Amazing Spider-Man #8 (first story)
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #8 (first story only)
Review/plot: This is a "special tribute to teen-agers issue", and it's actually a pleasant change of pace.
In the first story, Spider-Man fights a super computer/robot...
...but the real story is that the teachers of Midtown High get sick of the Peter/Flash rivalry...
...and set the two of them up in an after-school boxing match.
Peter manages to keep his anger in check and therefore the fight is all about Peter doing his best to not hurt Flash. He still manages to knock him out twice.
In the end due to some hijinks with the robot, Peter gets the other students thinking that maybe Flash Thompson is Spider-Man.
There's a back-up story in this issue about Spider-Man crashing the Human Torch's girlfriend Dorrie Evan's party, but it's been split into a separate entry.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the Considerations section of the entry of the second story to see why i've split them apart.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #145
Inbound References (3): showFlash Thompson, Living Brain, Liz Allan, Mr. Warren, Principal Davis, Spider-Man
Weirdly enough, Peter doesn't look geeky at all without his glasses, and the fact that he's drawn just as big as Flash makes subsequent bullying look a bit strange. Flash didn't have any smaller, easier targets?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 31, 2011 4:50 PM
Bullying is not always about size MArk.
Posted by: Leves | April 14, 2015 11:07 AM
True, but bullies in general(especially back then) tended to avoid harassing people their own size.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2015 10:23 PM
Love this story. Good character stuff and an awesome old school robot. As to the bully debate, from my experience not only will bullies pick on someone their own size, they actually seem to enjoy it more. Think about it - most bullies are insecure twats so what would make them feel like big shots more than picking on someone their size or bigger and getting away with it?
Posted by: Robert | February 3, 2016 9:53 PM
This was one of the best early issues of Spider-Man and again I think Stan was messing with comic conventions. Clark Kent prior to Byrne's revamp would have never stood up to a bully in public.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 25, 2016 9:54 PM
It could have been Lee messing around with comic conventions, making Peter as unlike Clark Kent as possible, or it could have been Ditko saying a Randian hero wouldn't pretend to be weaker than he is. What I wonder is, if the spider bite cured his myopia, did he immediately grind himself a pair of non-corrective lenses, or has Peter Parker been walking around for 7 issues bumping into things because his lenses are compensating for a condition he doesn't have anymore?
Posted by: Andrew | October 9, 2017 8:05 AM
I suspect the messing around with comics conventions was simply deciding that Peter didn't need glasses anymore with no eplanation for it, and having him grow up to the point where he could stand up to Flash and almost simultaneously act as Spider-Man. We know he could beat the snot out of Flash physically, which he does, but he also does it in a way that doesn't compromise his secret identity and gets him off the hook for deciphering the Brain's answer about Spider-Man's secret identity.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 10, 2017 12:54 AM
I have myopia which is mild enough that it wasn't even detected until I was in 8th grade. It may have been aggravated by squinting and/or excessive reading. I asked to be moved from the back row in class (which had always been my choice) to the front row, in order to be able to read the blackboard more easily. This attracted the school nurse's attention, and thus I got my first pair of glasses, although I was always able to get by OK without wearing them. At age 16, my 1st drivers license had a restriction requiring me to wear specs while driving. My grandmother later gave me a book called Sight Without Glasses which enabled me to improve my eyesight well enough to get a weaker prescription and lose the restriction at my next DMV eyesight exam.
In Amazing Fantasy #15 Peter looked skinnier & his posture was slumped. He was a "wallflower." Flash Thompson stood up straight, shoulders back, and looked a little bit buffer than Peter. Somewhere I read an explanation saying that the exercise of being Spider-Man made Peter gradually get bigger muscles. In any case, bullies tend to pick their victims based less on physical size than on who they think will back down from them psychologically.
People can change.
Reed Richards was also getting buffer. Stan Lee's disposition towards heroes who were "a little bit different" subsided as his sales figures improved.
Posted by: Holt | October 10, 2017 4:17 AM
the Living brain would have to be a super genius to guess spider-man's identity from the crappy clues that the highschoolers gave it. "He's been seen in Forest Hills a lot." I think Liz's contribution was, "He's the most glamourous hero ever."
Posted by: kveto | February 6, 2018 9:08 PM
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