Well, the tablet does do something after all. All this stuff that was happening that made no sense, well, it now makes sense. Sort of.
I still don’t much care about the tablet.
Issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #74, July 1969
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita Sr
The Plot: The tablet does something!
Commentary: So, after all that, the tablet does do something. Or it does for the moment. Silvermane wanted it, and the previous issue showed he sent his goons down to Florida to kidnap Curt Connors to force him to translate the thing. He keeps hinting about the Lizard, but in the end, no Lizard.
Now, in the previous issue, I thought bringing Connors in accomplished two things. First, it meant Peter didn’t have to travel to Florida to visit Aunt May for his next rematch with the Lizard. Second, it meant Stan was doing what he always did and assumed a scientist was automatically good at all forms of science. That’s not how science works, and Stan Lee, to his credit, has said that he didn’t know much about science. It’s just this weird assumption that smart guys are good at everything. Why not just ask Reed Richards or Tony Stark or Jimmy to translate the tablet then?
But then it turned out there was a reason to bring in Connors: the tablet’s mysterious writing is actually a chemical formula of some kind. The comic actually brings up that Curt Connors isn’t trained in reading ancient writing, but then the tablet wasn’t using words but chemical symbols, something Connors recognized but no one thought to try before.
Look, just because the comic said there was a reason to use Curt instead of an expert in hieroglyphics or something like that, didn’t mean it was a bad idea. You know, besides setting up the inevitable Lizard rematch since guys like Silverman and Man-Mountain Marko keep picking on the guy and threatening his wife and son.
Wait, how did Silvermane know that was a chemical formula?
Now, if only Spider-Man remembered how to use his spider-sense to find Silvermane like he did with Shocker’s girlfriend one issue earlier, and he’ll be in business.