March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #81 (February, 1970)

Spider-Man battles..wait, the Kangaroo? Seriously?

You know, one of the reasons I like reading these old comics is to be exposed to weird Silver Age bad guys that I sometimes have never really heard of before.

This issue here…I think Stan must have been a little high on something to come up with this guy’s story.  That or the artists.  I just can’t take this one even remotely seriously.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #81, February 1970

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  John Bucema

The Plot:  The Kangaroo is an idiot, but Spider-Man has to stop him anyway.

Commentary:  OK, for the record, I still greatly enjoyed this issue.  I just have a hard time taking the Kangaroo as a legitimate threat to the Wallcrawler.  Daredevil maybe, but not Spidey.  As it is, it’s more of a case that the Kangaroo doesn’t seem very bright, right down to his origin story where he, as an Australian, taught himself to jump like a kangaroo by watching them a lot.  That gave him strong legs, and he accidentally killed a man in a boxing ring.

At least it wasn’t wrestling.  Stan somehow thought that sport was real.

Anyway, what crime did the Kangaroo commit?  Well, he entered the United States without a passport and then decided he didn’t want to be deported.  After escaping police custody–again, for not having a passport–he decided he might as well be a real criminal and swiped a briefcase that looked important without knowing anything about what was inside of it.  See, that fool stole a canister with a deadly virus in it, so now Peter has a reason to stop this guy.

Unfortunately, Aunt May is back from Florida (because the cover date of February is always a good time to return to New York from Florida), and she decided once again that Peter is too frail and needs to stay in bed because he got all sweaty swinging across town to get to the train station on time.  That means a web decoy, but because Aunt May can’t leave well enough alone and probably called a doctor for no reason, she passes out when she finds the dummy and not Peter.  Yes, he gets back in time after saving the day (even if that Kangaroo guy hopped away), but he might have killed Aunt May!

Look, I get that Aunt May raised Peter and was apparently always a frail old lady, but there’s a part of me that thinks Peter might be better off without her sometimes.  She doesn’t think he can do anything when she’s the one who keeps getting sick!  That’s projection at its finest!

Grade:  A-