconned away. Itt's not a big thing in my book but obviously others' mileage varies.
For the record I have no problem with Superman and the glasses, either. Suspension of disbelief used to be a thing. And it was good. But then it went away and we have what we have now. And it isn't good.
Posted by: Robert | February 6, 2016 9:51 AM
Also, let's not forget Flash Thompson got himself a pretty convincing Spider-Man costume in ish #5. If one high school student can get a Spider-Man costume, why not another?
Posted by: mikrolik | February 6, 2016 11:30 AM
I don't have a problem with them not believing it was Peter either. After more than 2o years in law enforcement, I've discovered that people see what they expect to see. If you opinion of someone is that they are weak and or cowardly or just plain ordinary, it is hard to see them in any other light. Such as Peter and Clark Kent, even in the Bible when Jesus began his ministry the people of Galilee could only see the local carpenter's son.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 8:30 PM
Comments are now closed.
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