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Amazing Spider-Man Annual, The #37: Review

May 2010
Karl Kesel, Paulo Siqueira

Story Name:

The Spider and the Shield!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man Annual, The #37 Review by (February 28, 2011)
Comments 2: The second story is presented as a new installment of UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN and prefaced with a brief history of that classic title. Though the story clearly takes place before the appearance of AMAZING FANTASY #15 in August 1962, we see copies of DAREDEVIL #8 (June 1965), AVENGERS #19 (August 1965) and #26 (March 1966), and TALES TO ASTONISH #68 (June 1965) at the Marvel offices. Stan’s secretary is the real-life Flo Steinberg. Phil Sheldon of MARVELS appears in a cameo along with Robbie Robertson, Ben Urich, and Frederick Foswell. Issue includes a one-page interview with Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick about women in comics and a fake letters page designed to look like it appeared in the 1960s, including a letter from a 5-year-old Kurt Busiek.

Comments 1: The first story details the initial meeting of Spidey and Captain America, though it is clearly set very close to the present day with its mentions of Wikipedia and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actual first meeting appears to have been in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #3, though it doesn’t say explicitly that Spidey and Cap had never met before, so this story fits right in. The ending reveals the tale takes place shortly before the events of AVENGERS #16 when Cap is considering the new team line-up. According to Marvel Wikia, the Enclave is not the same group that first appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR #66 and created Adam Warlock. Inside joke: Cap does not believe Wikipedia’s reports that Captain America was active in the 1950s. And yes, that bank patron does resemble Stan Lee (more than the guy in the second story).




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man Annual, The #37 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Spider-Man intervenes when he discovers the sinister Sandman robbing a bank. The hero is frustrated when he learns that the crowd thinks he is either Sandman’s accomplice or a rival robber. Captain America suddenly arrives and knocks the villain cold with his shield. After the dust clears, Cap thanks Spidey for coming to the aid of the Avengers (in AVENGERS #11). Spidey is honored when Cap shakes his hand and helps him "escape" from the police. Suddenly a quartet materializes out of the air: they are an Enclave of rogue scholars from the future, Darwin (who can evolve and devolve himself), Curie (who can mutate other life forms), Kafka (who can morph into a giant bug), and Tesla (standard electrical powers). They announce that Sandman will be responsible for a disaster that will exterminate at least 27% of the world’s population; their solution: kill him now and save the world. Captain America refuses to comply, so while Darwin attacks the hero, Kafka extracts the Sandman from the police vehicle. Spidey sees this as his cue to intervene and he carries the target to safety. Curie mutates a rooftop garden into a jungle of deadly vines that snatch Sandman away. Cap and Spidey work out some strategy and Spidey goes to work, harassing the enemy with his wisecracks until Curie, trying to mutate a coop full of pigeons into a menace, accidentally zaps Sandman, creating a stone giant. The monstrous villain now intends to kill a third of the people on Earth (thus creating the menace the Enclave intended to prevent). Spidey persuades Tesla to overload Sandman’s inhibitor jolting the villain back to normal and rendering him temporarily powerless. Darwin reveals that this was his plan all along, selected over seventeen easier methods of stopping him because it was more exciting—and it also impressed the attractive Curie, who agrees to a date as they vanish back to their own time.

Later, as Spidey reads the Daily Bugle’s coverage of the events, painting Cap as the hero and Spidey as a bad guy, Captain America stops by. Cap offers to make a public statement defending Spider-Man but Spidey declines, thinking it could just as easily drag Cap down. He thanks Cap for his support and swings off. Captain America then conceives a plan to rehabilitate other heroes who have a bad public reputation—like Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye—by inviting them to join the Avengers.



Story #2

Make Mine Marvel!

Writer: Kurt Busiek. Penciler: Patrick Olliffe. Inker: Patrick Olliffe. Colorist: Steve Buccelatto.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Spider-Man is in downtown Manhattan fighting the Human Top who has stolen an experimental cyclotron. The windy villain uses his powers to flip an occupied taxi at Spidey who manages to fill the gap between two large buildings with webbing and catch the airborne vehicle. The hero uses his webs to pull the stolen device out of the Human Top’s hands and stick it fast to the ground. The disappointed villain escapes empty-handed. Spidey checks on the cab’s passenger and meets a talkative fellow named Stan who was on his way to meet Giant-Man and Wasp who have just arrived on the scene to the cheers of their fans. When Spidey laments how he doesn’t have the fame and adulation—or the comic book deal—of Giant-Man, Stan offers to help with that last one….

Later at home, Peter Parker finds Stan Lee on the television announcing that Spider-Man will soon be starring in his own Marvel comic. Aunt May disapproves of the whole thing, number one Spider-fan Flash Thompson is delighted, and J. Jonah Jameson is outraged. So a couple of days later, Spider-Man heads to the Marvel Comics offices and his meeting with Stan Lee to cooperate in the writing of his new comic book. The problem is, when Stan starts asking questions about Spidey’s origins, abilities, and personal life, the Web-Slinger is very reluctant to answer as it might jeopardize his loved ones or give his enemies an advantage. Stan asks him to think it over but as Spidey is leaving via the window, he is clobbered by a vengeful Human Top. The two battle in the crowded office, scattering pages of script and artwork all over the room until Spidey knocks his foe in the head (and inadvertently gives him the idea to wear a helmet and change his name to Whirlwind). Spidey apologizes for the trouble he’s caused and calls off the deal lest anyone else be hurt. After he’s gone, Stan decides to go ahead with the Spider-man comic book by basing the plots on Daily Bugle articles and making up all the details about the title character.



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Paulo Siqueira
Paulo Siqueira
Fabio d'Auria
Marcos Martin (Cover Penciler)
Marcos Martin (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Stan Lee.

> Amazing Spider-Man Annual, The: Book info and issue index

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