Untold Tales of Spider-Man #5-7
Issue(s): Untold Tales of Spider-Man #5, Untold Tales of Spider-Man #6, Untold Tales of Spider-Man #7
Causing a slight headache for me, these issues take place during Amazing Spider-Man #10. While the events in this story are going on, Aunt May is sick, getting better, and going to Florida, and the Big Man's crime spree is in effect. It's a much needed extension to some pretty significant events that happened very quickly in ASM, but i wish there was a more graceful way to do it.
Nonetheless these are good stories. Spidey tries to pay for Aunt May's medical bills by getting pictures of the Vulture, but his camera gets smashed. He then tries to get money from the Army to prevent the Vulture from stealing an atomic accelerator, but ends up looking like he's in cahoots with the Vulture to a General Thunderbolt Ross.
Then while he is supposed to be out getting pictures of (or stopping) the Big Man's crime wave, he gets wrapped up in helping the Human Torch figure out a number of puzzles designed by the Wizard.
In a nice scene by Busiek to clarify his motives, the Wizard says he is out to prove that he is smarter, and therefore better, than all the super-heroes who knocked him off the popularity charts. Spidey gets to show off his smarts and defeats the Wizard.
There is another nice scene where Spidey gets to check out all of Reed Richards equipment. Both Reed and Henry Pym are said to be out of town, leaving the kids with no super-scientific help to figure out the Wizard's puzzles. The Torch refuses help from a government emergency think tank because he doesn't want to appear stupid.
The end scene highlights the difference in interests between teen-age Spidey and the Torch.
In the next issue Spidey is feeding the Batwing creature he helped in UTOS #2...
...when he realizes he's being spied on by two of his school mates (Jason and Sally, who, like Tiny, are continuity inserts).
They are trying to get the Daily Bugle reward money associated with discovering Spider-Man's secret identity. Spidey webs up Jason and runs off.
The next day, while Jason is talking about what a menace Spider-Man is, Peter is handed a flier advertising a new eye doctor. In ASM #8, Flash broke Peter's glasses, and while Peter realized at that point he didn't need glasses, his Aunt has been hounding him to go see an eye doctor. But Peter was worried that his regular eye doctor might notice a difference in his eyes that could give away his secret identity, so the new doctor seems to be a blessing. However, the doctor turns out to be a hypnotist, and all the individuals that visited him travel to an abandoned theater with all their money. Spider-Man was in the middle of breaking up an armored truck robbery when the signal went out, so he also goes to the theater carrying two big bags of money. Jason and Sally, still trailing Spider-Man, follow. Dr. Winkler has hired Electro as back-up, and when the two of them see Spider-Man enter, they first panic until they realize what is happening.
Then Electro starts gloating. But when Sally takes a flash photo, the spell is broken for Spidey and he attacks. Sally, a star gymnast at Midtown High, swings in and saves Spidey from getting zapped at one point during the fight, and Spidey lets Sally and Jason take a picture of the defeated villains to sell to the Bugle with them taking credit for Electro's defeat.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place the Human Torch appearance between Fantastic Four #23-24, but it's pretty context free and could fit anywhere. According to the chronology chart in UTOS #14, these three issues take place during ASM #10. Issue #5 takes place after Aunt May's surgery as Peter is still trying to save up money to pay for Aunt May's recent medical bills. The morning after the fight, May is recovered but still not off to Florida.
#6 takes place After May has left for Florida - he finds a note she slipped into one of his text books reminding him to go the eye doctor. The Big Man's crime wave is in full force.
In #7 Spider-Man is swinging around looking for the Big Man and runs into a couple of his goons robbing an armored truck but the goon refuses to give Spidey any info, and then the hypnotic signal is sent out summoning all eye doctor patients to the theater with their money.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAunt May, Batwing, Betty Brant, Big Man (Frederick Foswell), Electro, Flash Thompson, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Gerard Winslow Winkler, Human Torch, J. Jonah Jameson, Jason Ionello, Liz Allan, Sally Avril, Spider-Man, Tiny McKeever, Vulture, Wizard
for the most part, i think Busiek does a decent job of integrating these continuity inserts into the existing storyline.
however, in Amazing Spider-Man #10, they made a big point of showing how weakened Spider-Man was from the blood transfusion he gave Aunt May, to the point where he nearly lost a couple of fights to the Enforcers because he got tired so quickly.
in these Untold Tales, you see none of that. he's running around after the Vulture, chasing Torch around the city, and fighting Electro with no problem despite his disorientation from being hypnotized.
in ASM, he specifically names the transfusion as the cause, so i don't think we can just say he was really exhausted from all the extra crime fighting he was doing.
Posted by: min | May 5, 2012 1:19 PM
I also placed the Torch/Wizard story between FF#23 and 24.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 6:41 PM
Moneybags with dollar signs on them. Where are they now?
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | March 25, 2018 2:36 PM
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