Posted - June 17, 2014 | Updated : August 26, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man v3 1.2
Learning To Crawl Part Two

Issue 1.2 continues the flashback to the early years of Spider-Man. But where exactly are we in those early years? This issue provides clues to the timeline. Here's the first one:

the vulture followed by clash

The Vulture. The one following him is Clash, ignore him for now, he's new - a retcon. Here's another hint.

the FF reject Spider-Man

Note how nonchalant Spidey sounds at not being allowed into the FF? Later he'll admit how much the rejection really got to him. Now for the last clue:

the chameleon

The Chameleon.

The rejection by the FF and the appearance of the Chameleon happened back in Amazing Spider-Man #1 and the Vulture tangled with Spidey in issue #2. Both circa 1963.

So here we have the sonically-powered Clash revealing himself to the public.

look at me, i'm cool, and you're lame

Definitely not the silent type. The glory-hound speech reminds me of Syndrome from the Incredibles - even the white costume reminds me of Syndrome. It's only fair for Marvel to copy from Pixar, after all, the Incredibles were clearly copied from the FF. So all's fair.

Peter has his regular after school sessions with the school psychiatrist? Or is it a guidance counselor? Doesn't Peter go to public school? They have this kind of service? Anyway, during the session, this comes out:

confessions in code from peter parker

Peter Parker is clearly referring to the recent rejection by the FF. He's more hurt than he lets on, which makes sense, to an 'outsider type' like Peter it takes a lot to muster the courage to join any group, so rejection is that much more painful.

Clash is the alter ego of one Clayton Cole known to some as "Creepy" Clayton Cole. The cognomen is telling, Clayton is an outsider looking in - just like Peter - and that makes what Peter will later do to him that much crueler. Here he is with an invention.

clayton cole science wiz

Strangely, in spite of the "Creepy" cognomen, Clayton reminds me more of Tony Stark than Peter Parker. There is a "showy" quality about him.

So the classic encounter with the Chameleon happens, this issue, thankfully, doesn't waste precious pages rehashing what was published back in '62. Peter is back in his room, Aunt May is right outside the door, very concerned, Peter tells her not to enter, then this happens:

almost invation of privacy

Don't you just hate it when someone has a key to a door that you can lock? It's a huge pet peeve of mine - never mind if that person is ultimately respectful, like Aunt May, the point is, she can barge in at anytime if she wants to. The fact that Aunt May always has Peter's key in her pocket is even more vexing.

This panel reminds us that this retro issue incorporates 21st century technology

watching from a laptop at school

It's a crazy mix, this panel. Look at the police uniforms, those are mid-century. The laptop and those uniforms don't really belong in the same time period. Marvel apparently had to include the tech and the up-to-date cultural references but they had to include snatches from the classic 60s comic too. No complaint here. It's a pretty wild mix that's fun to read.

Here's a flaw in the script

flash hanging out with an unlikely crowd

The reason for this whole scene is to bring home the point that Flash, like Clayton, is an early fan of Spider-Man. Except, Flash, the jock, is shown here hanging out with the nerds and making chummy comments. How likely is that?

My expectation is that Clash is just like Syndrome . A glory hound who wants the satisfaction of one-upping Spider-Man. Not quite. He wants to beat Spider-Man but with a twist.

clash the celebrity

Clash counts browny points in social media - he wants web notoriety and is willing to pay for it. He'r really relatively harmless until Peter makes a wrong move.

spidey makes a mistake

Clash paid for an hour of Spidey's time to create a video of him beating Spider-Man, said video to be uploaded later for Clayton Cole's benefit. It's a business transaction that Peter doesn't honor. It's very disrespectful on Spider-Man's part, not to mention unprofessional since this is a contract gig. I think Clayton Cole, who started out as more of a showbiz type is headed for traditional super-villain territory and the fault lies with the Spider.

There are some action scenes here but nothing worth showing. I complemented Ramon Perez for some beautiful panels last issue but his action art, at least in this issue, doesn't look as good as his location shots last issue.

Looking at Peter's situation at school, an administrator wrongly assumes he has been beaten up by Flash, and the school official does the old, stupid, shake hands with each other routine.

the lame 'shake hands' routine

As you can see, Flash threatens Peter and Peter is very affected.

My reaction is: What gives? You're Spider-Man, so what if you're being threatened by the school jock? I'm beginning to realize that its not about the physical threat. It's an acceptance thing. Flash can no longer beat him up but not all the Spider powers in the world can ever let Peter belong.

The big surprise for me here is coming to the last panel and reading "To Be Continued". What the?! There's a third issue? They better wrap it up, this little time travelling trip is getting a bit stale.

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