July 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #111 (August, 1972)

Kraven gets the Gibbon to fight Spider-Man.

I’d say this is the start of the Stan-free period, but I’ve been wrong about that before.  I do know that “new” writer Gerry Conway will be killing off Gwen Stacy in another dozen or so issues, so there’s that.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #111, August 1972

Writer:  Gerry Conway

Artist:  John Romita Sr

Guy Without a Monkey Suit:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Kraven uses the Gibbon as his instrument of revenge against Spider-Man.

Commentary:  There was that brief moment when Roy Thomas was getting writing credit, and I said at the time that something about the way Roy writes is not to my general taste.  However, those issues had a feel like Stan was still writing the dialogue or something, so they weren’t too bad.  But for Gerry Conway here, something about the issue is suggesting he can’t quite copy Stan Lee’s style of dialogue, and it’s not quite what I am used to.

I couldn’t tell you why that is.  The Gibbon and Kraven are both looking to get revenge against Spider-Man.  That tracks.  Aunt May is gone of her own volition and Spidey has to use Robbie Robertson to let people know that Spider-Man had nothing to do with the disappearance of an old lady,  Said old lady will probably be back in another three issues insisting Peter get more rest and take his vitamins because the young man yawned once.  Cripes, why is Gwen so sorry Aunt May went away?  She’ll be back before anyone really gets a chance to miss her.  Especially me.

But then there’s something about Kraven’s plot itself.  After giving a recount of how he survived the last time even when his giant alien buddy did not–Kraven has a legit motive to go after Spider-Man now!–head plan is to pump Marty Blank full of jungle drugs to increase the Gibbon’s power, but somehow the process will allow Kraven to mind control the Gibbon or something.

Even for a comic book from the 70s that doesn’t make sense!  When did Kraven ever figure out that stunt?  Especially since the thing that saves Spidey is the Gibbon’s remembering he’s not a murderer and doesn’t want some weird Russian telling him what to do.

Well, I guess this is what I have to look forward to for the foreseeable future…you know, unless Stan comes back again.

Grade:  B+