Arriving at the hospital, Spidey discovers that Doc Ock has captured several doctors and is forcing them to do evil deeds with beakers and prescription tablets. The Amazing Spider-Man rushes in and is quickly shown the window by "the first villain to ever beat" him. Dejected, Peter Parker spends quite a few panels feeling sorry for himself and contemplating early retirement until he listens in on a stirring speech from Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch. With new vitality racing through his spider-irradiated blood, the hero defeats the misunderstood Octopus (misunderstood in the sense that the guy has six arms, not eight) and once again saves the day.
John Scoleri: So who was Johnny Storm's agent? FF, Strange Tales AND Spider-Man this month? And though he was brought in to deal with Doc Ock, clearly they only needed him to spur PP into another confrontation with ol' eight-limbs.
JS: While I await the Lizard's arrival with great anticipation, I have to say that Doc Ock was another one of those villains I never truly appreciated, with a check your brain at the door origin story. Radiation that causes metal to meld to his skin? Sure, I'll buy that. But extending the control to his physiology? Still, Ditko manages to make him interesting.
PE: Spider-Man truly was Marvel's flagship title and I'm sure it had a lot to do with Steve Ditko. The artist's work just keeps getting better. Comic historians debate endlessly (on either side of the table like Democrats and Republicans) how much of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange were actually written by Ditko. You can't tell what the truth is from interviews. No one seems to be able to remember who did what. Let those debates rage on. I'll simply be enjoying the stories and artistry, no matter who wrote them. Amazingly, Ock almost seemed as though he'd be heading to second-tier status but strong storylines (including one in the early 70s that saw Octavious almost marrying Aunt May!) elevated him to the big leagues. The appearance in the second Sam Raimi film (as portrayed brilliantly by Alfred Molina) only cemented that status.
JS: I don't know how much he had to do with the writing, but I do like how he started to shake up some of the panel layouts. The standard three rows were getting a tad monotonous.
JS: I'm continually amazed that you and I seem to notice the same things.
JS: I love that Reed refers to him as The Astonishing Ant-Man. As if he's trying to protect the copyright. July 63 was a summer of crossovers...
JS: Did you notice that the worst possible scenario for Sue wasn't that she'd be slave to the lizard men, but that her hair would be a mess? Doom's return was unfortunately a lackluster one. I'll chalk it up to the fact that the best is yet to come.
Marvel's proofreaders take a vacation
JS: For some reason, we're supposed to accept that the blind gal is only interested in a human rockpile, and not a fleshy Ben. What's up with that? And Reed is so focused on solving Ben's problem that he shoves a beaker in his mouth while he's balancing a piano in one hand? Like, oops, I missed that detail...
PE: Where the hell's The Astonishing Ant-Man when you need him most?
JS: Here's another character I never read growing up, and one of those that I'm most looking forward to reading.
JS: Is it just me, or is Loki the new star of Journey Into Mystery? It feels like he's in almost every issue.
JS: Yeah. No one will notice the Asgardian take on a Pyramid, or the Eiffel Tower. No problem at all.
PE: Where the hell is Larry Lieber when you need him most?
PE: -Spoiler alert- Don't bet on it, Professor John!
PE: Can I skip ahead?
|the hardest part of writing Ant|