I was perusing Amazing Spider-Man #234, and guess what? Pete is getting hit on. Again.
You'd think this was pretty old hat for Peter by now, but no. Recognizing the potential for an acute cootie infection, he does the manly thing and flees:
Really? Mary Jane? Gwen? Dawn Starr? Betty Brandt? Debbi Whitman? Granted, Dawn Starr was a manipulative little opportunist, but it sure seems like Pete's getting hit on every day. You think he'd be better equipped to handle it by now.
Enough romance. The big sparkly ball wants revenge. REVENGE!:
Yeah, that's not very awe-inspiring, is it? Maybe that's why they gave us the new, literal Tarantula at the end of that ish:
Y'see, the Tarantula agreed to undergo an experimental process to up his powers after getting his clock cleaned, and as we all know in comic books, you should rarely agree to undergo an experimental process. It ends poorly more often than not.
Now compare that panel to the last panel of the following issue:
It seems to me like we're going for a dramatic cliffhanger that's a little too close in time to the previous dramatic cliffhanger. It's like that guy who tells a joke and you laugh and then he thinks he's got something so he keeps repeating the punch line at every opportunity and you feel like you have to laugh again. Or, even worse, the guy that found something you said funny and repeats the punch line and you have to let it go because you're the one who put it out there in the first place.
Yeah, we get it. Scary, scary.... oooooooooooo
See you tomorrow!
I think I was a little more able to identify with Parker running away from being hit on when I was a kid. I was also a little more let down though. It was like, "Pete, don't run away, man, I'm living my life through you and I'm just a nerdy kid! Let me have my day in the sun, even if it is through you!!"
Now that I'm a father and I've had my "day in the sun," it's not such an emotionally charged scene anymore.
And I don't identify with him running away as much as I did when I was a scared, nerdy little kid.
But man, did they know how to make comics back in the day! Dorky stuff like Pete getting hit on and running away had me HOOKED!! The emotional turmoil was so intense, and seemed so mature. Like I had some magic lens that let me into the secret world of adult romance but kept emotional responses on the level of a little nerdy boy.
You get even more of that warped look into adult romance geared for kids in stuff like Green Arrow and Black Canary.
They knew exactly what they were doing in those days!
Thanks for that post, Adam!! Thanks for taking me back to those days!!
Although my first thought was that Pete was really gay, I then remembered that when I was in high school, I turned down a girl who hit on me. But I was a stupid, screwed up adolescent, and Parker was around 23 at this time, so what's his excuse?
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