February 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #36 (May, 1966)

It's Spider-Man vs...the Looter! Wait, who?

I said at the end of the previous Amazing Spider-Man review that this issue features the most Steve Ditko villain ever.  And here he is…the Looter!

Um, who?

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #36, May 1966

Words, a bit o’ Editing:  Stan Lee

Everything Else:  Steve Ditko

The Plot:  The Looter uses his strength and a fancy flashlight to steal stuff.  Better call Spidey!

Commentary:  OK, here’s the thing:  it is generally well-established that Steve Ditko was a big fan of the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand, a fact that will come into play more for future work he did on his own and which may have influenced why Peter Parker is kind of a jerk during Ditko’s time on the book.  The only one of Rand’s books that I have personally read is Atlas Shrugged.  And to put it bluntly, I wasn’t a fan.  However, Rand basically divides all people in her book and philosophy into three broad categories:  creators who drive society with their awesome and godlike mental proficiencies, workers who gratefully work for creators but will never be one of them, and looters who just want to take what others have built for themselves.  That’s a really bare-bones summary, and I probably didn’t even get the names for the first two groups right if they even had names…but looters, yeah, she had a lot to say about looters.

By the by, I am the sort of person who will generally finish any book I start, eventually, but if I wasn’t, oh man, would I have gladly put that one down and forgotten about it.

Anyhoo, you might be forgiven given the title of the issue and story says “When Falls the Meteor!” to think the mystery villain is, in fact, the Meteor.  But nope!  He’s the Looter because he, um, loots things.  He just got his powers from a meteor.

See, here’s one Norton Fester.  He wants to be big time famous for a scientific discovery.  He finds a meteor that landed on Earth (technically a meteorite, I think), but you would think a guy with those asperations would be a brilliant scientist.  But nope!  He isn’t.  Instead, he’s a guy who wants other scientists to find the discovery for him, but the only ones he consults are making hair tonic.  So, is he a rich guy?  Again, no.  He can’t get a loan despite saying how famous he is going to be for finding a rock.  So, what is his next plan?  Obviously he’s going to chisel into it himself without any other thoughts beyond that.  But then he gets hit with some weird gas that gives him superhuman strength.

Hey, since he can’t build or create on his own, and he isn’t a good worker, then he might as well just take what he wants as…the Looter!

Wow.  He’s deep.

Anyhoo, after a couple bank robberies, he gets to thinking that maybe his powers will wear off because…well, why wouldn’t they?  The Looter is no scientist.  It’s not like he can test his powers or the gas or whatever.  Regardless, he figures he needs to steal a second meteor from the local museum.

Oh, Spider-Man stops him, mostly by punching him a lot.  All the Looter had going for him beyond the strength was a flashlight that caused temporary blindness, a rather useless trinket against a guy with spider-sense and mirrored lenses in his mask.

Should I say something about all things Spider-Man?  Nah.  The Looter was pathetically stupid enough to cover a decent-sized review, and I somehow doubt I’ll be seeing much of that loser again.

Grade:  A-

%d bloggers like this: