Thursday, 25 February 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #26. The Green Goblin and the Crime-Master

Amazing Spider-Man #26, the Green Goblin and the Crime Master, Steve Ditko cover(Cover from July 1965.)

"The Man In The Crime-Master's Mask!"

Written by Stan Lee.
Plotted, drawn and inked by Steve Ditko.
Lettered by Sam Rosen.

Not that the Green Goblins's stupid but, for some reason known only to himself, he's revealed his secret identity to the Crime-Master, reasoning that if they know each other's identities they'll have to work together to take over the city's gangs.

Why the Goblin wants to work with the Crime-Master - who we've never seen or heard of before and is basically just a man with a gun, and a hat that never falls off - is anyone's guess but the story still suffers from the depiction of the Goblin as a character motivated purely by a desire to take over New York's gangland. This, plus his stupidity and whingeing in his dealings with the Crime-Master, is actually quite irritating here. He comes across more like a whining child than classic villain. The Goblin of the Romita or Kane era would never have tried to work with the Crime-Master, would never have revealed his true identity to him and would have simply let him have it had he tried to get cheeky with him.

Cutting a more impressive figure is Flash Thompson because Peter Parker's feud with Spider-Man's biggest fan finally boils over into violence as, fed up of his taunting, Peter launches an attack on Flash and his gang. Unfortunately for him, the principal sees the incident and calls Peter to the office, at which point, feeling guilty, Flash goes to see the principal to tell him whose fault the fight really was. Showing the normally loud-mouthed Flash has having a moral compass and a code of ethics is a nice twist and this sort of depth of characterisation is one of the reasons the strip stands out from the vast majority of what had gone before in the history of comic books.

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