Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #94. The Beetle

Amazing Spider-Man #94, the Beetle, John Romita
(Cover from March 1971)

"ON WINGS OF DEATH!"

Written by Stan Lee
Art by John Romita and Sal Buscema
Lettering by Artie Simek


What happens:
Peter Parker's feeling sorry for himself after the departure of Gwen Stacy, causing him to reflect on his life as Spider-Man over the last few years. But now he has more urgent matters to worry about because the Beetle's holding Aunt May hostage. Spider-Man rushes to the scene and disposes of the villain, leaving him to wonder why the hero was fighting him with such a passion.

The Verdict.
The first half of the issue's the equivalent of a TV clip show, with flashbacks to Peter Parker's past, including a retelling of Spider-Man's origin. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Clearly, for new readers, it's a godsend but, for long-time followers, it means the tale's treading water for its first ten or so pages.

Aunt May's as annoying as ever, deciding to go and buy some milk from a shop on the block that she knows has been repeatedly attacked by the Beetle.

For that matter, the Beetle's plan's just stupid. Why's he attacking a bunch of stores in the same block over a protracted period? If he's after the bank vault that lies behind one of them, why doesn't he just attack them all in one session instead of setting up an MO that means his next attacks are bound to be expected? For that matter, why doesn't he just attack the bank, as he clearly doesn't know which shop the vault adjoins? For that matter, are the police really that stupid that they can't spot that the shops he keeps attacking all have one thing in common - that they all adjoin the same bank?

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