Saturday 13 February 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

You're looking at one of my favourite-ever comics - The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Annual #2.  I never actually owned it back in the 1960s, got the one you're looking at sometimes in the '80s.  However, I was familiar with the tale from the 1968 FANTASTIC Summer Special, which reprinted it in a re-sized format (two U.S. pages to one U.K. page) to fit the larger dimensions of a British comic.  And it was in black and white.

The graphics, naturally, are superb, as is to be expected from STEVE DITKO at the height of his artistic powers, but it's STAN LEE's dialogue which elevates the issue from being a great-looking tale to a classic.  Stan's dialogue in conjunction with Steve's artwork, of course, but had Steve scripted the tale himself, I doubt it would've resonated down through the years to the same extent that it has.  Some people tend to forget that comics are for reading, and not just looking at the pictures.

As well as the original mag, I also have various reprintings of the tale, one of my favourites being MARVEL TALES #167.  This one is well worth hunting down if you don't already have it.  ASM Annual #2 would cost you a small fortune nowadays, but the MT reprint will be far more affordable.  Anyway, enjoy the pages on view - and may your amulet never tickle!

'Worlds' on the cover, 'world' on the splash page - I wonder why?

The Spider-Man figure in pic 3 was used on the cover of the 1968
Fantastic Summer Special, published by Odhams Press in Britain

A little 'rearrangement' to accommodate the bar code box, but still a
great cover.  Get on to eBay and track down a copy of this ish today!


Rip Jagger said...

I first ran across this story as a reprint in a later annual. Ditko in his prime. It's a fantastic crossover of the Ditkoverse which existed briefly at Marvel before "Sturdy" Steve took his talents to Derby and elsewhere.

Rip Off

Kid said...

It's interesting to note that, although Stan credits Steve as having plotted the tale, he yet credits himself as the writer. I think this illustrates that Stan used the word merely to indicate that he'd written the dialogue and captions, and not because he was deliberately trying to rob anyone of their due credit. 'Scripted by' would probably have been better 'though. The tale's a cracking read for sure, Rip.

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