To its credit, the first 27 issues of Amazing Spider-Man had more hits than misses. One of those hits was the cheap replacement costume that appeared in the two-part battle between Spidey and the Crime Master in Amazing Spider-Man #26 and 27:
One thing I don't miss about growing up was the carte blanche my parents had at destroying my personal property. I had an assload of comics, including a copy of Incredible Hulk #181, that my old man chucked while I was at school one day. In the condition it was in (and I would have kept in that condition, because I paid $16 for it bagged and boarded from a comic shop and knew how to keep comics at that time) it values at about $800. That's my horror story. What's yours?
Oh, and Beloved broke the foot off my DC Direct Golden Age Green Lantern action figure once while I was at work and tried to say it was somehow my own fault. We don't speak of it. It's like the lamp from A Christmas Story.
So anyway, Peter can't get his mitts on a costume. This was a brilliant plot device, especially back in the day. So, he finds one at a local costume shop:
And, like every costume you and I have ever purchased, it's a cheap piece of crap that starts sagging.
That, my friends, is bitchin'.
As you can see, Spidey fixed it as best he could but it still got in the way, especially when he was fighting:
Wow, was Stan Lee on a roll with this, or what? Then, to make matters worse, it goes from "sagging" to "shrinking."
The other thing that made this story unusual in a super-hero comic was that the bad guy du jour, the Crime Master, was trapped and killed by police officers with no help from Spidey whatsoever. What's more, when the big unmasking came about, it turned out he was just a crook and not any of the regular characters.
Amazing Spider-Man #26 and 27, we salute your many Moments of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)
And we welcome the Cheap, Sagging, Shrinking Costume to the Costume Hall of Fame! (tm!)
That's right: Two awards. I can be positive.
See you tomorrow!