Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Milestone Edition)
Marvel Comics (August, 1962/March, 1992)WRITER: Stan Lee ARTIST: Steve Ditko
For some reason the final issue of Amazing Adult Fantasy (which was not a porno comic, as you’d expect the title to be used today) dropped the “Adult” for the final issue. Darned if I know why. Of course, this comic is only known for the debut of the character that would become their mascot, Spider-Man. However, this reprint, which actually features the classic ads as well, includes the other three tales that was printed in the comic and thus will be reviewed as well. Hey, when I did the DC reprints I was looking at seven or more comics by different writing and art teams. This is four stories by the same two guys. This shouldn’t be a problem.
Do I really have to give you the synopsis here? Anybody would be interested in this review has already seen one of the numerous reprints of this one story, revisits, adaptations, and loosely-based remakes of this tale. Linkara did an excellent review of this one story. I will say for me that the story holds up rather well if you ignore the dated references and wardrobe plus the questionable science behind the radiation that turns the spider into a superpower source. It’s an easy story to find and since Marvel doesn’t reboot like DC does it’s still canon, although the sliding timeline is in effect. The art is well done with some neat visuals to foreshadow and some good “camera angles” all around. A great open…with three less than interesting finishes.
When a volcanic island threatens to destroy a fishing community the people actually decide to leave instead of rally to save it in some contrived manner. Oh, don’t worry, we aren’t getting off quite that easy because one person stays behind, an old bell-ringer that everyone likes but isn’t going to drag away from his obsession with ringing the bell, sure that someone will hear it. That someone apparently takes the man away in a shaft of light and presumable was never heard from again. Was it God? Was it Vishnu? We’re never told. By today’s standards this was rather lame, especially for a Stan Lee story.
“Man In The Mummy Case!”
Now this is a story that could have used a little more development. A criminal escaping the cops hides in what appears to be a museum. A mummy pops up and offers to hide the man in his mummy case and when the cops show up and open the case it’s empty. That’s because when he stepped inside it transported him to ancient Egypt where he is forced to help build the pyramid. There’s a good idea but without any context I don’t see the point of this guy’s fate. It’s like 1/3rd of a Twilight Zone episode.
“There Are Martians Among Us!”
Another story that seems short but isn’t as damaged because of it. An alien ship crashes on the planet. Everyone assumes Martians but since they look like us they go unnoticed. At least until someone attacks a woman and her husband is revealed to have four arms while calling someone worried that someone has found her and discovered their secret. Again, it’s a good idea and a decent twist but it feels lacking somehow.
Overall, the only good story here is the Spider-Man origin and the only one worth finding. If you find a replica reprint like the one I have it’s worth getting. The other three stories aren’t horrible, just weak whether you compare them to the cover story or not. The Spidey story, however, is very much recommended since it holds up, is still canon for the most part, and is the origin of one of Marvel’s biggest heroes.