NOTE: In this Continuing EPIC Series we’ll look at GREAT Storylines from Comics Past but there will be various SPOILERS throughout– keep in mind that no story covered is going to be younger than 40 years old so I think it’s fair game, but if you absolutely don’t want a story spoiled in our effort to tell you how great it was, skip this entry!
EPIC COMIC STORYLINES #1 – SPIDEY’S SIX ARMS! COLLECT ‘EM ALL!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100 – #102 October – December 1971
“THE SPIDER OR THE MAN?”
by Stan Lee and Gil Kane
Oh boy, for Spider-Man’s 100th Issue Stan Lee really pulled out all the stops and delivered a story that both rocked the comics world and made many readers (myself included) a lifelong Spider-Man fan!
Peter Parker is swinging over the streets of New York looking for crimes to stop– he encounters some bank robbers, foils the robbery, leaving them for the police. Now with any other superhero (especially those at Marvel Comics competition) that would have been just another day on the calendar and the hero would have been celebrated. Stan made the genius decision to have people misunderstand Spider-Man’s actions no matter what he did and think he was a villain.
Spider-Man is tired of this, and after 99 issues he realizes being a misunderstood superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Watching normal folks going about their day, having families and relationships, he feels envious and decides he wants this normal life, he wants to bring things with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy to the next level, part of the complication is that Gwen is like the NYPD and most of New York blames Spider-Man (who she doesn’t know is actually her boyfriend Peter) for the death of her father, NYPD Captain Stacy. In addition Peter realizes the constant danger of being Spider-Man stands in the way of a normal life so returning to his apartment he begins to work on a serum to cure himself of his spider-powers and return him to normal. He guzzles the new formula down and begins to get dizzy but decides to go to bed to sleep it off.
This leads us to a dream sequence which allows Stan to recap Spidey’s first 99 issues, starting with the guilt he feels for the death of his beloved Uncle Ben who was killed by a burglar Spider-Man failed to stop in his first adventure.
This forced Peter to get a job with the Daily Bugle to support his now widowed Aunt May, creating the irony that the pictures he takes of Spider-Man and sells to publisher J Jonah Jameson are then used to demonize Spider-Man in Jameson’s PR campaign against Spidey! Wow, talk about soap operas! The dream continues with appearances by Spider-Man’s rogues gallery finally ending with a ghostly appearance by Captain Stacy who tells him he can’t ever give up being Spider-Man because it’s his duty to protect the city.
Peter wakes up with regret that he drank the untested formula and after some intense pain in his side removes his sweater to discover that he’s grown four additional arms in his sleep, making him virtually a LIVING HUMAN SPIDER!
To be continued in the Next Issue!!
And as a comics reader at the time, how could you not be back to find out the conclusion!?
If you’d like to read the saga check out the website for what we have in stock!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #101
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