Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Death of Captain Stacy and birthday presents









Doctor Octopus engineers an escape he never should’ve been able to make in the hero-filled Marvel Universe, with his set of renegade arms stomping across the country to free him. His actions covered by an apparent fiery airplane death, the psychotic scientist begins his next genius extortion plan, but Spider-Man knows deep inside his foe’s still out there!


A lot of fans at the time thought Captain Stacy was getting close to figuring out Peter Parker’s double life as Spider-Man, but even the shadowed face on the cover of ASM #90 couldn’t have prepared most of them for Stacy’s heroic death! Worst of all, not only does Peter lose a man he respects and loves---the man he hoped would become his father-in-law, and an ally to his alter ego—but his girlfriend Gwen, like the rest of the city, grieves in the belief that Spider-Man took him away to murder him! Not only must he support Gwen and grieve for himself, but his helpful heroic identity, ever the figure of controversy, is suspect number one for George Stacy’s killing!


The fact that Spider-Man and Doc Ock (as Stan likes to call him) are battling far away on the rooftop sets up the shock; there’s always a danger to bystanders, and the heroic retired police captain loses his life saving a child from the scattered debris falling to the street. As I recall, Spider-Man’s using a type of formula in these cartridges of his webbing to create signal confusion inside Octopus’s mechanical arms, so their thrashing about, unfortunately, is a fault he may take to heart.


When I found a very good copy of Amazing Spider-Man #90 I realized I had the best condition issue of any major event in Spider-history of any I’d ever had. With the amazing fortunes we felt we’d had in the personal sphere of relationships, our hearts were over-flowing, and so, the first friend to ever give me a comic book as a gift became the beneficiary of that very comic book. I knew what it would mean to him, as it was exactly the kind of treasure we’d sought for years, the kind we could rarely hope to afford. I knew giving my friend Holt that comic book would make it more meaningful than if I kept it myself! I know, two half-grown twins later, he’s still got it. Wonder if he ever pulls it out to read? Maybe when the kids are grown!


The Marvel Tales reprint of this middle chapter, complete with Todd McFarlane cover, was the last comic I bought from the corner convenient store where I’d spent so much lawn mowing money.

The Kitchen Comic Convention, '12!!

I had to get out for a walk before I could sit with the game, and then I found out it was my friend Torrey’s son’s birthday and decided to dig out some comic books! Torrey Sr. even asked if we could start guitar lessons, and Torrey Jr.’s got what became about 34 comic books stories to read now. We sat in the community kitchen and had our first conversation about comic books, while I wore my t-shirt with the cover of D’n’A #1. It feels so good to be the one to deliver the message of honing your talents, following your dreams, and doing that with which you’ve fallen in love, with all the time you have on hand.




I brought an entire mailing envelope with the first 19 comics to the community kitchen, taking out a parody “What Th--?!?” #12 and a couple I weren’t sure were age appropriate. “Wow, some of these must be worth some money!” he said, collecting instinct already alive. “He does that,” said Dad; “we’ll find pennies or any old coin, and he’ll say, ‘let’s look it up!’” I showed him how to read the indicia to find out what year your comic book was made. Before their pizza was done I was back with DRACULA and another dozen comics to borrow. Hey, less clutter!





I told him most of these were on loan, but he can pick out his five favorites and keep them! Considering his stash includes X-Men/ Teen Titans, X-Men/ Alpha Flight #’s 1&2, some crazy Grant Morrison Bat-Man, Hulk’s return to Jarella’s world courtesy Archie Goodwin, a big fantasy world run of Defenders with Namor, Hulk and Doc Strange, new Spider-Man comics with the Fantastic Four, even the first story arc of Ultimate Fantastic Four, I can only imagine how fun his 12th birthday turned out---and what will he decide to keep? (Not the color Tomb of Dracula vol. 2 book, though---unless it’s his favorite over Everything!)





His dad, a comics fan as a kid, has Y: The Last Man volume one, a gift to us from Marcus K. from New York last Christmas.




I gave “TJ” a Milestone comic from all-black creators, and told him about Dwayne McDuffie founding Man of Action Studios with his friends and creating his favorite cartoon, Ben 10. I took out the signed Ben 10 comic book I was given at last year’s Comic Con---the one I wish to mail this spring to Sri Lanka, where two or more fans who’ve maybe forgotten the affair will be quite surprised.

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