The Small Lebowski:
Amazing Spider-Man #31
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #31
Review/plot: In this issue Spidey runs into the Master Planner's henchmen again.
He's given helpful information by Fredrick Foswell, formerly the Big Man, now using his stoolie identity "Patch".
Also Peter registers for college classes and starts going to school. We meet two new cast members, Gwen Stacy and Harry Obsorn (for us they're not new since they've popped up a couple times in Untold Tales, but here's their first printed appearance, making friends with Flash).
Gwen refers to Peter as the "only boy I've met who hasn't given me a tumble!".
Peter is distracted because Aunt May has been admitted to the hospital due to her fainting spells...
...and he unintentionally brushes Gwen off.
Meanwhile Betty Brant is holding off on answering Ned Leed's marriage proposal because she is waiting for Peter.
With the Master Planner plot simply developing but no main super-villain to fight, along with the focus and additions to Peter's supporting cast, it's an interesting issue.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Gwen Stacy appears in Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #1 and she's angry over the fact that Peter has snubbed her here. So this needs to take place before that issue, which takes place between Fantastic Four #40 and Fantastic Four annual #3, even though by publication date this issue took place later.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #170
Inbound References (2): showAunt May, Betty Brant, Big Man (Frederick Foswell), Doctor Octopus, Dr. Bromwell, Flash Thompson, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Jackal, Ned Leeds, Spider-Man
You don't have Harry Osborn listed as a recurring character here.
Ditko actually drew a map of ESU so he could work out where Parker could change to Spider-man and how long it would take him to get to various buildings, but I don't think it got printed anywhere.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 3, 2013 7:50 PM
Added Harry; thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 3, 2013 9:02 PM
These issues, up to 33, Ditko brought his A-game plotwise. After this arc, his plots became aimless. but these are all beauts.
Posted by: kveto | August 25, 2016 3:15 PM
I really liked this storyline and the new supporting characters. Did Prof. Warren appear in this one or not? I don't remember.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 9:38 PM
Warren does appear here. I tag him as the Jackal. In this issue he's just an unnamed chem lab professor.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 2, 2016 8:03 AM
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 2, 2016 9:01 AM
The students actually refer to him as Professor Warren a few panels later. He looks like the classic Professor Warren, but his hair hasn't turned white yet. I'm pretty sure there's another Professor Warren who appears in an earlier issue, but he's pudgy and bald. Maybe he's Miles' brother.
Posted by: Andrew | November 2, 2016 9:15 AM
From the wiki entry on The Jackal - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackal_(Marvel_Comics)
" A "Mister Warren" had previously appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #8 (Jan. 1964), but he is a high school science teacher rather than a college professor, and is physically very distinct from the later Miles Warren."
"Prior to his reintroduction as the Jackal, Miles Warren's appearances were essentially limited to the occasional cameo in which he acts as simple background to Spider-Man's civilian life as a college student. When named at all in these early appearances, he is called only "Professor Warren"."
Posted by: CLYDE | November 2, 2016 9:19 AM
Oh you're right. Thanks Andrew.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 2, 2016 9:19 AM
"Miles also had a brother named Raymond, who was a science teacher at Peter Parker's high school and introduced Peter to Miles."
Posted by: clyde | November 2, 2016 9:25 AM
That's some real down-the-rabbit-hole stuff right there…
Posted by: Andrew | November 2, 2016 9:45 AM
After the bit about the two Warrens being physically very distinct, the Wiki article continues: "Despite this, Jackal co-creator Gerry Conway has said it was always his interpretation that "Mister Warren", "Professor Warren", and Professor Miles Warren/Jackal were all the same character". So Gerry actually thought it was the same Warren from the start.
I wonder if Stan had a real life teacher called Warren and forgot he'd already used the surname for Peter's high school teacher?
The Wiki article also mentions "DeMatteis, the creator of the Clone Saga...". Poor J.M. getting all the blame.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 2, 2016 3:08 PM
The students really jump to conclussions. Dicks!
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 14, 2017 4:19 PM
Be fair, what else would the EX-beauty queen of Standard High think when being so blatantly ignored?
Posted by: ChrisW | May 15, 2017 1:13 AM
Ditco's Aunt May drawings are truly horrifying. She would be better suited as a Zombie in the Walking Dead. How old was Aunt May supposed to be anyway?
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | May 15, 2017 1:32 PM
Seriously, Peter made a lot of his own problems. His fellow students did jump to conclusions very quickly, but Peter is a self-absorbed asshole for ignoring people who are directly talking to him.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 15, 2017 9:30 PM
Looking back at the entries on some of these early issues (I haven't yet dug out most of my reprints), I came to the same conclusion: Peter's kind of a dick in the Silver Age. Like, seriously bro, talk to people when they talk to you!
Posted by: J-Rod | May 16, 2017 11:00 AM
Peter has a real chip on his shoulder around this time. He judges everyone around him bitterly, and silently. I can only assume this reflects Ditko's attitude towards his co-workers and the world in general.
Posted by: Andrew | May 16, 2017 1:35 PM
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