June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #96 (April, 1971)

Norman Osborn remembers something Spidey would prefer he didn't.

Oh come on!  You didn’t think Stan would finish off his run without bringing the Green Goblin back, did you?

That would be silly.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #96, April 1971

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  Gil Kane

Just Said No:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Norman Osborn has been having quite the day.

Commentary:  To be very fair, Norman does not become the Green Goblin again until the very last page of this issue, but that’s good enough.  And this time, it isn’t Peter’s fault!  It’s Randy Robertson’s fault for getting in Norman’s face about whether or not the rich white guy is doing enough to stop the use of illicit drugs.

God bless Stan Lee, but man, I do not think he was the right guy to be writing a character like Randy.  It just seems…off?  Yeah, that’s a good way to describe it.  Stan was neither young (at the time) nor a Person of Color, so attempts by him to be hip and cool seem, well, not quite right.

Regardless, there is a part of me that wonders whether or not Spidey’s inner monologue on how he can’t get the message out to young people on the dangers of non-specific drugs is Stan using his position as the writer of Amazing Spider-Man to do just what Peter is wishing he could do.

However, there are things happening here worth noting.  Peter finally decides to take Norman up on that job offer, and that’s just bad timing.  MJ is in a show of some kind and, despite ostensibly being Harry’s girlfriend, flirts heavily with Peter.  Must be that yellow fringe vest he’s wearing.  And that show she’s in…um, I think it’s just her dancing in various skimpy outfits, but for some reason, everyone likes that…including presumably various women in the audience.  But what do I know?  The Green Goblin came back, and Peter has not yet begun to blame himself.

That’s probably for the next issue.

Grade:  A-