TITLE: Peter Parker,The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: December 1976
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer/Editor: Gerry Conway
Artist/Storyteller: Sal Buscema
Inker/Embellisher: Mike Esposito
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Dave Hunt
Spider-Man. By the 1970’s, he has three comic book series: “Amazing Spider-Man”, “Marvel Team-Up” and the reprint series, “Marvel Tales”.
But by the mid-70’s, the cost of printing and the dwindling page count put Marvel in a situations where they felt they couldn’t write the Spider-Man stories that hoped to accomplish.
“Amazing Spider-Man” was the main issue of Spider-Man, while “Marvel Team Up” featured stories of Spider-Man teaming up with others. And so, that was the dilemma that Marvel had faced. With so many characters that Marvel wanted to explorer in relation to Spider-Man, they needed another comic book series that would allow Marvel to continue a storyline, so “Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man” was created.
The concept was if one story was featured in “Amazing Spider-Man”, they could continue a story in “Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man”. And so, it’s like having a double-sized issue, as Marvel would go on to say in their “The Spider’s Web” column.
The series begins with Peter Parker as Spider-Man trying to make money by taking photos at the University and cover a speech by the Vice-Chancellor Edward Lansky.
As he is taking photos, immediately out of nowhere, Tarantula and two of his goons come to kidnap the Vice-Chancellor.
As Flash Thompson and Mary Jane Watson escape with the audience, Spider-Man, who had lost to the Tarantula in their first fight, tries to fight against him and avoid his deadly foot spikes which carries lethal poison.
Unfortunately, Tarantula gets the best of Spider-Man and to make things worse, his camera was shattered and in anger, Spider-Man accidentally hurts his hand. Meanwhile, Tarantula and his goons escape with the Vice-Chancellor.
As Peter Parker heads home and gets some care for his wrist from Ms. Grant, Peter is still smarting from the fact that MJ has hooked up with Flash. But as Peter spots the car that the goons were driving, Spider-Man decides to follow them and hopes it would lead him to Tarantula and rescue the Vice-Chancellor from harm.
But I always thought Tarantula to be a really interesting villain. Created as a super soldier for his country, he had strength, agility and those super sharp spikes on his feet which he knew how to knock people out or kill them. But unfortunately, Marvel had to change him to a beast and wasted this character as we see in Amazing Spider-Man 233-236.
Overall, a solid first issue for “Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man” and how explored a more emotional Peter Parker. And also, a long awaited battle between Spider-Man and the Tarantula.