Amazing Spider-Man #17
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #17
Review/plot: Flash Thompson starts his Spider-Man fan club and invites Spider-Man. Liz gets Peter Parker to show up.
The Human Torch is also there.
The Green Goblin, in his updated glider, crashes the party. The Torch fights him at first...
...but then Spider-Man shows up.
But then Spider-Man has to run out because he hears that his Aunt had a heart attack.
The Goblin has no interest in battling the Torch, so he escapes.
Spider-Man is called a coward for running away.
This sort of thing will eventually get really tired and feel contrived, but this early in the series it's worth recognizing how unusual it was for a super-hero to have personal problems that interfered with his hero life. Especially to the point where the issue ends like this as opposed to just a little drama to fill the pages.
It's also cool seeing the Human Torch fighting the Green Goblin. And that little ghost thing the Goblin throws at the Torch is bizarrely awesome.
As Seb notes in the Comments, Flash Thompson must be two-timing Liz with Betty Brant and he's getting his girlfriends mixed up since he calls Liz's father Mr. Brant while getting him to agree to allow his club to be used for the Spidey Fan Club event.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #155
Inbound References (2): showAunt May, Betty Brant, Doris Evans, Flash Thompson, Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), Human Torch, J. Jonah Jameson, Liz Allan, Spider-Man, Wilson Allan
big error when Flash calls Liz Allen's dad : "Mr. Brant" (page 11 first image) sorry for my english
Posted by: sebfromfrance | December 25, 2014 5:28 AM
Thanks for pointing that out, Seb. It wasn't corrected for the Marvel Tales reprint, either. I've added a scan.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 26, 2014 10:14 AM
I would love to see a What If where Spidey captured the Goblin in this fight (he almost does, till the thieves robbing the club draw the attention of the Torch who gets in the way of Spidey's webbing that would have nabbed Osborn).
Posted by: Thanos6 | April 27, 2015 9:15 AM
Great issue. Really nails that whole 'Charlie Brown' aspect of Spider-Man that makes him so endearing. The poor guy just cannot catch a break. Only negative about the issue is that Betty Brant is so unhinged it's frightening.
Posted by: Robert | February 9, 2016 4:04 PM
I wonder if this is the only appearance of Liz's father? With Molten man later being revealed as her step-brother, his history becomes more complex.
Posted by: kveto | February 20, 2016 6:28 PM
Liz's father appeared at least one other time in #28.
Posted by: Rick | February 21, 2016 8:54 AM
He also appeared in Untold Tales #10. I've added a tag for him. Thanks kveto and Rick.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 21, 2016 10:44 AM
There's a letter from a Douglas Moench of Chicago in this issue. Chicago born in '48, Doug Moench would have been 18 in 1964. Looks like it might have been his letter.
Posted by: James Holt | August 19, 2016 7:27 PM
James, a lot of the Marvel fans of the '60s became Marvel writers and artists in the '70s. Part of the fun of reading the Marvel Omnibus editions is seeing some familiar names in the letter pages.
Posted by: Haydn | August 24, 2016 11:52 PM
That's true of 60's and 70's comics in general. I have an early 70's issue of Action Comics with letters from both Busiek and Dave Cockrum.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 10:29 PM
Considering Liz's father owns this giant club, it's strange that he didn't send her to college after graduation. That aside, it's interesting how many different storylines Steve and Stan spin from the short-lived Spider-Man fan club.
The club gives the Green Goblin another reason to attack, which sets up the next two issues when Spidey hears Aunt May is sick and runs away. They give the Torch a reason to appear as a friendly rival for Spider-Man, his third appearance in the series so far [not counting #1 or #5, which were Fantastic Four appearances and not Torch-specific.] There's also more build-up on the jealousy between Betty and Liz.
Then, because of Aunt May's sickness, the entire Marvel Universe reacts to Spidey's apparent cowardice in #18, with the Torch hit particularly hard and trying to get in touch with Spidey. Spidey runs into the Sandman, and then runs from the Sandman. They run into each other again the following issue, by which point the Sandman has taken the Torch prisoner, and has the Enforcers as his mooks, the third to do so after the Big Man and the Green Goblin.
I've been studying the characters, arcs and events of Ditko's run, and they were becoming more complicated and (dare I say it?) amazing all the time. I don't blame Stan, but the mind boggles at what another hundred issues of this would be like. Maybe on Earth-2, they have the ideal Stan/Steve collaboration. :(
Posted by: ChrisW | October 29, 2016 11:56 PM
Ditko gives Johnny Storm an amazing douchebag face.
Posted by: squirrel_defeater | January 29, 2018 12:00 AM
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