Superman Vs The Amazing Spider-Man
Marvel/DC (1976, via reprint, 1995)WRITER: Gerry Conway PENCILER: Ross Andru INKER: Dick Giordano COLORISTS: Jerry Serpe & Rick Taylor LETTERER: Gaspar Salandino EDITORS: Carmine Infantino & Stan Lee CONSULTING EDITORS: Roy Thomas, Julius Schwartz, Marv Wolfman, & Nelson Bridwell PRODUCER: Sol Harrison ASSISTANT PRODUCER: Jack Adler
After being defeated by the Man Of Steel and Wall-Crawler respectively, Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus escape together. Lex already has a plan to deal with the two heroes. First it involves using a fake Superman to make it look like he blasted Lois, with Mary Jane caught in the teleportation beam. Not knowing that, Spider-Man attacks Superman, with Lex zapping the web slinger with a red sun radiation shield so it’s actually a fair fight. Once that wears off and the two heroes calm down they realize they were both duped and set to find the real culprit. Their investigation leads to the two scientists who have set up shop on the old Injustice Gang satellite. Otto thinks they’re going to blackmail the world, but Lex is ready to lay waste to the place, forcing Otto to actually help the two heroes when they arrive to stop them and rescue their respective girlfriends. The villains are re-jailed and the heroes form a friendship, even meeting in their secret identities (unbeknownst to them) and take their girls to dinner.
What they got right: I don’t have a problem with Superman and Spider-Man starting off fighting. It was the first crossover so the cliché hadn’t taken hold yet. They get over it rather quickly and join forces, and they get along very well. Lex and Otto kind of do as well. The art is really good as the two character design house styles blend well visually.
What they got wrong: Otto does nothing in this story until the final act where he actually stops Lex’s plans (because he’s not insane and lives on that planet). Otherwise he’s just there so Lex can explain his plans to someone. I also don’t know why (in-story, the meta reason is obviously to give Spider-Man the same stakes as Superman) Mary Jane was teleported along with Lois. Lex targeted Lois, so was MJ just too close and got caught in the teleportation beam? One line was all I needed, but the dialog we get suggests he went after MJ as well. And why the scene in Africa? Finally, there’s a subplot about JJ Jameson and Morgan Edge having trouble with their respective secretly superheroes but it felt more tacked on than the Africa scene.
Recommendation: If the “got wrong” section seems too long, please know there are minor nitpicks except for Doc Ock’s lack of involvement. This was a great meeting between the two heroes and I recommend getting this in either form you find it in. Next week we look at their second encounter.