July 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #102 (November, 1971)

Spider-Man has six arms, and he may need them to take on both the Lizard and Morbius.

Two issues into the Roy Thomas era, and it still reads something like one of Stan’s scripts.  That said, I have no idea this issue is extra long.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #102, November 1971

Writer:  Roy Thomas

Artist:  Gil Kane

Only Has Two Arms:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Spidey wishes he only has two arms like the Lizard and Morbius.  Each, not collectively.

Commentary:  Hey, I can really get into how this issue starts!  A vampire!  A guy who turns into an animal when stressed out and it’s nighttime!  It’s like Dracula fighting the Wolf-Man!  And for once, Spidey can sit things out while he learns to coordinate having six arms instead of his usual two.

You just know Doc Ock would be suing Spidey for copyright infringement if he found out.

However, this is for some reason an double-sized issue.  Or at least an extra-long one.  Why?  Beats me.  It’s not an anniversary issue or anything.  Maybe it was because Roy needed the extra pages to put Morbuis’s entire backstory into the issue where Noble Prize winning scientist Michael Morbius went out to sea with his partner Nikos and girlfriend Martine to try and find a cure for the mysterious, ill-defined blood disease that Morbius picked up at some point.  The experiment goes wrong, Nikos dies, and Morbius throws himself overboard to keep from drinking Martine dry.

That was awfully considerate of him.  Now, if he can just refrain from doing the same to that homeless guy…wait, he can’t.

Like, the very next panel shows that Robbie Roberston knows about that dead guy, and I was wondering how he found out that fast.

But that comes after the titanic battle between monster-men, one where Morbius wins and drinks some Lizard blood before Spider-Man chases him away.  You’d think Lizard blood would taste off, but no.  Instead, there’s a weird enzyme in Morbius’s saliva and that allows Curt Connors to (mostly) control the body with the occasional freakout  That weird enzyme could cure both Curt and Spidey if Curt can keep himself to not be the Lizard long enough to make some more!

And yeah, he does.  Curt and Peter are cured!  Huzzah!

Morbius, meanwhile, appears to jump into the ocean and maybe drown, but this issue already showed that with his enhanced strength and hollow bones that Morbius can swim for miles and miles and miles and miles.

Eh, I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Grade:  A-