AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18-19 (1964)

Issue #18 is truly different. I mean, in the panel above, Stan Lee brags about how different it is, but this time it’s not just sales-superlatives.

In the story, Spidey has a chance to spring into action, his web-shooter is literally cocked, loaded and aimed, and then Aunt May springs into his head and he stops himself.  “If anything happened to ME, who’d look after poor Aunt May?”

Everything about this panel with Aunt May is brilliant.  He’s in an action pose and her image appears between him and the shot.  He emphasis “ME” in the thought balloon, showing his overblown sense of responsibility and importance.  I just love it.

Last issue, he ran from a fight, and Human Torch wants to talk to him about it.  So, we get the second Statue of Liberty meeting…

Only, Spidey doesn’t show up. 

Throughout #17 and #18, J. Jonah Jameson was happy as can be. Every panel has him grinning ear to ear.  Well, inevitably, in #19 Spidey returns to action.  Here’s JJJ’s reactions:

IMG_3190I know everyone talks about Jack Kirby, and the man was great, but I’m a Steve Ditko guy.  Sequences like this one show his mastery of his art.   Also during this issue, Stan manages to work in the rest of the Marvel Universe, so we get to see Steve Ditko draw them.  Terrific!

amazing spider-man 18

Note: Issue #19 was reprinted in Marvel Tales #159 as part of Marvel’s Assistant Editors Month event, and a panel was redrawn to update the looks of the characters…

Also, the Enforcers are in this story.  They’re involved in a plot to kidnap Human Torch, Spider-Man goes to save him, and the two bros end up caught in Spidey’s web.

But of course they eventually save the day and Spidey has his trademark sarcastic humor…

Creators: Lee and Ditko
Grade: A+.  Some of the best of the best.

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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