Sunday, June 3, 2012


Amazing Spider-Man #5 [October 1963] was not the first Spider-Man
comic book I bought.  That would be issue #9 [February 1964] with
the first appearance of Electro and the somewhat incredible scene
of Peter Parker faking photos so that they seem to show Spider-Man
changing into Electro.  Hey, the kid had those doctor bills to pay
for Aunt May.  Though that bit never sat right with me, everything
else in the issue was so darn cool I only missed one other issue of
the title over the next several decades.

After reading Fantastic Four Annual #1 that summer, I went looking
for Spider-Man and other Marvel comics.  Which wasn’t easy as they
sold out quickly at my neighborhood drug store and grocery stores.
My enthusiasm for Marvel was what led me to find out when the new
comics arrived at those stores every week and make sure I was there
to get first crack at them.  Even so, it was four months before I
got to buy a new Spider-Man comic book.

Once I bought that first Spider-Man comic book, I went on the hunt
for the back issues.  I’m pretty sure I got Amazing Spider-Man #5
in a baseball cards and comic books trade with a kid who went to my
school.  My interest in baseball cards was secondary to my love of
Marvel Comics, which gave me lots of trade fodder.

In the issue, Spidey was “Marked for Destruction by Doctor Doom!”
Not to cite Doom as a role model, but, every now and again, I get
the urge to create a list of people I have marked for destruction.
Maniacal laugh.

The 21-page story was scripted by Stan Lee, drawn by Steve Ditko,
and likely co-plotted by those two comics greats.  The basic story
is summed up nicely at the Grand Comics Database: Dr. Doom tries to
trick Spider-Man into helping him defeat the Fantastic Four. When
Spider-Man turns him down, he decides to capture Spider-Man. Flash
Thompson dresses up as Spider-Man for a prank and Dr. Doom mistakes
him for the real Spider-Man and captures him instead, and Flash has
to be saved by the real Spider-Man.

Spider-Man was definitely the underdog in this battle, which made
for lots of exciting moments.  The Fantastic Four appeared in the
story, which was another neat thing.  To me, DC super-heroes like
Superman and Batman seemed like they scheduled play dates with each
other.  Marvel heroes just bumped into one another.  The latter was
much more appealing to an 11-year-old boy beginning to realize how
random the universe could be.

The GCD also notes that Amazing Spider-Man became a monthly title
with this issue and that this was the first time Doctor Doom used
a robot to take his place.  These days, if a Marvel hero appeared
in just one title, we would think him a slacker...and Doc Doom has
gone through more robots that New Yorkers have gone through super-
sized sugary drinks.  

Not to let politics intrude on our nostalgia here, but, even while
Mayor Bloomberg is trying to ban soda drinks over 16 ounces in the
Big Apple, he’s also proposed another ban that would more directly
affect comic books.  Under this new ban, DC and Marvel would have
to limit their big crossover events to 16 issues.  While I usually
believe government should stay out of our bedrooms and comic-book
shops, it’s hard to disagree on that one.

Keep reading my bloggy things for more comics from the month of my
birth and the month of my awakening.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. Mayor (?) Bloomberg???

    I thought he was trying to become a Dictator!

  2. I bought a beat-up copy of this for $15 at a comic convention in the late 80's early 90's. I just thought it was so awesome to have a low-number Amazing Spider-man issue. I read it and loved it!

  3. I love to tell people, I bought my copy of this for 5 cents at a produce stand. There among the eggs and tomatoes and milk, the owner kept a stack of comics for sale and trade. Two for one or one for a nickel. I bought a lot of early Marvels there after getting hooked again on comics with a copy of Daredevil #7. :)