December 5, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #34 (March, 1966)

Kraven comes up with a foolproof plan to get Spider-Man to come out of hiding.

OK, I asked before if Lee and Ditko had no idea what college was like because the characters there that Peter met seemed to behave just like the ones from his high school.  Then I get to this issue, see more or that, and then I see…Gwen Stacy has a locker?  In a hallway with a lot of others?

Did…colleges have lockers like high schools did back in the day?  Because that’s really weird to me.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #34, March 1966

Words, Edits, Salesmanship:  Stan Lee

The Art, the Story, the Everything Else:  Steve Ditko

The Plot:  Kraven the Hunter returns to hunt Spider-Man, and he has the perfect bait.

Commentary:  Before I discuss anything at all about the Kraven plotline, I will say this:  the people at Empire State sure are a stuck-up bunch of jerks.  This is a college.  There has to be thousands of students there, and yet all the boys want to date the headband-free beauty Gwen Stacy, and everyone thinks Peter Parker is a snob because he was ignoring everyone while he was worried that the perpetually frail Aunt May was finally going to kick the bucket.

Well, except for Gwen.  She alone thinks Peter might have had a good reason to be distant.  Maybe someone should just, I dunno, ask Peter what was up since he’s trying to be friendly now?  Then again, I learned recently that the current Powers That Be at Marvel think Gwen was Peter’s One True Love, and that’s why he and MJ keep breaking up.  C’mon, you bozos!  Readers like me are far too young to even remember Gwen Stacy before she was killed off.  And I am in my late 40s, hence the spacing after every period.

That spacing drives some people nuts for some reason.

Regardless, Gwen has a locker and maybe an open mind.

But what was Kraven up to?  Well, he figures he has the strength thanks to those weird drinks he makes out of stuff he finds in the jungle to be able to fight Spider-Man to the finish, and that will redeem himself in his own eyes.  Yeah, I guess that would work…if you’re a lunatic.  Too bad this Kraven isn’t like the one from Ultimate Spider-Man who was basically just the Crocodile Hunter, and in their first encounter, young Spider-Man took him out easily because he was “just a guy”.

Maybe I oughta ask Jimmy to do write ups like this for Ultimate Spider-Man.

Never mind.  What’s Kraven’s plan?  Dress up like Spidey and harass J Jonah Jameson, who will apparently not notice the Russian accent Spider-Man picked up somewhere.  After Peter finally notices that a couple days later, he does swing into Kraven’s trap, and even with another mob of mobsters suddenly showing up, it turns out Kraven’s belief that his jungle serums would make him Spidey’s equal was a bit…incorrect, but he’s a man of his word and confesses he framed Spidey, proving Jameson is wrong again.

You think Jolly Jonah would have learned better by now.

Anyway, that was fun.  Who’s up next?  The Molten Man?  The most pathetic villain thus far?  Maybe he’ll actually have a plan this time.  Or be warm or something.  For a molten man, he wasn’t very molten.

Grade:  A

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