April 18, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #87 (August, 1970)

Peter, worried he's losing his powers, tells his closest friends his deepest secret.

Huh.  No bad guys in this issue.  It’s just Peter being an idiot.

But man, when he’s an idiot, he’s really an idiot.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #87, August 1970

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  John Romita Sr.

The Plot:  Spider-Man:  unmasked!

Commentary:  In the previous issue, Peter somehow had a hard time fighting the Black Widow.  Sure, Black Widow was probably given some advantages to make the fight look fair, but I would have thought Peter would have done better given, for all Black Widow claimed she had the same powers, she doesn’t have his strength or spider-sense.  And since when did Black Widow have powers?  Oh, wait, I covered that line of questioning last time.  Never mind.

Anyway, Peter’s been getting weaker and woozy, and he couldn’t even bring himself to check his own blood under the microscope.  And he can’t go to a doctor!  They might unmask him and realize they don’t know who Peter Parker is!  Seriously, why does Peter assume people would recognize him?  That’s just silly.  As it is, Peter realizes he can’t be Spider-Man anymore and decides to reveal the truth at Gwen Stacy’s birthday party.  Fortunately, most of the guests had left by then.  But man, that’s a drastic step, and this isn’t the last issue of the series.  It’s not like the book was retitled The Rather Average Peter Parker with issue #88.  How is Peter going to get out of this mess?

Oh, he’ll finally go to a hospital where a doctor will not unmask him and tell Peter he just has the flu.

Peter got sick and/or injured again in a Stan Lee story?  Haven’t seen one of those in a while.

By the by, Peter doesn’t exactly leave any billing or insurance information with the hospital, so I guess the state picked up the bill.  Maybe Spider-Man really is a menace!

Anyway, how can Peter trick the people he calls friends, including his beloved Gwen, that he isn’t really Spider-Man?  Oh, he’ll just ask Hobie Brown to wear the costume and say some lines that Hobie doesn’t get when Peter is in the room.  How did no one notice Spider-Man had a different voice?  Beats me.  But at least Peter got a happy ending after being a real moron.

Grade:  A-