The Man Called Electro!
Written by: Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: Art Simek
Originally published: February 1964
Hey, would you look at that! Real emotion and character development from Stan Lee! What a pleasant surprise. This issue was fairly complex, too, with four story lines weaving around each other.
The A-story with Electro felt really different from up to this point because Spider-Man wasn’t able to rush in and continually fight with him. Instead, both characters had time to stew, which made their eventual fight all the more exciting. And Peter had to use genuine ingenuity fighting Electro, rather than uninteresting party tricks (and I also find out why he was wearing the rubber gloves and boots seen in Kingpin #6, which I read out of order).
The B-story with Aunt May packed an even bigger punch than the Electro one. Aunt May was extremely sick and needed to go to the hospital for an operation. Peter put his job as Spider-Man on hold to be with her in the hospital and take care of her, and it was quite touching. One of the nicest surprises for me was that Betty Brant showed up at the hospital as well, to keep Peter company. That brings us to the C-story, Peter and Betty’s budding romance. This was also really well-written, and Betty’s hints at a slightly dark past are intriguing. Finally, we get JJJ making an ass of himself in the D-story (as usual), this time by claiming Spider-Man and Electro are one and the same.
This was a really great issue. I just wish Stan could keep the quality this high all the time.