Comixology Sale Picks: 1960s Amazing Spider-Man
Posted by James Hunt at 09:34 on 28 Apr 2014
Amazing Spider-Man #1-38: Lee & Ditko
There's a school of thought which says, not entirely unreasonably, that the Lee/Ditko issues are the bible for the character. Basically every Spider-Man villain worth a dam appears in these first 38 issues, culminating with the introduction of the Green Goblin. It's mildly irritating that Amazing Fantasy #15 isn't included, but there are plenty of great issues in here. It's not particularly helpful to say "just buy the lot", so here are a few picks:
ASM #1 guest-stars the Fantastic Four, and is a must-buy. ASM #3 is the first Doctor Octopus appearance, and ASM #11-12 feature the villain's return (and Spidey's first unmasking!). ASM #31-33 are the three parts of the "Master Planner" arc that ends with one of the most famous Spider-Man sequences of all time. Ditko's final issue - ASM #38 - is a brilliant story about a working class guy given super-powers, and a fantastic note to go out on. Any of these issues are worth buying, though, so if you've got interest in a particular villain just grab any issue they're on the cover of.
Amazing Spider-Man #39-67: Lee & Romita
John Romita took over art duties immediately after Ditko left, allegedly over a dispute about the Green Goblin's true identity. Whether that was the case or not, the character was unmasked in the first issues Romita drew. Romita's background in romance comics drew the soap-opera to the fore of Spider-Man, and his new, more muscular take on the character was a big hit too. There's no denying that Ditko laid the foundations, but Romita was as worthy a successor as there could've been, finding a new take on the character that worked just as well. Romita drew every issue from #38-58, then did layouts for Don Heck and Jim Mooney for the some years after, occasionally returning to pencil a complete issue.
Again, you can buy anything in this batch and strike gold, but we've obviously got some favourites. The Green Goblin unmasking issues (#39 & #40) are essential. After being mentioned for more than 25 issues, Mary Jane finally makes her first appearance (you know the one) in Amazing Spider-Man #42. Amazing Spider-Man #50 ("Spider-Man No More!") is one of the series' most iconic stories, and was the basis of Raimi's Spider-Man 2.
Panel Beats Approved List:
Amazing Spider-Man #1
Amazing Spider-Man #3
Amazing Spider-Man #11
Amazing Spider-Man #12
Amazing Spider-Man #31-33
Amazing Spider-Man #38
Amazing Spider-Man #40-41
Amazing Spider-Man #42
Amazing Spider-Man #50
Total Cost: $11.88 / £8.28