Amazing Fantasy #16-18
Issue(s): Amazing Fantasy #16, Amazing Fantasy #17, Amazing Fantasy #18
...Spidey fights to prevent a super powered girl from destroying a construction site...
...and Spidey stops a super-villain from killing a TV audience) are less important than the character development that is going on here.
Peter Parker is coming to grips with his Uncle's death, and his responsibility for it.
He's also coming to grips with being Spider-Man - at first being unable to even put the costume on because it reminds him of his role in the death of Uncle Ben, then discovering the freedom of being able to swing through the city, and the good feeling he gets when helping people.
He learns about his Spider Sense...
...and he learns to start using his webbing as a weapon instead of just a transportation method.
You also see the reaction other people have to super heroes. The villain Supercharger...
...has the lame idea that since he was turned into a freak when he got his powers, he should kill people so they recognize that super powered people are bad. Spidey stops him, but people in the audience start to wonder about what Supercharger said. You also see the origin of J. Jonah Jameson's hatred of Spidey, as his son John gets bumped from a TV appearance in favor of Spider-Man...
...and also because he overhears Spidey lecturing his agent about responsibility and feels shamed by Spidey's lack of self-interest. It's all very good and a very needed addition to the Silver Age stories. The painted art is deliberately impressionistic and pretty good, if a little too sketchy for my tastes.
Brief appearance by the Kingpin, who is the behind-the-scenes instigator of the plot in issue #17. He and Spider-Man don't meet in this story.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: There are TV references to the Hulk, Ant-Man, the Fantastic Four, Thor, and rumors of Iron Man (and a young Cyclops).
Footage of Thor helping to test the army's anti-missile defense system is shown. Thor will help do this in Journey Into Mystery #86, but in that issue it is mentioned that he has been helping for some time, so this doesn't necessarily have to take place after that issue. It does have to take place after the other references listed below, and before the X-Men's first appearance since it shows Cyclops as a younger boy. Also, obviously, it is designed to fill in the gaps between Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAunt May, Flash Thompson, Human Torch, J. Jonah Jameson, Jason Ionello, Kingpin, Liz Allan, Man-Wolf (John Jameson), Maxie Shiffman, Sally Avril, Spider-Man, Supercharger, Tiny McKeever
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