Characters Appearing: Angel, Aunt May, Beast, Betty Brant, Cyclops, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Flash Thompson, Foggy Nelson, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), Happy Hogan, Henry Pym, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, J. Jonah Jameson, Jane Foster, Jarvis, Jason Ionello, Jean Grey, Karen Page, Liz Allan, Mr. Fantastic, Pepper Potts, Spider-Man, Sub-Mariner, Sundown, Thing, Thor, Tiny McKeever, Wasp, Wong
Untold Tales of Spider-Man '97
Issue(s): Untold Tales of Spider-Man '97
A scientist who is henpecked by his wife and disliked by his coworkers gains solar based super powers when he ingests a portion of the super-fertilizer he's been working on.
The transformed scientist gets tagged with the name Sundown. Spider-Man meets him and assumes he is a super-villain but he is really just confused, angry, and not quite in control of his abilities.
Spidey and a large cast of guest heroes fail to stop him...
...but when the one girl who has been nice to him gets injured in the fight, he realizes what he is doing and turns himself in to the authorities.
Tongue-in-cheek gratuitous cameos by the Hulk and Namor. Just about every other Marvel super-hero who was active at this time participates in the fight.
The scientist worked for OsCorp, and when Norman Osborn realizes that the chemical he was working on was similar to the formula that Professor Stromm created (which is what turned Osborne into the Green Goblin) he very unsubtly prevents his co-workers from looking into the scientist's research.
Decent art by Tom Lyle, more or less staying within the boundaries of the classic time period.
Here's the scene min refers to in the comments.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Tony Stark is still 'missing' and Happy and Pepper are suspicious of Iron Man, placing this between Tales Of Suspense #60, when Happy and Pepper first get suspicious, and Tales Of Suspense #62, when Iron Man also goes missing. Professor X is on a leave of absence, placing this between Uncanny X-Men #8 and #9.
Captain America is obsessively scanning footage of Baron Zemo, which can happen any time before Avengers #15. Daredevil is wearing his original costume which he wears until Daredevil #7. Mr. Fantastic is trying to duplicate the results of the potion Diablo used to turn the Thing partially human, placing this after Fantastic Four #30.
According to the continuity chart in UTOS #25, this issue takes place between ASM #20 and #21, but i've moved it back slightly between #19 and #20 in order to synch up with the other dependencies listed in this section. From a Spider-Man point of view, the issue is really context free so it shouldn't be a problem.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
in ASM #19, Betty tells Peter she's seeing Ned now, so wouldn't it be weird for him to ask her out to lunch if this issue occurs after ASM #19? her apology to Peter in issue #19 implied to me that her relationship with Ned was exclusive.
Posted by: min | October 3, 2012 1:28 PM
I think he's just inviting her to go eat with him!
I think Busiek was tracking the Peter/Better romance pretty well in these issues, so the fact that he placed this issue after ASM #19 probably indicates that he meant for it to be a casual invite as opposed showing that Peter and Betty were still dating at this point.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 3, 2012 2:29 PM
I'm curious. If you read the comics in chronological order with the continuity inserts in place, when do you find out that Norman is the green goblin? I mean how long before ASM #39 do the continuity implants "spoil" it.
Another reason to dislike continuity implants.
Reminds me of the scenario in 15-20 years time when kids will watch all of the star wars films in chronological order with prequels first. When it gets to the big "luke, I am your father" reveal, all the viewers will just go "yeah, we know."
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 3, 2012 2:58 PM
UTOS #8, which takes place before the first published appearance of the Green Goblin, spoils Norman's identity. There's hints that something's going on as early as UTOS #1. I've added some relevant scans to both entries.
It's hard to get a fresh reaction since *i* knew Osborn was the Goblin all along (from flashback scenes in comics i read in real time starting in the 80s). But at least you can sort of separate out in your head what people would have known at the time, so when you get to ASM #39, you can still say "Aha, this is when everyone found out", even though you've been reading him as the Goblin in Untold Tales.
What's worse are the stealth retcons you get in reprints (especially Classic X-Men). To continue the Star Wars analogy, it's like watching a Special Edition version and wondering "Did they really get that cool special effect back in 1977 or was that new CGI?".
Posted by: fnord12 | October 3, 2012 3:23 PM
When did Osborn's company become "OsCorp?" I thought the original name was Osborn Chemical? Or am I wrong?
It's been way too long since I had my own comics handy, so I can't remember.
Posted by: Chris | October 3, 2012 10:44 PM
It's still Osborn Chemicals in these stories. I use OsCorp as a shortcut sometimes but i should be more careful to avoid confusion.
It's probably never referred to as OsCorp until after Osborn's return from the dead, but i'm not sure. I'll keep an eye open for it.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 4, 2012 7:46 AM
OsCorp is all Bendis!
Posted by: fnord12 | October 4, 2012 7:49 AM
I actually think OsCorp was first used in the 90's Spidey animated series, and Bendis (and the movie producers) probably picked it up from there.
Sundown must have gotten the meanest judge in New York; career criminals like the Beetle and Eel get incredibly short sentences that they can serve and be let out in just a few publishing-months, while he--who just had a temporary mental breakdown--is stuck in prison until the publishing-late-90s.
Posted by: Thanos6 | April 28, 2015 6:05 PM
Well since Norman (after his return) was pretty much the Marvel version of John Byrne's take on Lex Luthor, it would make sense they would also *borrow* the name of his company, LexCorp.
Posted by: Robert | February 10, 2016 6:48 PM
I thought Sundown was an interesting character with the Annual bookends for his story but wish he would be brought back again.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 30, 2016 9:09 PM
Comments are now closed.
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