Amazing Spider-Man #34
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #34
Meanwhile Peter is taking heat for being a snob at college. His classmates don't realize he was ignoring them because he was focused on his Aunt's sickness.
Spidey and Kraven fight and in the end Spidey wins, restoring his reputation.
But Betty Brant has quit her job at the Bugle.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: According to the sequence of events in Marvels #3, this takes place after Avengers #25-27.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #173
Inbound References (3): showAunt May, Aunt Watson, Betty Brant, Big Man (Frederick Foswell), Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Man
these last Ditko issues werent too good. I think since stan and steve werent talking to each other and steve was doing all the plotting the book suffered. it might seem a bad thing to say but steve leaving was probably best for the book.
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 24, 2011 4:07 PM
Just to clarify - the last two Ditko-plotted issues (#32 and #33)are considered two of the best comics of the entire Silver Age. If #34 suffers in comparison, it suffers because Ditko was only drawing, NOT plotting.
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 11, 2014 9:27 PM
Fights certainly suffered, they all became just straight up punch fests. Before Spider-Man would jump around and there seemed to be a lot of creativity put into the planning.
Posted by: david banes | June 11, 2014 9:30 PM
I think Stan Lee was only as good as his artist, as the "Marvel Method' put most of the storytelling burden on the artist, not the writer. Team Stan with a genius like Kirby or Ditko... he looks pretty good. Team Stan with Dick Ayers or Don Heck.. and he looks pretty average.
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 12, 2014 5:34 PM
It reads "Ditko-Plot" up in the credits.
Posted by: kveto from prague | June 12, 2014 5:44 PM
Zellstern, couldn't you make that argument about the majority of comic writers, even some of the best? Would Watchmen have been as revered with Al Milgrom on art? Doubtful.
Posted by: Robert | June 12, 2014 6:04 PM
Kveto, thanks. I don't know how I got it in my head that Lee not Ditko had plotted #34. I humbly retract my earlier posts.
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 12, 2014 7:26 PM
Robert, I think I would respectfully disagree. Look at Englehart for example or Claremont or Gerber - they teamed with a wide variety of artists at all skill levels but each man always had a unique style and delivered a pretty consistent product. Hate to pick on Stan Lee, but take him away from Kirby and Ditko and whattaya get? She-Hulk? Ravage?
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 12, 2014 7:32 PM
Well Lee continued on ASM long after Ditko left and was still producing quality stories, including several classics. Not trying to open up the Lee vs Kirby/Ditko can of worms but just wanting to point out Lee did do good work after his collaborations with those men ended. As for bringing up his later "past his prime" work, I would point out those very names you mentioned all suffered the same fate. Who would reasonably argue Claremont has done something in the last twenty years worth bragging about? There are very few writers that have had long careers where their work was consistently good or great throughout, in my opinion.
Posted by: Robert | June 12, 2014 7:51 PM
Robert, that's a good point and my bringing up Ravage was a cheap shot.
Posted by: Zeilstern | June 12, 2014 8:13 PM
If there's one thing I wish Lee let Ditko do more it's letting more ordinary drama and problems come into Spider-Man's life. I mean more like the issue when he is afraid to fight and flees from Sandman but Aunt May is a bit better at the end. That's a personal favorite of mine and it doesn't really have a fight.
One of the few things I agree with Ditko on, that and I like a creepy small Spider-Man over a heroic build one.
Posted by: david banes | June 12, 2014 8:36 PM
Ditko's fight scenes did go downhill during his last several issues of "Spider-Man." The two Scorpion issues, most of the "Master Planner" trilogy, those are so good you can't believe it's not Kirby. But the Looter, the Meteor, Kraven, etc. did not live up to those heights.
And Stan Lee's skills don't really show up in what he did with lesser artists. He wasn't much of a plotter, and his dialogue wasn't great except during the Marvel Age. But besides being one of the most prolific writers in comics history - including thousands of full scripts - he was an excellent editor and overall manager of the Marvel Bullpen. He built the structure of Marvel Comics as much as Kirby and Ditko created the basic pages that brought us all so much wonder.
The best of Stan's dialogue is really the only place his contribution shows up clearly. It's not just that he brought characterization which didn't exist in comics before, it's that he could tailor the dialogue to distinctive individual characters and (exceptions duly noted) didn't mess with the art to do it. Jolly Jack could bring in a close-up of Dr. Doom explaining his master scheme and just looking at the penciled art, Stan would know how to describe the scheme and include off-panel balloons that involved the characters and advanced the story.
"Now that I have succeeded in merging cosmic rays with gamma radiation, none shall stand in my way!"
Posted by: ChrisW | June 12, 2014 8:46 PM
I think the Looter and Metorite are the same guy. Oh! Can't forget about Joe! I never thought anyone would bring him back but someone at Captain America did and I certainly liked him more there.
Second Scorpion fight was a little dry. First Scoprion fight is awesome because whiel it is a lot of punching it was a change of pace then and there was plenty of energy. Great panel when his tail sends rubble flying then decks Peter once he lands.
Was it really Stan Lee that first started giving dialogue characterization in comics? Got to be some kind of earlier pioneer, much as I'd love to at least credit him with that.
Posted by: david banes | June 12, 2014 8:52 PM
Defending Shulkie, that was more or less copywright protection just like Spider-Woman was. If Marvel didn't do it, Universal would have. (luckily Shulkie was treated kindly beyond the reason behind why she was created)
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 13, 2014 10:01 AM
I'm sure someone before Stan came up with distinctive dialogue in comics, but Stan demonstrated how it should be done, and on a large-scale. The Human Torch appearing in FF was recognizeably the same Human Torch guest-starring in "Spider-Man." They both used the same lingo.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 3, 2014 10:55 PM
As much as I admire, Stan, I think that Will Eisner was a master of dialogue long before the Marvel Age.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 4, 2016 10:34 PM
Eisner was great, no doubt about that. But his characters were mostly created in service to the specific story he was telling. He probably did come up with distinctive dialogue - haven't read enough of his "Spirit" to think of examples - but he was putting the story first. The Super (from "A Contract With God") appears in a few of his later books, and isn't as recognizable in the other appearances. ["The Super" is one of my favorite comics stories ever, that's why this example comes to mind.]
Stan was more about the characters, and he had a Bullpen to run. Like I say, the Human Torch appearing in "Fantastic Four," "Strange Tales" and "Amazing Spider-Man" was recognizably the same character, no question, no reason to complain 'the Torch wouldn't do that!' Daredevil in "Spider-Man" or "FF," the Avengers in "FF" or "X-Men," they were totally consistent.
Eisner's one of the very few people who can challenge Stan for contributions to comics - and I would give Eisner the win there; Stan called him to ask if he wanted to take over as editor - but Stan does beat him for dialogue abilities.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 4, 2016 11:52 PM
Really like kraven in this issue, you get to see him as a noble fighter
Posted by: Roy Mattson | June 19, 2017 3:16 PM
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