Posted - July 11, 2014 | Updated : August 26, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man 73
The Web Closes

The motive force of a thing is that which causes it to move. The motive force of this issue is a mysterious tablet of unknown ability. Everybody seems to be looking for it; "everybody" being Spider-Man and the Maggia.

We start the issue with Peter eavesdropping, oh heck, snooping, no, spying , on the Stacys (Stacies?). I can't begrudge Peter his little "violation of privacy" move because I'm a guy and what guy doesn't want to hear the girl he has a crush on talk about him like Gwen is talking to her father about Peter.

gwen talks about peter

You can just feel Peter smiling through that mask.

Art chores fall to John Buscema. Of the many wonderful panels from this legendary Marvel artist I pick this one to showcase.

spider-man swining
					with the sky as a backdrop

You can just feel the movement through this panel. The airliner Buscema added overhead enhances the sense of dynamism

Did I insinuate that I was only going to pick just one? Well scratch that, here's another.

spider-man on the windowsill

Look at that layout. Forefront and back are symmetrically centered giving a sense of order. Captain Stacy's hand in front. I keep asking myself why the Spider-Man part of this panel is so appealing. It's the window blinds; you can almost feel Spidey's back pressing against it. And behind the Spider is the city -all those little twinkling lights. This panel just comes together very well for me.

Now we come upon Man Mountain Marko.

man mountain marko

When I first saw Man Mountain Marko on the cover, I was sure I wouldn't like him. But I'm looking at him "in story" and the more I look at him the more memories of all those years watching WWF and WWE come flooding back and suddenly I like this guy. Add a trenchcoat and he's this guy .

Break that loveseat in half Triple-M! Oops here comes Spidey!

man mountain marko breaks a love
					seat in half as spider-man crashes in.

You can do it Triple-M! Even though he has Spider-strength and you're just a very large human being, you can do it!

spider-man grabs triple
					m and smashes him into a wall

No, you can't.

Well that was - wait!

man mountain marko gets up again

Alright, here's the bell for Round Two!


spider-man takes a hit from man
					mountain marko


triple m kicks and spidey 

And down goes the Spider!

triple m smashes spider-man
					into a wall

And the WWE Champion is ... wait!

Round Three.


spider-man punches man 
					mountain marko

And that's the match. Super-powers: 1. Potential to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in pro wrestling: 0.

Let's all sit down a bit and enjoy yet another wonderful John Buscema panel (I have to say 'John' because there's another Buscema, younger brother Sal, who's also a great Spider-Man artist).

ceasar sicero in court

Once again, the layout catches my eye. Objects in the forefront and out back give this panel a sense of depth. The picture is presented in a slant instead of horizontally which just adds to its appeal. Jim Mooney inked this just right, going heavy in just the right places.

We've been enjoying John Buscema's action renditions and layout work but now its time to focus on the writing. Writer Stan Lee has been doing a solid job, pacing is just right and the transitions keep things interesting, but as we go into the "Joe Robertson" panels of the comic, the Man pulls out all the stops and shows us the power of great dialogue.

Here is Stan Lee on "Education".

stan lee on educaion

When I was in college I didn't get it. I did not understand why I had to learn things that I believed would not have any practical value for me in my life (I'm looking at you Trigonometry). I went through college looking at every subject in my course load and asking "What am I going to use you for?". Too often the answer was "I don't know" or "You won't". What an idiot I was. Education is like having this big empty bag and as you go through your schooling you put things in that bag. Things like Biology, Algebra, Economics, Statistics, Anthropology, all sorts of "things". It's wrong to question everything you put into that bag and ask what you're going to used it for. You don't know what will be useful, and in High School and College, you don't have to know you just have to fill up the bag because later on in life you will encounter situations that will have you reaching into this bag called Education and the one thing you don't want is to have nothing in the bag. Or, as Joe Robertson says ". . . without education .. you're a soldier unarmed". The two panels above should be enlarged, framed, and displayed in every High School and University.

Stan Lee isn't done yet. Here's Stan Lee on Racism.

stan lee on racism

I'll let the panels speak for themselves. Stan Lee sometimes dips into real world concerns when writing comics. I don't mind that, I don't mind it at all. Stan is at his best when he gets on his pulpit and the comics gets much needed depth.

I did mention the Maggia was after the tablet right?

Here's Maggia boss Silvermane - a member of a pantheon that includes the Kingpin, Hammerhead and the Owl.


It turns out Triple M is Maggia muscle. Specifically, Silvermane muscle. So the Maggia has the tablet but they can't decipher it on their own so- before the issue ends - they kidnap some help. And look who it is.

the lizard

As you can see, the Maggia don't know about Dr. Connors' "little" secret. Whether they find out is something for the future.

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