Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #54. Dr Octopus. Aunt May's lodger

Amazing Spider-Man #54, Dr Octopus - Aunt May's lodger
(Can it be true? Can Aunt May be dead? Readers can only hope.
From Nov 1967.)

"The Tentacles And The Trap!"

Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by John Romita
Inked by Mickey Demeo
Lettered by Sam Rosen

And so we kick off the tale with Aunt May finding the perfect lodger; Dr Octopus. She and Octopus are old friends. She first met him in Spider-Man Annual #1, where Octopus kidnapped her but she was so stupid that she never noticed. Of course, there is the little matter that she's now heard he's a master criminal, wanted by the police, but he easily talks her round, convincing her that he was merely trying to save the nullifier from that villain Spider-Man who was out to steal it. Aunt May, being even stupider now than she was on their first encounter, believes him and, hey presto, she and the absent Anna Watson have themselves a new lodger.

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, aunt may agrees to take doc ock in as a lodger

Now upstairs, Ock unpacks his bags and starts to make his plans. His thinking's clear. The police'll be looking for him. His secret hideout - whose location no one knows - isn't a safe place to stay, so, instead, he'll stay in a suburban house, with two women who might tell everyone who their lodger is, with neighbours who can see his every coming and going. Oh, and for that matter, his landladies might have friends and family who'll recognise him straight away and go to the authorities. It has to be said that, as masterplans go, this has to be the most block-headed in history.

Amazing Spider-Man #54,, john romita, having moved in as aunt may's lodger, doctor octopus unpacks his tentacles

Not that Octopus cares. He's already planning his next attempt to steal the nullifier.

Peter, meanwhile, meets The Bugle's City Editor Joe Robertson for the first time. Robertson's curious as to how he keeps getting those shots of Spider-Man. Pete's not saying. The Silver Spoon long forgotten, he heads for the Coffee Bean where Gwen and Mary Jane both drool over him like he's made of purest chocolate. Sadly, he can't spend any time with them. He's heard about Aunt May having a new lodger and heads over to check him out.

When he gets there, his spider-sense is tingling. Concerned, he goes in...

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, approaching aunt may's house, peter parker is about to get the shock of his life

...and, gasp, finds Aunt May and Dr Octopus sat there having tea together. He tries to warn his aunt about Octopus but, showing the stupidity that's become her hallmark, she refuses to listen. Left alone with Peter, the menace makes it clear what'll happen to his aunt if he blabs.

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, peter parker looks aghast as he finds aunt may sat at the kitchen table with his arch-enemy doctor octopus

Right now, Peter can't do anything, not with Aunt May about but, once he's left the house, he hangs around till nightfall. Now in his Spider-Man guise, he decides to lure Ock out into the open. He shines his Spider-Signal in through the window of Octopus's room.

But, for once, Octopus plays it smart. He knows Spidey wants him to come out and fight and so, instead, decides to stay inside. He contacts his stooges and tells them to deal with the webbed nuisance. Almost instantly, they're there and attacking our hero. Needless to say, no matter how many of them there are, such minor hoods are no match for Spider-Man and he summarily disposes of them, just in time for the police to arrive and take them away.

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, in aunt may's back garden, spider-man fights doctor octopus's goons, as a crowd watch him go

But Spidey can't hang around. Octopus is too big a menace. He smashes into Ock's room and is promptly grabbed by the tentacles. Hit in the chin by one, he feigns unconsciousess and then attacks Ock.

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, spider-man is grabbed by the tentacles of doctor octopus

And what happens next?

Aunt May happens next.

Hearing the commotion, she re-enters the house (having gone outside to see what all the fuss was about) and blunders in on Spidey battling Octopus. The shock's too much and she collapses in a heap. Octopus smashes out through the wall and leaves Spidey to worry about the old woman. Totally ignoring the existence of ambulances, he calls the always available Dr Bromwell who turns up and adjudges that she'll recover but another attack could kill her. That's it. Pete's going to get Octopus if it's the last thing he does.

Amazing Spider-Man #54, john romita, peter parker tears off his spider-man mask as he holds aunt may who's been injured in his with with doctor octopous

1 comment:

Brenton said...

That is truly preposterous. "Ms. May, I'll need a few of the walls taken out to accommodate my large metal arms. If that's okay."


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