June 21, 2010

Marvel Tales #164 [1984]

The early-1980s monthly reprint of the classic Spider-Man comics gets up to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #26 [1965] in this issue, with the cover and 20-page story "The Man In The Crime-Master's Mask" from that issue, Ditko doing plot and artwork.  The first half of the issue is heavy on the Parker stuff, at home, work and school, as Peter is without his costume due to events from the previous issue, and eventually has to resort to an ill-fitting Spidey suit bought at a costume shop, which provides both some visually comedy and turns out to be fortuitous at the end of the issue, as he gets involved in a battle for control of the criminal underground between the Crime-Master and the Green Goblin. 

A great balance of the the various innovative aspects of the second half of the original Spider-Man run, with Peter Parker's two worlds developing, some clever long-term plotting and some great character bits.

Also in this issue, the Green Goblin pin-up from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 [1964].  That original flying broomstick of his isn't quite as spiffy as the glider he'd get by the time of the main story.  The cover has the usual alterations for format, most noticeably flipping the Green Goblin from one side of the page to the other.

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