This has always been one of my favorite Spider-Man covers. Credit for it goes to John Romita, Sr.
This issue of The Amazing Spider-Man came out in 1969, at the height of the student protests that rocked campuses across America. Since Spider-Man was a student at Empire State University at the time, it makes sense that he would eventually be drawn into the protests. In typical Marvel fashion, Spider-Man ended up supporting both the protesters and the police who later busted them. Spider-Man felt the protesters had a right to protest but that the police were also necessary to maintain the peace. Of course, in the end, the Kingpin would use the distraction of the protests to steal an ancient tablet, leaving the students to take the blame.
This cover perfectly captured the ambiguous place of both Spider-Man and Marvel in the counter culture. Spider-Man may appear to be with the protesters but it’s also not a coincidence that he’s swinging above them, indicating that Spider-Man was both a part of the counterculture and yet above it all at the same time. At a time of intense national polarization, Marvel manged to pull off the balancing act of supporting both sides at the same time.
Is Spider-Man a part of the protest or is he the one being protested? It all depends on what you want to see.
After how many days straight of blogging about politics, I need a break. How about you?
Galactus has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters and it’s a shame that his only film appearance was botched in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Now that the Fantastic Four are once again free to be a part of the MCU, my sincere hope is that we’ll get a worthy Galactus film. If Marvel Studios could bring Thanos to life, why not the Planet-Eater?
Below is Galactus (and the Silver Surfer) as imagined by Alex Ross. All four of these images are from Marvels #3 and they really capture Galactus in all of his glory.
It’s Sunday and I really don’t feel like writing anything today so, instead, I’m going to share one of my favorite comic book moments. This is from the 4th issue of 1994’s Marvels, in which Kurt Busiek reimagined the early history of the Marvel Universe through the eyes of photographer, Phil Sheldon. The artwork is by the amazing Alex Ross.
On this page, Spider-Man is climbing up the Daily Bugle. That’s something that happened frequently in Spider-Man’s own comics but Marvels was the first comic to capture what it would be like for the ordinary people inside the building to suddenly look over and see Spider-Man climbing up the outside windows. Long before any of the movies were released or the PS4 game meticulously recreated New York, this page from Marvels made Spider-Man seem real.