Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man


So here's the thing. There are differences of opinion about origin stories; about silver age comic books; about certain comic book artists and movie directors; about cynical franchise trends. These differences of opinion occasionally surface here on Horrorthon. But I submit to you: Amazing Fantasy # 15, August 1962, 12 cents. The Amazing Spider-Man. It's only twelve pages long. And Steve Ditko can't draw; he is to a picture what Lou Reed is to a song. But it's pure magic and the immediate reactions it got (in measurable sales terms) showed that Marvel was on to something. The Amazing Spider-Man, a story in twelve pages that I think you could hang on a gallery wall:

http://www.jordanorlando.com/amazingfantasy15

6 comments:

JPX said...

I think you're too hard on the artwork, I find it charming. This 12 page origin story actually bolsters my stand on origin stories – tell them quickly and get on with the heroics. Although The Incredible Hulk was mediocre, the entire origin story was told while the opening credits rolled. I hate watching superhero movies when I know that I’m going to have to wait at least 45 minutes before the “superhero” finally emerges. I just want to see my heroes kick ass from the moment the film starts. Although Burton’s original Batman film is flawed for many reasons (don’t get me started on the Prince songs) I like how he presented Batman’s origin – with a few quick flashbacks.

The best example (for me) on how NOT to do a superhero story is Smallville. I can’t imagine sitting through years of episodes about Clark Kent BEFORE he became Superman. I watched the last few minutes of the final episode just to see what they would do with it and of course it was a disappointment.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I agree with everything JPX said. I love the drawings (especially the one of Uncle Ben waking him up) and I like my superheroes primed and ready to kick ass when the movie begins. That's why I like Superman 2, X-Men 2, and Dark Knight better than their predecessers.

And what's with the Lou Reed diss? If he's such a shitty songwriter then why are Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll two of the most covered songs of all time? If it wasn't for the Velvet Underground's rejection of blues based rock and flower power then Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, Television, Joy Division, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Mazzy Star, Flaming Lips, The Strokes etc. would never exist. In short, the world would be a shittier place to live. The Velvet Underground and Nico was utterly groundbreaking and sounds unlike everything else that was released in 1967.

Jordan said...

It's not a Lou Reed dis! I LOVE Lou Reed as much as you do, for Christ's sake. But he "can't sing" the way Ditko "can't draw." (Of course he can sing and he can draw--it's a question of missing the standard criteria but somehow winning the war anyway.)

Jordan said...

JPX, I've heard your take on origin stories over and over, but I'm just never going to agree. I love origin stories, and after rereading amazing fantasy I went back and watched the trailer for the new movie and got all excited all over again. I'm GLAD they're doing it again! I didn't really like Raimi's molasses-drenched version, and I like Martin Sheen much more than Cliff Robertson and I like Emma Stone MUCH more than Kirsten Dunst.

Octopunk said...

Thanks for posting this, Jordan! I was typing a comment but it got so long I'm turning it into a post.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Gotcha Jordan, my bad. I was thinking why pick on Lou Reed when there are so many worthier targets?