Characters Appearing: Aunt May, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Henry Pym, Human Torch, Iron Man, J. Jonah Jameson, Jason Ionello, Liz Allan, Sally Avril, Sandman, Spider-Man, Tiny McKeever, Wasp
Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3
Issue(s): Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3
Review/plot: It's impossible to keep the Sandman prisoner. He recently fought the Human Torch, who managed to trap him by waterlogging him, but once he dried out he escaped again. Spider-man runs into him, and the Sandman gives him a chance to walk away, no hard feelings, but Spidey attacks and gets beaten very badly.
So badly that he passes out the next day in school (helped out by bully Jason Ionello) and gets sent to the nurse, who luckily knows he lives at home with his fragile old Aunt or else would suspect child abuse.
Peter goes through a worse case of self-doubt than he went through when he lost to Doc Ock. During that period, other heroes try to battle the Sandman but fail to catch him.
Betty Brant sets him straight (in a nice touch, he asked Betty Brant out on a date while they were flirting at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #7), even though he's bitter about being beat-up and acts like a total jerk to her. Betty gets through to Peter and he goes off to fight Sandman again.
Spider-Man realizes that the nervous jokes and insults he's making while fighting have the effect of hiding the fact that he's scared and also rattling the Sandman into not thinking straight.
This allows Spidey to lure Sandman near an experimental turbine that spreads Sandman too thin. The Daily Bugle's headline is "Spider-Man helps Sandman escape".
There's always the danger with a continuity insert that you're going to find mistakes, if not in actual events, at least in mishandled characterizations or motivations. But Kurt Busiek has such a love of the original issues that he navigates that minefield easily.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Begins directly after Peter flirts with Betty Brant at the end of ASM #7 and after the Sandman/Torch fight in Strange Tales #115. According to the chronology chart in UTOS #14, this issue takes place between Amazing Spider-Man #7-8. Iron Man is wearing his red and gold armor, placing this after Tales of Suspense #48.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
I was not a fan of Pat Olliffe's Thor issues but I really liked his work on this series. Not sure if the inkers made a difference or what. IIRC Milgrom inked him on Thor.
Posted by: Robert | September 20, 2014 1:38 PM
Was it the 90s that started giving a reason for why Peter wisecracks when he fights? I think it's a neat little thing that gives a little extra depth. I remember Ultimate Spider-Man comic had Peter mocking the Green Goblin while his inner thoughts were 'why am I joking so much? Is it to keep me from wetting my pants?'
And some think it's due to Spider-Man perceiving time different and, with comic book allowing talking to be a free action, he's filling up the time while dodging the Rhino's charge.
Posted by: david banes | September 20, 2014 4:51 PM
No, it started before the '90's. In Amazing Spider-Man 275, Peter tells MJ "When I first became Spider-Man, I used patter to cover up my uneasiness! My fear!"
Posted by: Michael | September 20, 2014 5:06 PM
I think the inker makes a huge difference in Olliffe's art, I always preferred his art when he worked with Milgrom.
Posted by: Silverbird | September 20, 2014 6:21 PM
Should this go after Tales Of Suspense #48, as Iron Man is shown above in his newer armor?
Posted by: Bill | February 21, 2016 10:07 PM
And the above post from Bill is not from me, the original Bill :)
Posted by: Bill | February 21, 2016 10:30 PM
I agree this issue (and therefore ASM #7) needed to be moved after TOS #48. Thanks Bill (do you want to be Uncanny Bill or Spectacular Bill?).
Posted by: fnord12 | February 22, 2016 7:40 AM
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