Posted - July 2, 2014 | Updated : August 26, 2015
Amazing Spider-Man 203
So the Thinker, because he's always thinking, happens to train his thoughts on Spider-Man. Specifically, Webhead's spider sense. The Thinkers main problem is he keeps losing because of what he terms an 'X-Factor'. So the Thinker is thinking. That's right, the Thinker is thinking, that a 'spider-sense' is just the thing to handle his 'X-Factor' problem, so he sends Battle Droid 12 to do some "spider research". Incidentally, Battle Droid 12 is a class of robot that has been able to give battle to the likes of the Fantastic Four.
Peter is always swinging around. He understandably finds it a welcome break from the travails of being the hapless Parker. What I didn't know, yet it makes total sense, is that Spider-Man has his favorite haunts.
Apparently, he even plays timed games with himself. Neat.
Here comes Battle Droid 12.
Very close to the crown jewels, more depends on his spider-sense than even Peter realizes.
Charged particle beam.
The close-up panel on the left reminds me of Jack Kirby.
Spider-Man creates a very spider-like counter: A web trap. Here's some information about how strong that web is.
Strong enough for the Green Goliath, that's very strong indeed. The Battle Droid pushes and pushes and the web doesn't break, but the droid topples everything the web is attached to. End result?
That's it for Battle Droid 12.
This issue has JRJR (John Romita Jr.) art before John transitioned to his latter, polished and stylized art. I don't like the early JRJR very much but this Spider-Man panel caught my eye.
By the way, JRJR shares art credits with Kevin Dzuban.
We can't end without a cliffhanger so here it is.
When did Pete become such a girl magnet?
Posted - July 3, 2014 | Updated : August 26, 2015
Artist Ron Frenz does a great Hobgoblin. I'm going to show several panels, here's the first one:
The Hobgoblin has a brand new anti-Spider-Man weapon. Here he is activating it via a chest trigger.
It's a bit hard to see but the blasts are coming from his finger blasters.
And the Hobgoblin is revealed to be financed by, and in league with, the mysterious Rose.
Wow. Just look at this panel of Peter and MJ.
Wonderful delicate linework by Ron Frenz. I appreciate the detail work on Peter's sweater.
There's a lot of Peter Parker in this issue, including these three panels:
A bit over the top isn't it? MJ never asking his origin should NOT be a big issue with Peter. Even if it was, it shouldn't be THIS big an issue. This little sequence had to be included because this issue segues into the Spider-Man origin. We're not talking about a page or so spent on the origin - the entire Amazing Fantasy #15 has been reprinted here. I actually think that's a great decision. It's been 275 issues since Amazing Fantasy, the original issue is a rare collector's item and Masterworks won't come out until 1992 (this is circa 1986). So this is a good time to recount the origin for newer fans. We won't go into the origin issue anymore, just know there is a big reprint right in the middle of Amazing Spider-Man #275 making it into a 37-page giant.
Location panels! Well done location panels are a secret treat for me. Here's one from Ron Frenz.
And another great Hobgoblin panel.
Finally! It's on: Hobgoblin vs. Spider-Man
Let's see, in the lower half of the panel, the guy closest to us with black hair is writer Tom DeFalco, the blond guy to the left is artist Ron Frenz? Not sure. The black guy is Editor Jim Owsley a.k.a. Christopher J. Priest.
Great finger blaster / web shield sequence.
A third goblin panel from Frenz.
This one shows his glider in greater detail.
And now, let's see if Hobgoblin's barrage weapon will actually work as he expects.
Great shock ending.
Posted - July 4, 2014 | Updated : August 23, 2015
The story opens to reveal a terrified Mary Jane Watson-Parker.
It's not a nice scene but Todd McFarlane's excellent layout cannot be denied.
The reason for MJ's fear is Venom, who's origin, well, not origin, rather, how he first met Peter, is told in two panels.
It all happened in the excellent Secret Wars event.
Here's a wonderful panel of McFarlane's Spider-Man.
Peter recalls that the last time Venom was successfully repelled it was because of Mr. Fantastic's sonic blaster. So he goes over to the Baxter Building and borrows it.
This issue is dated circa 1988 when a something called film could still be found in most cameras.
Yet another beautiful McFarlane Spidey panel.
Peter and MJ are moving to a spacious new apartment paid for by MJ's job as a model. Peter can't help out with the rent. Here are his thoughts on the matter.
I suppose most kids will just gloss over this panel as an unnecessary interruption of a Spider-Man comic. I'm no longer a kid though, and life problems like this hit very close to home for me. I too have had the terrible experience of not being able to pay my way.
Back at Aunt May's, MJ is inquiring why Aunt May never visits her and Peter.
Those are words of wisdom from Aunt May.
Eddie Brock is Venom. He has broken into a Church and is accosted by this guy.
I realize that the idea is to portray a rookie cop but this guy looks like he's twelve years old.
What a hypocrite Venom is (or is it Brock talking?) - with Venom's power level he could have just knocked the guy out instead of killing him. What is really sickening is that he claims that he had no choice.
Beautiful panel of Spidey looking down at the distant Venom.
This panel makes me feel that I'm swinging with Spider-Man
And now the much awaited fight.
Venom is perhaps the only creature that cannot trigger Peter's spider-sense
What is baffling Peter is that Brock is in there. Brock should be able to trigger his Spider-sense but he didn't. Later on it is revealed that Venom has melded so deeply with Brock that Brock has "inherited" Venom's spider-sense immunity.
More blows are traded but Peter eventually manages to use Reed's sonic blaster on Venom.
It's no use. The meld between Brock and Venom is too strong. Peter decides to retreat and think up a new approach but . . .
McFarlane gives us a simple yet intricate panel of Eddie Brock as Venom.
Here, Spider-Man leverages one of his strongest abilities - the brilliant mind of Peter Parker.
And now for Mr. Parker's excellent solution.
The panels showing Venom falling really communicate that fall.
You can really feel the thud - I mean the "Kwumph". Ewww, sounds a bit squishy. Eventually, Spider-Man brings Venom to a place where the symbiote can be contained.
Looks like Spider-Man isn't the only one changing his looks.
I comfort myself that Benjamin J. Grimm is destined to return to his classic look. Speaking of classic looks. By the end of issue 300, he's back!