March 3, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #90 (November, 1970)

Spidey experiences a personal tragedy.

Wait, what’s this?  Did Doc Ock finally…kill someone?

Issue:   The Amazing Spider-Man #90, November 1970

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  Gil Kane

Monitor of Canon Events:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Tragedy strikes while Peter battles Doc Ock!

Commentary:  Well, I somewhat knew this was coming, but I didn’t know the circumstances around it.  Yes, this is the issue when Captain George Stacy dies, his last words revealing he knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man all along.

That’s right…it’s the canon event!

OK, let me back up a bit:  I knew George Stacy was doomed.  His death is somewhat famous in Spider-Lore.  What I didn’t know was that Doctor Octopus kinda sorta did it, but it happened in a way that Peter Parker will always blame himself for because that is pretty much all Peter ever does.  Some say Peter gets his powers from a radioactive spider bite.  Others say he gets it from all the guilt he feels for all the good he failed to do for one reason or another, and rigging his webbing to somehow short out Otto’s mechanical arms was a good plan.  It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s a good plan.  If Otto had just, you know, stopped trying to control the uncontrollable, maybe that chimney wouldn’t have been shattered and maybe Captain Stacy wouldn’t have needed to push that kid out of the way despite the fact he walks around with a cane everywhere and maybe he’d live through that whole mess.  I expect Peter to blame himself.  And because this is the Marvel Universe, the crowds that always watch these things will also inexplicably blame Spider-Man because J. Jonah Jameson is apparently that influential.

Peter will probably also learn the wrong lesson here about sharing his secret despite the fact Captain Stacy knew he was Spider-Man, didn’t object to his dating Gwen, and most importantly openly supported Spider-Man as one of the good guys!

I could see Robbie Robertson getting mad at Peter, but mostly because Peter is probably committing some light fraud when he sells those Spider-Man photos, but if there was anyone Peter can and should have confided in, it’s Gwen.  I mean MJ.  Aunt May?  Oh wait, she’s still fragile.  Curt Connors!  No, hold on…Captain Stacy!  That’s it!

Well, now he’s dead.  Normally, I’d do the 1970 Annual next, but Marvel Unlimited doesn’t have one online, so it may just be a bunch of reprints.  That’s probably for the best.  This sure does seem like a bad place to take a break from all this breathless Spider-Action from Spider-Man.

Just ask Spider-Jimmy.

Grade:  A