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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 114

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the first meeting between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus!


In the third issue of Amazing Spider-Man, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Spider-Man finally meets a villain who is not only his match, but it seems like he might be Spider-Man’s BETTER!

This was quite a dramatic thing to see happen to a superhero at the time!

As the issue goes on, Doctor Octopus is practically unstoppable, until the city goes to call in the Fantastic Four to take him down.

The Human Torch is ready for the job, but came down with an illness that temporarily kept him from pursuing Octopus until it passes (and his powers come back to full strength). While waiting to heal, he entertained some local high school kids, and inadvertently gave Spider-Man just the pep talk he needed!

This led to the toughest fight of Spider-Man’s then-new career, in an awesome series of panels by Ditko…

For me, “the” moment is when Spider-Man gets his ass handed to him in the beginning of the story. That was so powerful and so unlike a standard superhero comic that it really stood out, and helped set the tone for years of Spider-Man stories, I think (certainly for the classic Amazing Spider-Man #33, where Spider-Man must first get all the way down before he can heroically triumph).


How lame a hero is the Human Torch? He’s not at full power yet so he waits a couple days before going after a serious threat to the city? And has the gall to talk to a high school about not giving up while doing so? A cooler moment would have been Spidey deciding to give Doc Ock another go because “this poser certainly won’t!”

And it’s one thing to tease a friend and colleague to his face, Torch making fun of Thing behind his back is just low.

Cool Spider-man moments throughout, but the Human Torch came out looking like a complete jack-ass!

As I understand it, at that point in time he was something of a jackass.

Torch and Thing have long been established as sharing a “rough edges” sort of friendship. Light insults are quite usual in their repertoire. They don’t really mean it, and both know that. Neither does the dialog seem to me to imply that he meant it to the public. It was, after all, a very silly example.

The Torch was in perfect for his character at the time. I particularly like when Peter goes to thank and Johnny is of course clueless on how much of a difference he has made in Parkers life.

No doubt Johnny only gave the “pep talk” so he could meet and greet all the high school girls and get some phone numbers for… uh, hot times later.

And of course ditko is the shit, as this video demonstrates…… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVuvfYN6azY

It’s kinda funny but for a while, Doctor Octopus was considered the greatest of Spider-man’s enemies, even over and above Green Goblin. Whenever Doc Ock would show up, Spidey was never sure he was gonna be able to beat him. Too bad they turned him into such a joke later on.

one of the coolest moments of spider man’s history and also showed how good Stan and Steve were. for doc octopus showed spider man he could be beat but spider man learned to take the loss and keep fighting. a cool moment

The slap in the second panel is one of the most indelible comics memories I have – classic.

The rivalry between The Human Torch and Spider-Man was a staple of the Ditko era. When Spidey had to go to the FF to get help with the symbiote and ended up leaving in a spare FF suit and a paper-bag…well it was even more funny if you knew of the back story with the Torch.

I will never understand Steve Ditko’s appeal.

I always liked this story as a kid in the 1990s because, read with a contemporary eye to the characters we now recognize, the Torch is giving a pretty lame (and maybe even insincere) pep talk to a bunch of his fans and Peter, without Johnny’s self-confidence and full of naive bravado, takes “do your homework and don’t be a doormat” so seriously that he goes out to find the guy who kicked his ass and puts him on the mat. As a kid, I didn’t really understand comics continuity, and I figured this was a lead-in to all the 90s stories I was reading where they were best friends.

I love how Spidey and Torch would interact. Lots of laughs and punches ensue most of the time. =D

Damn, that looks good. I really need to read some old Spider-man! I don’t read Spider-man (not out of spite or anything- just a lack of cash). Does Spidey even use his brain to get him out of a jam anymore? When I first learned about Spider-man, he was as much a brain as he was a superhero. Now he just seems like a wise-cracking guy with super powers.

Doc Ock is still Spidey’s greatest enemy, in my opinion. Always has been. Terrific villain.

This story is an undisputed classic. Love that bitch slap Ock delivers Spidey.

The best part of the issue (not shown here) is when Doctor Octopus calls Spider-Man “Super-Man.” Check out the Marvel No-Prize Book if you don’t believe me.

I also like how at the beginning of the issue, the Human Torch isn’t going after Doc Ock because he’s used his flame too much in the last few days. And at the end, Johnny Storm’s doctor says it’s because he was recovering from a virus. If you ever need evidence that Stan Lee was flying by the seat of his pants a lot of the time, look no further than Spider-Man #3.

This was soooo way before spell check and other technology you use to make sure things are right before they go to press. I bet writers today are making just as goofy errors, but they’re saved because the mistakes of the past have taught us/

This was soooo way before spell check and other technology you use to make sure things are right before they go to press.

“Super man” still would have defied a spellcheck because the spelling is not inaccurate. You still need human proofreader for precisely these reasons. And clearly Marvel’s was off on vacation that day!

I don’t care if Johnny Storm used his flame too much or had a virus. To not even try to take on a super-villian running a one man crime spree makes him a piss-poor superhero. Spidey gets some slack because he was very new at this AND he took the advice that Torch was preaching without practicing.

I stand by initial assessment…cool Spider-man story, but Torch was a jack-ass!

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