The Amazing Spider-Man 9 (February 1964)

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I was going to open with a smart remark about Lee calling this issue a “book-length” story, but he really does fit a lot in. The whole arc with Electro, with lots of fight scenes, heist scenes, an origin and a prison break, plays second fiddle to the Peter Parker story. Lee puts Aunt May in medical danger–she needs an expensive, unspecified operation–and forces Peter to come up with the cost of the operation (see, if we had national healthcare, Spider-Man wouldn’t have had to fight Electro).

There’s also a lot going on with Betty Brant. Peter is clearly becoming split–there’s the Peter who goes to high school and the Peter who works for the Bugle; it’s okay, but it doesn’t really seem likely. High school, it seems, didn’t interest Lee much.

The ending is great. Makes me sad Peter didn’t end up with Betty.

CREDITS

The Man Called Electro!; writer and editor, Stan Lee; artist, Steve Ditko; colorist, Stan Goldberg; letterer, Art Simek; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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