PETER PARKER THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1-3 (1976-1977): 1st Lightmaster

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PPTSS #1 was the first comic book I ever read (other than Tintin or Asterix).  My parents went to another couple’s house for dinner and dragged me along.  The man of the house took me downstairs to a room filled with white longboxes, and told me I could read whatever I wanted.  The first box I opened, first comic I picked up had an amazing cover.  Or should I say a “spectacular” one.

I was hooked.

As I read this now, looking back, it seems kind of stilted and silly.  But the first issue had the significance of making Gloria “Glory” Grant a regular castmember, and the second recurring black character in Spider-Man, which was probably the only comic to have two recurring black characters in its regular rotation.

No, they aren’t great comics.  But they’re fun.  And for me, they’re special.

Tarantula–who has daggers in his toes–is the main villain of these three issues.  In #1, he tries to kill Spider-Man (he was hired to do so) and fails, but escapes.  In the second one, he goes after Kraven, and then Kraven goes after Spider-Man.  In the third, Spider-Man is finally hunting Tarantula.  But his attempts to capture him are foiled by a new villain, called The Lightmaster.

He’s lame as hell.  But he still got an action figure.

Creators: Gerry Conway and Sal Buscema

Grade: C+

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