The Spider-Man Project

Amazing Fantasy Vol. 1 015 (Story 1)

Posted by dave, September 14, 2007 at 5:39 pm · No Comments ·

Amazing Fantasy Vol. 1 015Spider-Man!
Writer: Stan Lee
Pictures: Steve Ditko
Originally published: August 1962

Well, this is it – Amazing Fantasy 15, Spidey’s first ever appearance. I’ve somehow never read this, and I must admit I was a little surprised by it. My overall impression of it is how fast it goes. Even though I’ve come to know Spider-Man as a pretty emotionally complex character, and even though his origin has plenty of room for tension and drama, it seemed like there wasn’t enough time/pages to get as in depth as I expected. The Spider-Man described here is fairly underdeveloped.

This isn’t, however, because the writing is bad – far from it. For such a short story, there’s quite a lot in there (even if the space limitations didn’t give a lot of room to explore all of it). This is obviously a story that has stood the test of time, and has been told and retold so many times that, for a lot of people, it has become a shared piece of cultural heritage. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Stan Lee story before, and I definitely haven’t read any from this time period. I was very pleasantly surprised with the style of both the dialogue and narration. The best way I can describe it is to say that it popped. Stan Lee writes with a certain excitement and joy of life. (I almost wrote “joi de vivre there”, but I thought it came off as too pretentious. Does even mentioning that here make it even more pretentious?) Partially I think it’s because I’m a big fan of language and enjoy listening to/reading old ways of speaking, but partially it’s because of how Stan the Man chose to put it across. Check out dialogue like this:

Actually, I don’t have anything particular to quote. It’s all great.

It’s interesting that some of the things I’ve read up until now helped me feel better about how rushed the story was. His webslingers are a particularly huge item that are kind of glossed over: “Now let’s see– a spider needs a web! This little device should just do the trick!” and that’s basically it. No mention of where he got them or how he invented them. Luckily we know from Where Have All The Heroes Gone? that he started working on those awhile back. :)

It’s also interesting to remember how Spider-Man broke the mold – heroes weren’t supposed to be stupid teenagers with problems and feelings, they were supposed to be idealized super men (if you’ll pardon the expression).

This was pretty awesome to read for the first time. I only wish I owned a real physical copy instead of the lame-ass DVD version I bought, but I don’t really have a few extra grand to spend. Anyway, pretty sweet and definitely a landmark in this project.

By the way, the other two stories in Amazing Fantasy 15 kind of sucked – The Bell-Ringer! and Man In The Mummy Case! — not your best work, fellas.

Rating:

It’s a classic, how could I give it anything else?

→ No CommentsCategories: Years, 1962, Ratings, 5.0, Books, Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 1), Spider-Man, Characters, Spider-Man / Spider-Lizard (Peter Parker), Credits, Stan Lee, Credits, Steve Ditko

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