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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 128

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 a Paul Jenkins/Mark Buckingham Peter Parker: Spider-Man issue that I meant to put up on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, but, well, either I forgot or I was in the middle of a theme week at the time (I think it was the latter – wasn’t I in the middle of the Waid/Garney Cap run at the time?).

Enjoy!

The basic concept behind this issue is that it is the anniversary of Uncle Ben’s death, and Peter does what he always does – he goes to a New York Mets game, like Uncle Ben always used to take him to when he was a kid.

After each game (the Mets always lost), Uncle Ben gave one of his famous speeches.

Again, though, every year went by and the Mets lost and lost and lost (in increasingly absurd fashion) to the point that Peter began resenting both the Mets and his Uncle’s speech.

That took us to the end of the issue, where Jenkins and Buckingham just create a scene to perfection…

Beautiful work.

Jenkins was so good on this title (and Buckingham, of course, is always good).

28 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

How long did the Jenkins/Buckingham run last.
I heard that it was a good run, but alas, it was one more title that I couldn’t get at that time.

Maybe if it’s collected.

Did that creative team do the story involving Peter and Ben making snow men? I read that a while back and it broke my heart.

The thing I never liked about Uncle Ben is that he’s so damned “Movie of the Week.” When Young Peter says, “This blows,” maybe it’s not because the Mets lost. Maybe he didn’t like the overwhelming stench of urine in the bathrooms, the horrible hot dogs, the fact that they had shitty upper-deck seats (I can’t imagine Ben could afford better ones), and that the game ended at 11 o’clock at night and he was cranky. But does Ben consider that? No way – he launches into a “baseball is life” speech that was old when Roger Kahn beat it into the ground 35 years ago, which maybe Peter just didn’t want to hear. This is a nice moment, sure, but Ben-as-Elderly Philosopher is dull. Not everything is a metaphor for life, Ben. Maybe, just maybe, Shea Stadium was a dump.

Why,Greg?? Why must you trash everything I love?!

Just kiddin’ ,I see your point. Taking your nephew to see a baseball team getting their asses kicked every year doesn’t exactly build character.

Still, this is a beautiful moment and I wish there were more times where they showed Uncle Ben and Peter together. I’ve been a Spider Man fan all my life and I can’t remember other times it happened. Does anybody know?

another day another touching comic moment of a classic for peter remembering how the last game he went with ben not knowing it was the very last one for both of them. and also learning that even gone advice of wise ones never fade

Weren’t the Dodgers still in New York when Ben died? Sometimes I hate the ret-cons(okay, I USUALLY hate them). LOL

Bob: The Dodgers left New York in 1958. The Mets’ first season was 1962. So it all works!

Dude: I went to baseball games all the time with my grandfather, and it was a wonderful time each time. I was Peter’s age, and we watched the Phillies, who, granted, were actually good in the early 1980s, so I guess I don’t have the same experience, but I never cared if they won or lost. It was just nice getting out. Peter’s snotty attitude is as annoying as Ben’s Lifetime Channel one!

I agree, though, that is nicely done. Jenkins and Buckingham on this book never get enough credit.

Wow, I had this run originally and it went completely unappreciated by me. I definitely have to go back and reread it. Looking at this “moment” strikes me so much, seeing as I went to many a Mets game with my dad back in the day, and sure enough they always lost horribly. I know that exact frustration, the “why the hell do we keep doing this?” feeling, but we kept going. I loved it, but I still hate the Mets to this very day.

Wow … how perfect is it that Peter Parker is a Mets fan?

Paul Jenkins is a great writer. His characters somehow come alive on the page for me, especially when he’s focusing on the smaller, quiet moments rather than an all-out superhero brawl. Nice choice, Brian.

The look on Aunt May’s face when he says he doesn’t want to go. Priceless.

I agree with some of Greg’s criticisms about Ben’s constant Movie of the Week attitude (did the guy ever get upset about anything? Ever?) and Pete’s snottiness, overall it’s a pretty fun, harmless and heart-warming story. A cool little one-off tale.

In other news, it’s nice to know I was completely right about this list.

This was a great moment. However, I don’t think I liked it the first go-around because it seemed like Jenkins spent his entire run doing cornball stories about Peter’s life and past. When Jenkins left “Hellblazer” and moved on to “Peter Parker”, I think I might have been expecting something a little edgier.

Mike Loughlin

May 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Jenkins & Buckingham made Peter Parker a must-read. It was usually funny, something most Spider-Man teams struggle with. Jenkins did a great job writing most of the cast, especially Peter & Aunt May.

Peter Parker says Uncle Ben is to his left but he is sitting to his right.

I agree with bad trotsky, Aunt May’s face is just priceless.

“And there, in the stands, watching a team made up of drunk-driving cokeheads who beat their wives and cut the heads off of live cats, I understood what Uncle Ben had been talking about…All that matters is that you eventually win. Moral character doesn’t matter. Thank you, 1986 Mets.”

“And he sat there to the left of me”… oops, Buckingham.

Maybe that could be interesting, if by the tenth “human interest” Jenkins Spider-Man story I wasn’t so thoroughly tired of it all.

His luck was that JMS was then showing everyone how a REAL BAD Spider-Man comic was, so Jenkins looked good in perspective.

BND was the best thing to happen with the character on the last decade or so.

Oh, and there are some three or four countries in the world where baseball is actually popular. I never lived in any of those.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

“Peter Parker says Uncle Ben is to his left but he is sitting to his right.”

Is this related to the seventeen thousand panels I have seen printed in comic books where characters are saying hello, goodbye or sealing a contract by shaking each other’s LEFT hands?

Is there some stage in the comics printing process that flips left and right that lots and lots of artists and editors keep forgetting about and failing to make adjustments for?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Uncle Ben taught Peter the difference between left and right in another heartwarming tale later in the series.

I think some of Uncle Ben’s “Movie of the Week”-ness is due to that he’s usually portrayed from the memory of a guilt-ridden Peter Parker.

What always gets me in this story is when it’s revealed this was their last game together before Uncle Ben died, and the realization that if snarky teenaged Peter had stuck with his “screw this” desire to not attend, he’d have missed out on his last chance to continue the tradition with Ben, and missed out on the Mets finally winning to boot.

Michael Howey

May 11, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Gotta disagree with Greg on this one. Ben was spounting some random life lesson. He knew that Peter’s life was absolute hell at school. He knew that Peter was a loser, even though he loved him none the less for it. That’s my take.
Also, I just realised, Peter was being such a pain on that last day because he was already Spiderman and could have been just about anywhere else doing anything else.

I wouldn’t know about losing, being a Yanks fan.

Yes, boo….26 titles.

“And there, in the stands, watching a team made up of drunk-driving cokeheads who beat their wives and cut the heads off of live cats, I understood what Uncle Ben had been talking about…All that matters is that you eventually win. Moral character doesn’t matter. Thank you, 1986 Mets.”

Now THAT was awesome.

“What always gets me in this story is when it’s revealed this was their last game together before Uncle Ben died, and the realization that if snarky teenaged Peter had stuck with his “screw this” desire to not attend, he’d have missed out on his last chance to continue the tradition with Ben, and missed out on the Mets finally winning to boot.”

Yeah, but that ‘twist’ was seen coming a mile or 2 away.

Overall, it’s schmaltzy and a little to saccharine. I could’ve done without the life lesson (what is it with American and “baseball-is-life” metaphor?), which has been beaten to death. Had it just been about Peter going to watch the games, in honor of his uncle, and to rekindle an old tradition, it would have worked better.

i gotta admit… that last panel just sent a strong ping down my soul. Wow.

[…] a segment of The Electric Company depicting him as a Mets fan. Secondly, there apparently was a comic book story about how Uncle Ben would bring Peter to Mets games. Clearly, a continuity […]

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