Sunday, 29 November 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #130. Hammerhead, the Jackal and Dr Octopus

Amazing Spider-Man #130, Hammerhead, the Jackal and the Spider-Mobile
(Cover from March 1974.)

"Betrayed!"

Words by Gerry Conway.
Pencils by Ross Andru.
Inks by Giacoia and Hunt.
Lettering by Artie Simek.
Colours by P Goldberg.


Spider-Mobile Spider-Mobile. What are we to make of you? So like the Batmobile in so many ways but, in so many ways, not.

Maybe there's something wrong with me but, reviled as it is, I actually like the Spider-Mobile. I mean, I wouldn't want Spidey to have spent the rest of his career driving around in it. It would've somewhat hampered the style of a man we're used to seeing swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper but I can't help feeling that people tend to miss the point of it. It's supposed to be naff. It's supposed to be a travesty. It's supposed to be an embarrassment. It's supposed to be the worst idea ever. And being lumbered with it is exactly the sort of thing that would happen to Spider-Man. It wouldn't happen to Superman. Can you imagine the Thor-Mobile? And it definitely wouldn't happen to the Hulk. But poor old Spidey, that's the way his cookie crumbles. It does also give us a chance to be reminded that our hero can't drive and doesn't care.

On the villain front, Hammerhead's back, the Jackal's back, Dr Octopus is back. We can hardly complain of being short changed this month. In truth, between them, they feature for a surprisingly small percentage of the tale. But that's fine. This issue is prologue to bigger things and it's not like we don't get much action in the meantime.

I'm a lot happier about the return of Ock than Hammerhead but anvil face is handled pretty well this tale. Possibly because we don't get to see a lot of him and also because his men suddenly have laser beams and jet packs and die if they try to say his name. It at least moves him away from the just-a-1930s-style-gangster portrayal we were given on his previous appearance and almost into a modern day Fu Manchu.

As for the tale's conclusion; it's completely ludicrous. It's just about believable that Aunt May might want to marry Doc Ock. She has, after all, singularly failed to spot him for what he is ever since she first encountered him. But would she really not tell her own nephew?

But you know what?

I love it.

Yes, it makes no sense but, to have a hero's closest living relative marry his deadliest enemy who then becomes his uncle is a twist so audacious, ridiculous and Spider-Manny that I just can't resist it.

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