I was lucky enough to tackle a much larger batch of this comic this week due to the fact that I had already finished Spider Island and it was my only focus other than my main comics. I want to say that so far, I am not regretting my decision to tackle these.
I want to start by discussing Bettie Brant. I loathe her in these early issues. She is whiney, jealous and pretty annoying. Every time she sees Peter even talk to another woman or another woman tries to communicate with him she instantly thinks that he is dating her and goes into a deep depression. Yet, when she begins talking to Ned Leeds she expects him to understand that she loves him and that she would rather be with Peter forever instead of Ned. I am BEYOND happy that Peter decided that his way too adventurous self wasn't right for Bettie, even though he was in love with her. Also, with my knowledge of the future, I feel that Flash Thompson was a better mate for Bettie...even though they are no longer an item in Venom.
On to Mary Jane Watson. I think it is genius the way Stan Lee introduces her character in these early issues. 33 issues in and I still haven't even seen her face! You see, Aunt May is good friends with MJ's mother and is constantly trying to hook Peter up with her. Yet, whenever a date is actually set, MJ is either sick or Peter finds a way out of it. Of course because Aunt May is the matchmaker, he has decided that MJ is a dog and that he wants nothing to do with her (and at this point in the story nothing to do with relationships as a whole). The great thing about it is we have seen MJ sitting on a coach with her face blocked with people reacting to her by saying that she is gorgeous and that she should have nothing to do with, as Flash would say, "Puny Parker".
I can't do much else without mentioning J. Jonah Jameson. I love the way he is treated as someone that if you see them smile, you know something terrible is happening and they are making money off of it. He is such a user that you want to hate him but his character is almost comical so you are happy to see him enter the pages. It is good to know that JJJ hasn't changed much over the years.
Another interesting note is Aunt May and her health. From the very beginning of the comics she has struggled with various issues with her age so I find it amazing that somehow she is still very much alive and kicking today. She also thinks that Peter is a weak boy that should rest constantly....lovely.
As for a quick update on the story....Peter has graduated from high school and has started to attend college. Flash Thompson also goes there and we have finally met Gwen Stacy. She has barely had any face time thought because Peter is preoccupied with trying to save Aunt May. In the meantime, Peter was just about to save his Aunt May from death by getting her a serum to cure her radioactive blood. Oh, did I forget to mention that way early in the series Peter gave her a blood transfusion? Yeah, way to go champ. Almost killed your mother figure. Anyhow, during this time Doctor Octopus had returned and was trying to destroy or take over the world. Those concepts are pretty interchangeable considering Spidey always stops him. During Spidey's tussle with Doc Oc they brought down his underwater base leaving Spidey trapped under rubble and sure to die. He was able to escape, exhausted with barely any strength left. With the help of Doctor Connors he was able to get the serum to Aunt May and to save her in the nick of time. There was a teaser on the last page saying Kraven the Hunter would be back in the next issue.
That is a lot of stuff and I left out a ton about Scorpion and Green Goblin but I know we will be seeing a lot about them in the near future. I hope these recaps are as fun for you to read as they are for me to write them. I have really enjoyed my reading experiment thus far and am excited to get back to it. As for my readers, enjoy whatever comics you have laying around. Tackle your old collection! You never know when you will find something amazing to read.