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CSBG Archive

When We First Met – Spider-Man Firsts!

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 take a look at three notable Spider-Man firsts, including the first time Spidey “thwip”ped, the first time he referred to himself as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and the debut of the Spider-Tracer!

Spider-Man’s webshooters didn’t even make a sound in the early days but eventually they made differing sounds before finalizing in Amazing Spider-Man #36 on “thwip”….

It reappeared in #37…

then Spidey does not use his web-shooters at all in Ditko’s finale issue and then Romita took over with #39 and “thwip” showed up right away…

And that’s been the sound effect ever since.
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In Amazing Spider-Man #4, Spider-Man is trying to trick Sandman into turning into loose sand form so he can suck him into a vacuum…

That’s the first time Spider-Man referred to himself as the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.”
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In Amazing Spider-Man #11, Doctor Octopus is released from prison. Spider-Man wants a way to keep track of him, so he invents the Spider-Tracer…

Initially, it could only be used with a tracking device Spidey would have to carry with him.

That was the status quo all the way until Steve Ditko’s penultimate issue (#37)…

What’s interesting here is that I don’t believe Ditko MEANT to have Spidey tracking the device in this panel, but rather it was added by Stan Lee’s thought bubble…

With Ditko off the book, though, when the Spider Tracer was next used in Amazing Spider-man #51, it was now tracked by Spider-Man just using his Spider-Sense…

And that’s been how it has been used ever since (except for occasional usages of the device to boost the tracking signal).
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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!

18 Comments

“And that’s been how it has been used ever since (except for occasional usages of the device to boost the tracking signal).”

Or when Spidey lost his powers.

I think you meant Spider Sense; The Spider-Signal is the lamp he uses in his belt.

Thanks, Graeme!

I figure if Doctor Doom can broadcast messages directly to Spidey’s Spider-Sense, it can pretty much do anything.

Was there some reason given in the story why Spidey was saying “wanti’g” and “webbi’g” in that third panel? I’ve never heard anyone American talk that way!

MWGallaher: He was all stuffed up with a bad cold. (Not a joke–that’s the actual reason.)

Does he not have the cold?

i like his hat in the second panel. i hope they work that into the movie.

I’m pretty sure the Sandman story was in ASM 4 and not 5.

interesting always thought spider man used his spider sense to follow the trail of his tracers only to learn ditko himself had him have to use devices. plus always found it a riot that spider man manage to out smart sandman with just an ordinary vacum

Yeah, sorry, Jeremy, little typo there. It is fixed now.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I don’t think it’s any of our business, the first time Spidey “thwipped”. It was before he met Gwen or MJ, and…

Oh, that wasn’t a euphemism. Sorry.

I think they covered it in one of those minus 1 issues, though. :)

@Travis Pelkie
Just regulär ol’ Peter Parker, anger-thwipping to Sally Avril while clutching an umbrella

The Chameleon used some sort of radio signal to send a message to Spider-Man in #1, and then the Tinkerer’s equipment accidentally set off his Spider-Sense in #2. So the basic idea of using his Spider-Sense to hone in to a radio signal was present practically from the beginning. Applying it to the tracers was always a plausible idea.

Eric Qel-Droma

June 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Let’s not forget that Spidey can use his Spider-Sense to read things, as in ASM Annual #1. It also makes julienne fries.

So Peter developed an electronic device that broadcast on the same wavelength as his telepathic ability? That boy’s a sheer genius!

I can buy into the idea of setting the electronic device using the same frequency as his spider sense (though it is a stretch). However the Chameleon being able to send him messages (speech) through it is absolutely insane. The spider sense is a warning system that alerts him to nearby danger. Suggested to be a type of buzzing or something. It was never even specific enough to tell him what the danger was, only that there was something dangerous. How could such a system relay speech to him?

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