June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #106 (March, 1971)

Professor Smythe really wants Spider-Man dead.

Oh man, Professor Smythe saw what Spider-Man looked like without his mask!  Peter’s identity is so…oh, wait, that was quick.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #106, March 1971

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  John Romita Sr

Gangland Gangbuster:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Professor Smythe, controlling the police department’s mass surveillance system, really wants Spider-Man dead!

Commentary:  Well, Peter sure did fix that “accidentally revealed my face” thing pretty quick.  Thanks to his spider-sense and the fact that Curt Connors will let Spider-Man do anything in his lab, no questions asked, he uses a Peter Parker mask over his Spider-Man mask in a move that I am sure was not the slightest bit uncomfortable to pull off.  It does work, but it really shouldn’t have had to since Smythe’s audience said that they had no idea who Peter was or how they could find such an ordinary fellow again later.

You know what?  It doesn’t matter.

And yes, Smythe had an audience.  He invited all the leaders of the biggest gangs in the city over to show off how he hijacked the city’s police surveillance network, and it’s never the same guys, but this is Stan Lee Plot #7 where some criminal tries to take over the local mobs.  The only difference here is Smythe is trying to be polite about it and is only asking for a cut from the robberies that they can use his camera system to help plot.  But given how often Stan wrote this plot, I am guessing in an issue or two, I’ll see the return of the “Spidey gets sick or injured and has to hide it” plot.

But hold on!  Smythe still has his Spider-Slayer, which is not the name for the Metal version of Spider-Punk.  No, it’s a robot spider that can do everything Spidey can do but better.  It can even date Gwen Stacy better, be a better roommate to Harry, and sympathize with what looks like a PTSD-affected Flash Thompson.

But wait, the issue ends with Peter trapped in the Slayer’s web, but it’s worse because Smythe is piloting it this time!

Yeah, I think Tesla has been adequately demonstrating how hard it is to get a self-driving vehicle right.  I wonder if they succeeded in the Marvel Universe…

Actually, unless Smythe is an expert behind the wheel, I have no idea why Peter finds this more concerning.  I guess I’ll find out with the next issue.

Grade:  A-