Apr 21 • 8M

Episode 156: Fan Club Risk Factors (Amazing Spider-Man #17) -- October 1964

Edward Nevraumont
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What if the Marvel Universe was real? Mike and Ed are radio commentators in 1961 discussing the ramifications of a world with super heroes, monsters & aliens. Why is no one asking, "Is Ironman a good use of StarkCorp shareholder capital?"
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the creation, and dissolution, of the Spider-Man fan club. What types of risks are teenagers taking on by joining a superhero fan club? How often will these fan clubs be targeted by supervillains? Does the hero showing up at a meeting protect the club from attacks, or act as a magnet that makes the attacks happen to begin with? Also: Is the Human Torch a fan of Spider-Man, or did he just show up to protect the club members because he knew that Spider-Man wouldn’t? And why is Spider-Man so afraid of the Green Goblin?

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #17 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Behind the comic:

This issue ends with Spider-Man running away from the Green Goblin so that he can save his Aunt May. Since no one else knows the reason, this makes the public think that Spider-Man is a coward. Most of the issues at this time “reset” things by the end of the issue so that things go back to the status quo the next issue. But in this case, Stan Lee carries over the “people think Spider-Man is a coward” bit into issue #18. It is another example of Peter Parker not getting any breaks.

In this issue:

Flash Thompson has started a Spider-Man fan club. Ironically, Flash is rude to Spider-Man when he is in his secret identity, Peter Parker. In any event, Spider-Man interrupts a movie shoot, thinking that he was stopping a crime, which does not win him any fans. Other than in his new fan club, which Spider-Man attends in an effort to dazzle and impress. The Green Goblin shows up at the fan club and attacks Spider-Man, putting everyone at risk. The Human Torch joins the fray. Mid-fight, Spider-Man overhears that his Aunt May is in the hospital after a heart attack, which causes him to race away, leaving the Human Torch to fight the Green Goblin on his own. Everyone but Flash Thompson thinks that Spider-Man is a coward.

Assumed before the next episode:

People think that Spider-Man is a no good coward. We know they could not be more wrong, but what can you do?

This episode takes place:

After the Human Torch has chased the Green Goblin away.