Conceived long before his debut, Spider-Man was Marvel’s last ditch hope at somehow reviving the flailing Amazing Fantasy series, switching up a ton of things, the least of which certainly not Spider-Man and Peter Parker himself. It was a risk that a few people outside of Lee and Ditko’s office had hope for, yet, somehow miraculously, the public put their hatred of spiders to the back of their minds and Spider-Man was an instant hit.
Like Stan has gone over a thousand times already however, most of that connection had little to do with Spidey’s cool powers, but more along the lines of his cathartic and somewhat tragic story that fills out his debut here. Talk about an origin story done right—combining all the best parts about both the Fantastic Four and the Hulks stories, with a little dash of Ant-Man in there too, Parker’s induction into the league of superheroes isn’t anywhere near as glorious or wonderful as you might imagine. Stricken by guilt, family death, money issues and alienation from his peers, Pete just got dealt the most conflicting hand in all of Marvel history right here. Best of all however is that it’s all depicted through the wonderful art styling of Steve Ditko who makes his second appearance here (after The Hulk #2), and truly making a name for himself immediately nailing a character design that will stay (mostly) unchanged for decades.
Feeling the most modern out of all of Marvel’s publications by far, Amazing Fantasy expells many of the Silver Age’s goofiness in one swell swoop, even if it eventually wanes here and there down the line. Whether you liked him or not however, Spider-Man was here to stay, and pretty much every modern comic book out there has that radioactive spider to thank for changing the face of their budding universe for good.
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