Amazing Spider-Man #31-33 (1965-1966)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31: First Appearance of Gwen Stacy

Doctor Octopus was missing for a while, but when this extended storyline brings him back it does so in a major way.  We recently saw Green Goblin battling for underworld supremacy, and in this story we learn that SPOILER ALERT FOR A HALF-CENTURY OLD STORY Otto Octavius is doing the same thing—under the guise of “Master Planner.”  It’s a pretty big reveal, a nice end to what for the 1960s probably constituted an “epic.”  (In that it was a storyline that percolated for half a year.)

This is also the story in which Spidey gets trapped in Doc Ock’s underwater base, and have to lift heavy machinery in an epic panel by Steve Ditko—one of the best known Spider-Man sequences of all time.  The panel, above, is not just great art, it’s also a visual example of how Ditko’s characterization of Spider-Man has evolved from a skinny teen with uncanny strength to a muscular, adult-hero body.

Also, Peter Parker goes to college and meets classmates Gwen Stacy and Harry “My daddy is Green Goblin but nobody knows that yet” Obsorn.  And from the start, Gwen is hot for Peter.

On a side note, Amazing Spider-Man #31 had the first appearance of The Jackal, so it’s indirectly responsible for the Clone Saga.

Take what you want from that.

Creators: Steve Ditko (Plot and Art); Stan Lee (Script)
First appearances: Gwen Stacy, Harold Osborn, Miles Warren (as a professor, not as The Jackal)
Grade: A-

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