April 24, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #98 (July, 1971)

Spider-Man takes on the Green Goblin while Harry Osborn's health hangs in the balance.

After Harry Osborn had his drug overdose in the previous issue, the Comics Code Authority stamp came back.  I’m sure someone learned a valuable lesson there.

Probably Jimmy.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #98, July 1971

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  Gil Kane

Amnesia Expert:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Peter finds himself barely a step ahead of the Green Goblin after Harry’s overdose.

Commentary:  Every so often, this series reminds the reader that J. Jonah Jameson isn’t completely heartless.  That’s seen here where he and Robbie discuss how to use the news of Harry Osborn’s drug overdose in the next edition of The Daily Bugle.  While Jonah initially points out Norman is one of the Bugle‘s biggest advertisers, prompting me to wonder what the guy is even advertising in newspapers since I think Norman makes chemicals, he and Robbie decide the best way to tell the story is to point out how even the rich and their children aren’t immune from the crisis that is drug use in America.

I am very curious how Jonah and Robbie knew Harry was in the hospital in the first place though.  Is Norman that well known that his son’s admission to the hospital is automatically news?  And who leaked what sounds like it should have been a private matter to the Osborn family?  I may have to call shenanigans on all this.

Then again, Peter (as Peter) got to smack Harry’s dealer and the dealer’s muscle around, so that may have been satisfying.

The main match is, of course, the Green Goblin, a guy who doesn’t know he’s also Norman Osborn in this version, and a guy whose sole weakness–since Peter won’t just knock him out or something–is seeing his son in the hospital.  But that only happens after Peter is hit with some kind of gas designed to neutralize one of Spider-Man’s many powers, namely his ability to stick to walls.  He’s also out of webbing when that happens, but he shoots more webbing out later, so I will in my own personal head-cannon just say that the gas just stuck to Peter’s costume and clogged his webshooters.  That works for me.  It also means Peter uses his super strong legs to steer the Goblin to the window of Harry’s hospital room.

There’s probably a fetish for that sort of thing, steering a man with your legs around his head.

That snaps Norman out of it, allowing Spidey to take him home, burn the costume, and then get a rare happy ending at the end of the issue when he runs into Gwen back from London.

Man, I hope Spider-Man checked that costume for explosives and the like before he burned it.  That could have gone badly.

Grade:  A