A post from my Marvel blog of long ago, part of a series discussing my early Marvel purchases which failed to make me a fan.
April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General
Continuing our exploration of Marvel books I sampled in the 70s but which failed to capture me as a reader.
Even though I was an avowed Marvel hater, so big an event was the publication of SUPERMAN VS THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN that I bought a copy nonetheless. I think it’s maybe difficult for the readership of today to understand just how radical and unexpected this book was, in a world where inter-company crossovers happen all the time. But back in 1976, if you’d asked anyone, including most of the people working at both companies, if such a thing might ever happen, they would have laughed out loud. And yet, it did. Marvel had, by this point, started to outsell DC’s books a few years earlier, but this was the first tacit acknowledgement on the competition’s part that these newfangled Marvel characters might have staying power, and indeed Spider-Man might be an iconic enough character to share cover-space with the Man of Steel.
I didn’t care about any of that, of course. I was just interested in a good story. And it was a good story, an excellent merging of the styles and worldviews of the two companies.
However, I didn’t like Spider-Man. In fact, I thought he was a jerk.
It’s so strange to think about this, given that Peter Parker was conceived and came to fame as the ultimate shnook, the ultimate loser, but in SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, he came across to me as maybe a little too hip, maybe a little too-good-for-the-room, both as Peter and as Spider-Man. I wasn’t used to the flippancy of the character, and writer Gerry Conway had been taking steps to make Peter a bit more modern and less of a patsy while writing the regular book. Nevertheless, it was my impression (and it’s one that’s really only changed with a greater understanding of the character and his history, and where he was in his evolution at that precise moment). So I didn’t care for him, certainly not enough to start picking up any of his regular books. I just enjoyed this big treasury edition, and went back to buying my DC’s.
At around this same time, my younger brother Ken, who dabbled in comic books on-and-off, but never developed the same fanaticism for them that I did, purchased AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #159–an issue that eventually found its way into my collection. And again, I found the character and the storytelling harsh, partly due to the artwork of Ross Andru (who’d also penciled SUPERMAN/AMAZING SPIDER-MAN). But at least this was the last chapter in a multi-part storyline, so it had a conclusion, and I knew Doc Ock from the aforementioned crossover, so it wasn’t especially confusing to me–just not engaging enough that it made me want to buy more.
One thought on “Blah Blah Blog – Bad Comics I Bought, Part Four”
Greeat reading this