Late Nights in the Silver Age

Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Part One) (March 1963)

After the success that Amazing Fantasy #15 had, Marvel decided to give the wall crawler his own series. The first issue of Amazing Spider-Man was released in March 1963. The ish featured two stories that would introduce two new antagonists that are still used to this day. The first story introduces J. Jonah Jameson, who has a hatred for Spider-Man and writes articles in his papers about why the citizens of New York should be afraid of Spidey. The second introduces the Chameleon, who is able to disguise himself as any person. Also, the Fantastic Four makes a cameo in this magazine. For now, I’m going to focus on the first part. 

The first story picks up where Amazing Fantasy #15 leaves off. Peter Parker and Aunt May are still reeling from the death of Uncle Ben. As they’re continuing to grieve, they must now find a way to make ends meet now that Ben has passed on. Although Parker despises his powers, he decides to use them as Spider-Man to make money. He visits the Baxter Building (headquarters of the Fantastic Four) in an attempt to see if the Fantastic Four will let him join their team. He ends up fighting the squad because he sort of breaks into the building and he beats them all easily thanks to his spider-sense. The four let him know that they’re a nonprofit organization and they don’t get paid. Spider-Man leaves angrily.

Parker decides to try to get gigs with tv stations again as Spider-Man, but there’s a man out there tarnishing his reputation. His name is J. Jonah Jameson and he’s writing nasty editorials in his own newspaper, The Daily Bugle. Jameson claims that Spider-Man is a menace and a bad influence for the kids. Jameson says that the people should look up to heroes such as his own son, John Jameson, an astronaut. Parker ends up going to a shuttle launch that John Jameson is featured in and the launch goes awry. Parker saves John Jameson as Spider-Man in front of J. Jonah. Parker thinks that J. Jonah Jameson will calm down, but Jameson says that Spider-Man was trying to steal his son’s spotlight by sabotaging the shuttle launch. What a dick!

Stan Lee grabs the readers’ heart strings and really plucks them. Uncle Ben passed away and now the Parkers are struggling to get by. Lee is constantly stacking the deck against Parker, but he knows that readers are going to sympathize with Parker. Readers are going to sympathize because we all know how it feels to have back-to-back bad things happen. It can be painful and cause our emotions to fluctuate. The first story ends almost similar to Amazing Fantasy #15. Parker is hating his powers and he feels that all it does is bring him bad mojo. So much teenage angst!

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