Friday, February 04, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #39

I have to finish proof-reading the galleys for THE LIVING END today, so no time for any extensive essays.

When I decided to collect the original Amazing Spider-Man comics, I initially only wanted the issues written by its creator, Steve Ditko. These would include Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #s1 through 38, and the Amazing Spider-Man Annuals #s1 & 2. However, after a bit of thinking, I decided to get the issues of the comics that contain Spider-Man appearances that were published while Ditko was still working for Marvel but which he may not have written. So I had to get a few issues I hadn't originally planned on acquiring. And then--for some reason that's not wholly logical--I figured I'd best grab issue #39 and #40. These issues contain the completion of Ditko's Green Goblin saga.

For years Ditko had been keeping the identity of one of Spider-Man's arch-foes a secret. It wasn't only a secret to Spider-Man, but to the readers of the book! I can tell you, when I was a kid, wondering who the Goblin would be was a huge attraction and appeal of reading the book.

However, for reasons known only to Ditko, he left the book he created with issue #38, vanishing from Marvel Comics before he could complete the story. Thus, it was left to the editor, Stan Lee, and new Spider-Man artist John Romita to finish it out. Therefore, even though #39 and #40 were not written by Ditko, I decided to buy them, since they--in some sense--put the end on the character as envisioned by his creator.

The Amazing Spider-Man #39. Then-new Spider-Man artist John Romita claims to have done his best to try to draw like Ditko so that the fans wouldn't be too put off by the differences in their styles. But he didn't really do a good job of copying Ditko. It's not something that is easy to do--well, I'd say it's impossible, since Romita is about as accomplished a comic artist as there is, and he couldn't do it.


Kirk G said...

James Robert Smith said...

Loston's an old pal of mine. We even worked together once, on a one-shot project of CAVEWOMAN.