Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1
Issue(s): Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1
We should begin by noting this opening scene, with Spider-Man incidentally swinging by a building where John Jameson happens to be having dinner with his girlfriend Kristine Saunders. In addition to the obvious satanic implications of the building number, it's worth noting that DC was headquartered at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan at this time.
But if John Jameson was in negotiations to jump to DC, they're halted by the resurgence of his Man-Wolf persona. He starts feeling funny so he sends Kristine home and staggers into a diner run by Wolverine's mom.
We go from there to one of many Gil Kane up-nostril shots in this issue as Jameson's transformation is completed.
It turns out that Morbius the Living Vampire has been anticipating this transformation...
...and he's even retrieved the Man-Wolf's moon amulet.
Yep, Morbius is a real ass in this story.
Morbius brings the Man-Wolf under his thrall. Since he's a Living vampire, he does it not through any kind of vampiric hypnosis, but by biting the Man-Wolf and drinking his blood. The act of draining his blood causing Man-Wolf to obey him does seem to have some mystical implications, though. Unless the idea is that the Man-Wolf is just so weak from blood loss that he's easy to boss around, but in that case he wouldn't make much of a lackey.
It's worth remembering that both Morbius and Man-Wolf represent (broadly speaking) science based versions of supernatural horror monsters. Morbius is a vampire because of a failed scientific experiment, and Jameson becomes a werewolf because of radiation from the moon rock. Neither had to be bitten by their respective horror equivalents to become what they are today. In that it's cool to see them brought together here as a duo of Science Horrors.
But the story from this point on is pretty straightforward. Man-Wolf provides little more than a distraction...
...while Morbius goes after a scientist that is working on a cure for leukemia by completely replacing a person's blood.
But Spider-Man gets to the scientist first (it's not exactly clear where Morbius goes while Spider-Man is fighting the Man-Wolf), and convinces the scientist to perform a little trick with him.
Later, Morbius finally makes it to the scientist...
...but Spider-Man attacks him in the lab. The scientist makes sure to shout that destroying any equipment would be fatal to his project before running out, and Spider-Man makes sure that equipment does get destroyed during the fight. This makes Morbius decide to give up on the scientist and leave.
And indeed that was the plan all along; the scientist's experiments were in fact not ruined by the fight.
It's not said what Morbius actually wanted the scientist for. Maybe he was really looking for a cure for himself?
As for the John Jameson, he winds up with his father JJ, who denies that John became the Man-Wolf again.
The other main thing that happens in this issue is that Peter is briefly thought to be Photographer of the Year...
...but the declaration turns out to be premature. But after seeing the horror inflicted upon the Jameson family due to the Man-Wolf curse, Peter is relatively sanguine about losing that honor.
It's a fun issue with Spider-Man fighting the two monster characters, but there seem to be some pieces of the story missing, like what exactly Morbius gained from causing Spider-Man to fight the Man-Wolf and why he was after the scientist.
Next issue's title is announced as "The Night They Tore Down Old New York", but that title (and any story that may have been behind it) is abandoned with the title switch and re-numbering to Giant-Size Spider-Man #1.
The rest of this issue is filled out with back-up features that originally appeared in Amazing Spider-Man annual #1.
Quality Rating: C
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue takes place prior to Morbius' run that begins in Fear #20 and Man-Wolf's run that begins in Creatures on the Loose #30. Based on the references (including the fact that it's the same "week" as Peter's fights with Doc Ock and Molten Man), Spider-Man appears here soon after Amazing Spider-Man #133.
Just a note since i talk about the publication history of the Giant-Size books: due to the nature of this project they won't be appearing on this site in the order that they came out.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showFlash Thompson, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Kristine Saunders, Man-Wolf (John Jameson), Mary Jane Watson, Morbius, Spider-Man
For some weird reason, this issue got horrible reproduction in the Essential volume.
And even weirder, when Morbius meets Werewolf By Night a year later, he gets freaked out when he changes back to Jack Russell! Did Morbius receive some amnesiac blow to the head in his Fear series in-between?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 24, 2015 4:47 PM
Marvel actually did run a house ad showing this as Giant-Size Super-Stars #2.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 14, 2016 11:16 AM
thought all of you guys might appreciate this: the official silver age Gil Kane Nasal shot appreciation thread.
Posted by: kveto | February 13, 2018 4:05 PM
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