The Birth of…The Gibbon!
Writer: Stan Lee
Pencils: John Romita
Letterer: John Costanza
Originally published: July 1972
Spidey thinks Flash is after Gwen. He probably is, but if I know Gwen – and thanks to dramatic irony, I do – she wouldn’t ditch Peter for ol’ Thompson. While he’s self-pitying, he meets an ugly guy named Marty. Marty looks like a monkey. He’s a nice guy, but he’s gotten a real raw deal all his life on account of his being hideous. Also, the guy’s like crazy agile.
After all this we’re treated to his danged life story, even though it pretty much just spells out what we already learned. It’s all self-narrated in a fashion that would never, ever happen. Who lies in bed narrating their own life story? I hate that cliche. Anyway, it turns out that for awhile he would put on a monkey suit and work in a sideshow. Anyway, at the end of his long internal monologue he comes to some sort of decision. That is the kind of thing you would expect in someone’s thoughts, but it isn’t revealed to us. Whatever.
When Pete gets home from his adventures he’s exhausted and literally passes out in Gwen’s arms. He briefly awakens to see her leaving with Flash, which causes a whole bunch of shitty-yet-awesome nightmares. Poor, stupid Peter. When he wakes up he tries to call Aunt May to gauge how upset she is about Gwen being a bitch to her. When she doesn’t answer, Pete races out to find her.
En route – as Spider-Man – he encounters his new friend Marty in full monkey regalia. He wants to be Spidey’s partner. Spider-Man makes the big mistake of laughing his ass off at this, which sends the Gibbon into a rage. He manages to throw Spider-Man off the side of the building, but Spidey basically just laughs it off again. The issue ends with a mysterious man looking on, watching the Gibbon and his interaction with Spider-Man, and planning some big evil dastardly plot.
The bullshit with Peter and Gwen and Flash is getting really old. I couldn’t care less about that storyline, especially the way it’s being handled. Why the fuck can’t Peter and Gwen just talk about shit like this? If he seriously just asked “what’s up with you and Flash?” the whole thing would be resolved. Sometimes Pete is such a whiney bitch.
On the other hand, the Gibbon has the potential to be a kind of cool character. I’m 100% certain it won’t pan out, but for now I didn’t mind him in this story.
By the way, this is Stan Lee’s last regular issue. END OF AN ERA!!!!1!ZOMG?