Amazing Spider-Man #144-146
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #144, Amazing Spider-Man #145, Amazing Spider-Man #146
Spider-man hunts down JJ's kidnappers and defeats Cyclone with the help of a giant fan that he built out of parts from a small hardware store.
Back home, Aunt May sees the Gwen Stacy clone and has another fainting spell. When Peter returns home, the clone is waiting for him in his apartment.
Apparently what is going on here is that behind the scenes, Stan Lee is reacting to all the negative fan mall fallout from Gwen's death. He's pushing for Conway and Len Wein to bring Gwen back. Perhaps this arc was started before the debate was over, and in the end Lee relented and the returned Gwen was revealed as a clone.
In the meantime, it's enough to freak out poor Peter. Initial scientific tests confirm that she is the real Gwen.
Meanwhile, the Scorpion gets out of jail. Peter loses the initial fight but wins the rematch, despite the Scorpion's alliance with the annoying and always present Jackal...
...who sends the Scorpion after Aunt May as a way to get at Spidey.
The art is generally OK but sometimes it gets a little weird. Aunt May sometimes looks particularly scary.
In light of One More Day, i thought this line of dialogue by Aunt May was ironic: "Oh, that poor, poor girl [Gwen Stacy], to die so young ---! Why do the young people die, Anna -- while we old women go on and on? Sometimes, I think -- it should have been me, not that dear girl. I've lived my life -- but she ---".
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Spider-man has been in France since last issue. Marvel Team-Up #33 takes place in the middle of issue #145.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #121, Marvel Tales #122, Marvel Tales #123
Inbound References (6): show
The title to #146 is from the line from Hamlet: "Death, where is thy sting?". At least I think it's from Hamlet...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 20, 2011 9:09 PM
This storyline ultimately had a few glitches in it but overall I really liked the Jackal, especially in his final two issues. I don't know, he works for me.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | May 3, 2013 6:08 PM
Where is thy sting is actually a bible quote, Corinthians I 15:55
"O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?"
Totally off topic, the word translated as grave (in some versions translated as death, too) is sheol, which I think literally means grave but is often used as Hell.
Posted by: Alex F | June 5, 2014 5:16 AM
John Romita does the inks for someone else's pencils? Is that odd? (not a rhetorical question - I am honestly wondering if someone can put up information about whether or not it's odd that a highly regarded penciler would ink someone else).
As for the clones, aggh. Every time I see clones I want to just run away, especially in a Spider-Man story. Never ends well, not only for Peter and his supporting cast, but for us readers either.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 9, 2015 12:22 PM
Romita was Marvel's art director at this time, charged with ensuring that the art always retained a consistent house style. That means he redrew a lot of heads and other stuff, and in some cases just had to ink or finish an entire issue. In this case, the inclusion of "Bullpen" in the credits suggests that there was a deadline issue or other problem that necessitated an all hands on deck approach.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 9, 2015 12:32 PM
Thanks for the info, fnord. I must admit, prior to coming to this site, I never much thought about the inkers, only the pencillers. Although, the way the site is set up, it's also fun to watch the pencillers develop over time.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 9, 2015 1:17 PM
Amazing Spider-Man 121 for example has Romita essentially redoing the entire book aside from a few frames the finished art looks nothing like Kane.
Posted by: Darren | November 30, 2015 12:25 PM
The official Marvel Index tot he Amazing Spider-Man suggests that the reason NATO rejected the Cyclone's tornado-creating weapon was specifically that it could be defeated with something like an ordinary fan.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 26, 2017 6:42 PM
As to the possible deadline issues, maybe this is the strain of doing Giant-Size Spider-Man on top of ASM hitting Andru? The pencils in G-SSM #5, which came out around this time, look pretty loose.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 26, 2017 6:56 PM
Scorpion returns to Spider-Man after ten years of real life absence. His only other appearances between ASM# 29 were in Captain America!
Strangely enough, despite being an iconic Spider villain (because he was included in the cartoons), Scorpion has been used only sporadically without any iconic stories, and half the time he's in non-Spidey titles for his appearances. It's a big shame. As I've said in other posts here, I've thought Scorpion had the potential to be a much more important villain to the title.
Posted by: Chris | May 16, 2017 3:48 PM
Does he have more appearances in ASM as Venom than Scorpion? Or more appearances period? Mac-Venom was everywhere during Dark Reign, and he'd already been Venom for several years at that point (I think that change happened in 2004 or 2005 in Marvel Knights Spider-Man).
Posted by: J-Rod | May 16, 2017 5:23 PM
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