web stats

CSBG Archive

When We First Met – More 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 a few notable Spider-Man firsts (here is the first edition of Spider-Man Firsts), including the first time Peter Parker sold photos to the Daily Bugle, the first time Spider-Man left a note for the police with tied-up crook(s), the first appearance of Spider-Man’s Spider-Signal and the first time Spidey was drawn without the webs underneath his arms.

Reader JoeMac suggested most of these!

First time Peter Parker sold photographs to the Daily Bugle…

Peter’s photography career began in Amazing Spider-Man #2…

I love the shot of Spidey with a camera in his hands…

Also this shot of the camera being knocked from his hands…

The traditional belt camera was described as about to be installed in #2….

But it is not ready yet for the re-match in #2….

First time Spider-Man left a note along with webbed up crooks…

Spidey first webbed up crooks in Amazing Spider-Man #3…

and later in the issue was the first time he left a note…

First time Spider-Man uses his Spider-Signal…

From the aforementioned #3, here is Spidey’s first use of his (rarely used) Spider-Signal…

What’s weird is that the creation of the device was not really delved into.

First time Spidey appeared without the webs under his arms.

Right from the get-go, the webbing under Spider-Man’s arms where there (here they are from the first appearance of Spider-Man’s costume in Amazing Fantasy #15)…

But over the years, the webs began to be drawn less and less. Mark Bagley must not have been a fan as he nearly never used them…

The first time that Ditko slipped up was in the first feature in Amazing Spider-Man #1…

And if you want to argue that the webs are somehow obscured in the above panel but still present, here, then, is a bit from #5…


_________________________________________________________________________________

Feel free to send in ideas for other debuts that you’re curious about! Send your ideas to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

27 Comments

Pete Woodhouse

July 3, 2012 at 5:55 am

It’s amazing how much the character and the comic were 99% fully-formed. Most of the origin, key concepts, devices and background cast were introduced if not in the first appearance, then within the first few issues.
Lee & Ditko got it spot-on right from the get-go – no wonder Spider-Man has been and will be one of the most popular superheroes ever and one of the most recognisable icons in the world.

It’s amazing how much the character and the comic were 99% fully-formed. Most of the origin, key concepts, devices and background cast were introduced if not in the first appearance, then within the first few issues.
Lee & Ditko got it spot-on right from the get-go – no wonder Spider-Man has been and will be one of the most popular superheroes ever and one of the most recognisable icons in the world.

One of the early key concepts that dwindled away over the years until recently is that Peter is just as likely, if not more likely, to defeat his enemies using his brains to take advantage of the environment, especially any tech / chemicals on hand, and/or a using specially made gadget just right for the situation, than he is through straight-up fisticuffs.

I’m a bit behind on the current Amazing run (just finished Spider-Island), but it looks like Dan Slott is bring this concept back big time.

I’m not sure if the photo selling in issue 2 counts, as wasn’t he selling them to NOW Magazine, rather than the bugle itself? Another idea that slipped away but is brought back on occasion, that Jamieson published more than just the Bugle.

Craig: Brian talked about that in a previous installment. (http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/06/04/when-we-first-met-6/ ) Lee & Ditko apparently hadn’t established JJJ as the Daily Bugle publisher until issue #4. The two publications were pretty much interchangeable at first.

Why did Bagley get a specific mention with regards to not using the underarm webbing? I seem to recall that by the time the 90s rolled around, its use had been pretty much discontinued in general for several years.

The spider-signal was used a lot in the Ditko run. I miss it

Pitwebs. There you go. Nice and short. And the pitwebs can’t be actual webbing, can they? Otherwise, the costume would stick to itself. But if Peter actually had to apply them, you could make a good case for their appearance and disappearance at various times.

I loved the pitwebs in Spidey 2099 since they explicitly affected his movement through air. Oh, Spider-Man 2099 was so good!

Why did Bagley get a specific mention with regards to not using the underarm webbing? I seem to recall that by the time the 90s rolled around, its use had been pretty much discontinued in general for several years.

A. McFarlane used them a lot (not all the time, but a lot)

and

B. Bagley became the face of licensed Spider-Man, so it is significant that his Spidey did not have pitwebs (which I do love as a term).

According to a potential No-Prize winner in the response to the issue of What If…Spiderman had never become a superhero, pitwebs dissolve when Peter uses deodorant. I don’t think it won a No-Prize but they printed the letter.

According to a Fred Hembeck story, the pitwebs are not webbing. They are mold from Spider-Man’s constant refusal to use deodorant or wash his uniform.

I remember in one of Byrne’s Chapter One issues Spider-Man created the pitwebs by firing his web shooter at his arm pits.

Travis Pelkie

July 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

There’s a bit in the fairly recent Spider-Man and Fantastic Four book that Christos Gage wrote where Spidey and the FF are battling together, and the pitwebs (excellent! Da Fug!) get burned off (maybe inadvertently by the Torch). Spidey says something like “gee, that looks alright”. It’s got to be set well after ASM 5, though. Was it something that would come and go?

Bagley’s Spidey, while iconic and well drawn, always bothered me in one small way: the bizarre ribs. There’s too many and they’re too small.

I wonder when the LAST time Peter used the Spider Signal was. Seems like it has been decades.

@ The Mutt, I seem to remember the Spider-Signal being on the cover of at least one issue of Spectacular in the ’80s, but I can’t specifically remember when …

Today’s posting reminds me of a common misconception:

http://community-2.webtv.net/OurManHermes/satan/index.html

Captain Satan goes a step further. He has a trick cigarette lighter which is actually a powerful flashlight and has a devil outline on the bulb so it projects his sinister emblem. (I guess Peter Parker must have read some of Uncle Ben`s old pulps up in the attic.)

Some people think that in the 1926 film, “the Bat” can be seen using the bat signal to frighten his enemies before he attacks. However, this stands as a misconception, since in the actual film, the supposed “bat signal” actually just represents an outline of a moth on a car’s headlight. The Bat in the film does not use any signal at all. If you watch the film, it is actually a moth on a car’s headlights projected.

The pulp protagonist, Captain Satan, had a flash light with a devil symbol painted on the lens. Anyone know of other examples?

Other than that, numerous heroes such as the Saint left their symbol behind, with the Gray Seal as an early example.

@matthew

I think what you’re seeing is supposed to be either Spidey’s serratus anterior or external oblique muscles depending on the specific picture you’re looking at. (In the picture on this page I’m pretty they’re they serratus anteriors, though I don’t think they’re going in quite the right direction – in other Bagley pictures I’ve seen Spidey has prominent obliques that aslo kind of look like ribs) Either that or you’re looking at the crosshatching on his back, but I think (and I could be wrong) that you can’t actually see his ribs in the picture on this page.

Was it something that would come and go?

Yes. It returns later in #5. It’s just an easy thing to forget to add.

Travis Pelkie

July 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Oh, definitely it’s easy to forget. But I meant more did it come and go after ASM 5? Because iirc, that Spidey/FF mini is set at ESU, and Peter and Gwen and Harry are students there, and that’s WELL after ASM 5. Did Gage attempt a cutesy “explanation” that at that point in the Marvel chronology wasn’t needed?

And I re-read this bit and see it’s the first time Spidey appeared without the webs under the arms, not the LAST time the pitwebs appeared, so I guess what I’m saying is that in the Ditko/JRSR years, did the webbing finally “disappear” for the most part — f’r instance, did JRSR draw the pitwebs much?

Damn, I’m thinking WAY too much about this!

And I re-read this bit and see it’s the first time Spidey appeared without the webs under the arms, not the LAST time the pitwebs appeared, so I guess what I’m saying is that in the Ditko/JRSR years, did the webbing finally “disappear” for the most part — f’r instance, did JRSR draw the pitwebs much?

It would just pop in and out. By the 1970s, it was more out than it was in but it would still occasionally show up.

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2012 at 12:18 am

Cool, thanks for the info, Brian.

It would have been way cool when he got those organic web shooters (in…the Other, I guess?), if they showed him with really heavy pitwebs, as if it just crusted on him. Ew!

I don’t know if this counts, but in a crossover with Batman, he used the Spider Signal on the Joker — who he was suddenly obsessed with catching because THE Burglar had apparently laughed over killing Uncle Ben. Batman likewise had a fixation on Carnage, whose remorseless killing reminded Bruce of… well, you know…

That was about 15 years ago, even if you count those obviously (hopefully?) out of continuity books…

Re: How recently the spider-signal was used — I remember an issue from the 90s Clone Saga where Peter, Scarlet Spider and Spider-Cide (in the Spider-man costume) are looking for Kaine and MJ in the sewers and they use the spider-signal as a flash light. I’m sure its been used since then … either in mainstream marvel or the ultimate universe, but that is the last time I remember seeing it ..

I know it’s not comics, but I’m pretty sure the spider-signal was used in the recent Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode that Spidey featured it, when he and Cap are in a collapsed subway tunnel…

sandwich eater

July 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I remember reading a letters page where a reader was awarded a no-prize for explaining Spider-Man’s disappearing under-arm webbing. Basically the reader said that the webbing was a very thin or fine mesh that could only be seen from certain angles. Thus, they were able to explain why it showed up in some panels but not others.

I personally am not a fan of the underarm webbing, unless it’s really stretchy it would obstruct Spider-Man’s movements. How can you throw a punch when your arm is connected to your waist? Also it is ridiculously impractical if Spider-Man were to grapple with his foes.

Wasn’t there a story where he’s creating his latest edition of his costume, and he makes a conscious decision to put the webbing back in? And makes some excuse why it hasn’t been in there? It might have been Amazing #258, after he ditches the black costume. That era sounds about right. And the cover distinctly shows the pitwebs.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives