Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hooray for Reprints!

The Green Goblin has often been touted as Spider-Man's deadliest foe. He is what the Joker is to Batman. I wonder if Stan knew back when Gobby first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #14 that the Goblin would become the menace that he is to Spidey today. What makes the Goblin such an interesting foe isn't the costume. No. Much like Spider-Man, Gobby is such a great villain because the man underneath the suit is fascinating. Norman Osborn is one effed up dude to say the least. He was so annoyed with Spider Man getting in his way that he the battle between the two of them personal. He discovered Spidey's secret ID, revealed his own identity to the wall-crawler and would later go on to make Spidey's life a living nightmare. Gobby not only screws up Spidey's life, he screws up the lives of those Spidey cares about like Flash Thompson or if your name is Gwen Stacy, thinks ain't lookin' too good for you.

I've read every early Spidey/Gobby story except one and it originally appeared in the second issue of The Spectacular Spider-Man magazine, which lead a short life back in 1968. The first issue was reprinted and I picked it up a few years ago. I waited and waited for the second issue to get reprinted but it never happened. Thankfully The Amazing Spider-Man: The Compelete Collection contains every Amazing Spider-Man Annual, even the reprint material of things that already appeared in other issues on the disc. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #9 reprints the story from Spectcular Spider-Man magazine #2, "The Green Goblin Lives!"

This is another story where Norman remembers he's the Green Goblin and sets his sights on telling aunt May her ever-lovin' nephew is Spider-Man. Remeber, this was back when the old girl would faint at the brush of wind, the whole "The shock would kill her!" bit if she ever discovered Peter was Spidey.

Anyway, this story is full of classic stuff, zingy dialog for Stan, jazzy artwork from John Romita and Peter constantly worrying. There's a cool scene where Norman has dinner with Harry, Peter, Mary Jane and Gwen. He taunts Peter about the knowldege of him being Spidey in front of everyone without actually coming out and saying it. This scene was reproduced in the '90s Spider-Man Animated series except Peter was MJ's Man, not Gwen's (Gwen wasn't around.) After throwing some web cartridges in the fire place to cause a distraction, Peter changes into Spidey, Norman dawns his Goblin gear and awaaaaaay they go.

The way Spidey defeats Gobby is... well let's just say it's very 1960s. Using some of the Goblin's own halucination gas, he makes him fear the sight of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Norman once again forgets that he's the Gobby and that Peter is Spidey. It was a fun story if a little melodramatic, but then, that's just the way Stan wrote back in the day.

This is one of the few issues where MJ is sporting that stupid haircut she got back in Amazing Spider-Man #64. Even aunt Anna didn't like it! Let's hope it never shows up in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon series.


Tommy said...

Beware, since some of the story was condensed for the Annual.

According to Amaz Spidey Index #5...

Pgs. 1 & 2 became Pg. 1 in the Annual.

Pgs. 4, 5, 8 - 11, 17, 21, 22 (Panels 2 - 3), 23 - 24, 25 (Panels 1 - 2), 27 - 29, 33, & 36 were omitted from the original story.

Pgs. 45 - 46 were redrawn as Pg. 28 in the Annual.

This brought the story down to 40 pages.

Reggie White Jr. said...

What?! Noooooooooo!!!

spideyfan said...

I have the original story, it has more pages than the reprint.

Yes Tommy, you're right about what you described, the original story is 58 pages long not 41

I have it in scans, would you like me to send you a copy?

I do have the reprint in the 9th annual as well. :)

Reggie White Jr. said...

SpideyFan that would be awesome!

Tommy said...

I'm interested as well. You could probably upload them via a zip folder on Sendspace or Rapidshare due to e-mail attachment restraints.

spideyfan said...

This is it pals

Take it, Perfect Mint scan; I guess

Reggie White Jr. said...

You rock, SpideyFan!

Tommy said...

Muchos gracias, Spideyfan!