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When We First Met – The First Time Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense Tingled!

NOTE: You voted and this was the runaway winner for the new weekly feature! – BC

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!’” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ‘em out!

Today, we look at the first time Spider-Man used his Spider-Sense, the first appearance of Leslie Thompkins and the first time Lana Lang showed up as an adult.

Enjoy!

First Time Spider-Man’s Spider-Sensed Tingled

Most readers presume that the time Peter jumps into the air to avoid a speeding car Amazing Fantasy #15 is the first example of Spider-Man’s famed Spider-Sense, but if you note, the caption mentions that he heard the car honking at the last moment…

So it is not until the second feature in Amazing Spider-Man #1 that we learn that Spider-Man has gained supernatural senses, although here they make a point of calling them his “Spider Instinct”…

Later, the Chameleon also talks about his Spider-Instincts and his “spider senses”…

This particular aspect of Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense is what allows him to use his Spider-Tracers. It is different from his “danger sense.”

Later in the story, Spider-Man calls this aspect of his powers his Spider’s Senses….

And even later, he first mentions getting a “tingle” from his Spider’s Instinct…

It is not until the first feature in Amazing Spider-Man #2 that his “danger sense” is called his “Spider Sense”…

And later in that same story we see Spidey refer to it as a tingling senation…

In the second feature in Amazing Spider-Man #2 is the first time it is called the traditional singular “Spider Sense”…

Finally, Amazing Spider-Man #6 gives us the first instance of the classic phrase, “My Spider Sense is tingling”…

Thanks to commenter Ed for suggesting this one.
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First Leslie Thompkins

1976′s Detective Comics #457 has the first appearance of Leslie Thompkins…

What’s interesting is seeing how different she was in her first appearance…

Someone asked me to feature this one, but I can’t seem to find out who. So if you’re the one who asked for Leslie Thompkins’ first appearance, let me know and I’ll edit you in!
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First Lana Lang as an Adult

Lana Lang first showed up in Superboy’s adventures in 1950. Less than two years later, she was popping up in the pages of Superman as an adult in Superman #78…

Thanks to commenter NES Boy for suggesting this one.
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Feel free to send in ideas for other debuts that you’re curious about! Send your ideas to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

36 Comments

This is a great feature. Also, I have to say, even though it’s a made up ability that no spider (radioactive or otherwise) actually has, I think that the “Spidey Sense” is one of the all time coolest and most original super powers.

Oh, also, I just read the Leslie Thompson story a couple of months ago. It’s a good addition to the Batman mythos, as it adds to his rarely seen “human” side.

Leslie Thompkins keeps aging in reverse. What a classic Batman story, though! Short and sweet.

Regarding the first Lois/Lana meeting: As they used to say in Silver Age comics… *choke*

The seemingly endless Lane/Lang feud freaking RUINED Superman as a character. It was his proverbial Jump The Shark moment. I give Lana some points just for nearly pointing out the obvious. But only just.

One moment I’ve always wondered about? When did Spidey lose his freaky armpit webbing? I suppose a long Google search could provide the answer.

@DaveB I think it’s how Andrew Garfield described it. He said he researched spiders and how they are super sensitive and can feel the slightest hint of a wind, or stuff like that. I think the spider-sense is just an exaggerated version of that.

The problem with the armpit webbing is that every now and again it would pop up in his costume design, but very rarely. His armpit webbing if I remember correctly, stopped being drawn as much in the 80′s or 90′s

nice first one for this feature for always wondered when marvel really started saying spider man had spider sense. plus always wondered when Leslie showed up in batmans life.as for the lois lana thing. never knew she showed up in metropolis to be a reporter and set off the love triangle between her and supes and Lois

AWESOME! I love that first panel with the Spider Sense tingle!!!

I just reread those first Spider-Man stories last week. One thing I found funny is that the very first costumed foes Spider-Man ever fought were.. the Fantastic Four! Sure, he took care of the Chameleon later in that same story, but he took on other superheroes before he got around to any supervillains. Man, no wonder he had such a bad reputation!

Denny O’Neil loves exclamation points.

I could swear Spidey called it his spider-sense when he used it to track down the Chameleon in the second feature of ASM 1.

@Dave

The Spidey Sense was based on a spider’s ability to feel anything moving on their web. When they spin a large web, and are sitting in it, they can feel the vibrations of anything else on the web. So it was a made-up ability based on something a spider does

Okay, this is what my mind did in the superman bit:

1)”Super-vantriloquism? That’s just absurd!” *Scoff*
2) “Like light from a yellow star would really allow him to gain powers to throw his voice better” *Scoff*
3)”…..not that it really makes a whole lot of sense for them to allow him to fly…….”
4) “Dammit.”

“Denny O’Neil loves exclamation points.” – I agree, almost totally ruins the moment.

I’ve often thought that DC did no small harm by changing Leslie’s character so much post-Crisis. The idea of a character who Bruce never forgot-and tried to honor-simply because she was the one person who was kind to him the night of his parents’ murder was a nice, humanizing, addition to the mythos). Conversely, we didn’t need–and don’t need–just one more Gotham bad-ass.

Cool stuff, but when is the first time they were actually said to be “tingling”?

And here I thought the answer would be “Puberty.”

Daniel O' Dreams

April 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Was adult Lana initially based on Lucille Ball? She bares a striking resemblance especially to her glamorous pre I Love Lucy days.

Of course Lois basically has the same face… so maybe not.

Now, I know Spider-Man’s back is to Sue Storm, but really, do you need spider-sense to see a lasso moving at a steady pace towards you?

I could swear Spidey called it his spider-sense when he used it to track down the Chameleon in the second feature of ASM 1.

Yeah, I should mention that, as well. He doesn’t call it his Spider-Sense exactly, but it is close enough to merit a mention. Thanks, Mike!

Cool stuff, but when is the first time they were actually said to be “tingling”?

I added it to the piece, just for you, Andrew!

Matthew Turnage

April 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

“Denny O’Neil loves exclamation points.”

It didn’t have anything to do with Denny’s punctuational preferences, it had to do with the way comics of the time were written. My understanding is that ending sentences with periods was taboo prior to the 1980s or so because newsprint reproduction could be so poor there was a fear the punctuation might not show up or bleed into other letters, making it harder to decipher the dialogue/captions. Therefore, all sentences in comics ended with exclamation marks, question marks, hyphens or ellipses. Just look at every panel posted in this article – you won’t find a single period. If you have a problem with the punctuation, don’t blame Denny.

Indicidentally, I understand that the exclamation point Elliot S! Maggin used with his middle initial came about because he was so used to using exclamation points instead of periods, he typed it on a script purely by accident. Julie Schwartz really liked it though, and put out the issue with the exclamation point in the credits and it stuck.

I’m guessing Stan came up with the Spider Sense bit because there were bugs in the office that he tried to swat that kept getting away from him. “Dammit, they must have a … spider sense! that keeps them from getting smushed!”

Not saying I necessarily was the one to ask about Leslie Tompkins, but I definitely was interested in where she first appeared back with the “Abandoned” bit about her “death” and all. If I didn’t actually type it out, I chalk it up to the psychic connection that we have, or to your “spider sense” in knowing what the readers want to find out about. Yeah.

I think you have the last two images swapped in the Spider-sense segment.

Yeah, those pictures don’t quite line up. Still, issue #6 gets you the first classic Spider-Sense tingle. Whereas it took a couple hundred issues for the Bat-Cave to show up. Mark Gruenwald was right, Marvel got it right the first time.

Lana; “We are sort of similar, huh?’ Lois; “Yes, we are.”

Both turn to the camera and wink.

I think you have the last two images swapped in the Spider-sense segment.

You are correct! They’re in their proper spots now.

I’ve never forgotten how moved I was the first time I read that Leslie Thompkins story decades ago. Amazing.

Speaking of amazing, am I missing something in the Spidey segment? In the first panel after “Later, the Chameleon also talks about his Spider-Instincts…”, doesn’t the Chameleon quite clearly use the phrase “spider senses”? But then we say that phrase isn’t used until the next issue? I don’t ask to nitpick, but because I’m genuinely confused that I might be missing something (it wouldn’t be the first time).

I like how Peter pretty much immediately understand how the tingling is warning him of danger, instead of panicking at constantly recurring headaches or something. For all he knows the radiation from the spider could have given him a brain tumor!
And what’s with all the villains radio-contacting him thru his spidey-sense? Dr Doom did it too!

Re: Spidey’s costume underarm webbing, I don’t know when it stopped being there, but in issue #231, Peter is jokingly lamenting the fact that his costume is getting worn out, referring to Juggernaut ripping it apart in the previous issue, so he sews himself a couple new costumes and re-adds the underarm webbing, saying the old ones no longer had it.

Ah, another use of “Super-ventriloquism”. So goofy!

Also, I’m surprised no one noticed the line “The Batman crashes his fist into Gooch again and again!” There’s so many possible jokes there, but I think I’ll just leave that one alone.

IAM- he has re-added/subtracted /referenced it several times since then, I think. Seems to be another of those things upon which creators all have their own take.

And give another bow to Dan Slott, for referencing the fact that Chameleon and Doom had used it. Probably also props to whatever internet sage called it to the attention of Dan Slott, so it could use it in Spidey’s Big Time storyline.

Speaking of amazing, am I missing something in the Spidey segment? In the first panel after “Later, the Chameleon also talks about his Spider-Instincts…”, doesn’t the Chameleon quite clearly use the phrase “spider senses”? But then we say that phrase isn’t used until the next issue? I don’t ask to nitpick, but because I’m genuinely confused that I might be missing something (it wouldn’t be the first time).

Just differentiating the first time his “danger” sense is called his “Spider senses” as opposed to the just general “can somehow be contacted through radio waves” senses. But I added in a mention to make it easier to read. Thanks!

I heard Kevin Smith was going to do a Spider-Man story where he’d be telling someone about when he first got his spider powers, and how when the car almost hit him, he wet himself, and said “Spider Sense…Tinkling!”.

But even Joe Quesada thought that was too much.

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OK, I totally made that one up. Had you going for a second though, huh?

“Just differentiating the first time his “danger” sense is called his “Spider senses” as opposed to the just general “can somehow be contacted through radio waves” senses. But I added in a mention to make it easier to read. Thanks!”

Ah, yes, I get it now. Thanks for the explanation!

It’s tiny details like this we all take for granted, so seeing it actually happening for the first time blows my mind! I’ll be watching this feature like a hawk.

I picked up the MARVEL SAGA Essential volumes and in issue #2, it says that Peter’s spider sense tingled for the first time during that scene with the car.

It really annoys me when someone calls it “Spidey Sense” instead of “Spider Sense”. Sounds like what a little kid would call it. I think it started with people writing articles about comics who didn’t really read the comics, and spread from there to become a common misuse.

I stopped reading Spider-Man years ago when the market became flooded with his titles, but even though they used the nickname “Spidey” all the time, I don’t think they ever used the phrase “Spidey Sense” in the books themselves. Can anybody tell me if they now say “Spidey Sense” in the comics?

Thanks.

Even worse than that, Steve, the extremely juvenile new animated series uses “spidey-sense” exclusively.

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