Sunday, 22 July 2018

Spider-Man Meets The Mindworm

Only an all-time classic, is all.
It's amazing ( arf! ) when you stop to think about how great Spidey's book was, and for how long. All through Ditko, Romita, Kane and Andru it really was the gold standard.
But it was Conway & Andru that, if pushed, would be 'my' run. Not as ground-breaking as Lee / Ditko obviously, but this was the period where we actually could get American colour Spidey in this country, every month!
And practically every issue was a classic in the making. Take this one, where Petey moves in with Flash, an epoch making event in itself. Add to that a great, tortured villain, and the fact that the neighbourhood is being torn down in a spate of '70's urban renewal, giving Spidey not that many places to swing from, and you have a masterclass in how to do it in one issue.
In that PBS Superheroes documentary, somebody says that the reason '70's Marvel writers could write so convincingly about New York was because they were all living in the not-so-nice areas, and I'd be willing to bet we're looking at Gerry Conway's old neighbourhood here.
Just an added frisson to an already great story.


  1. An under-rated classic in my view. I always enjoyed this story,but like you say Pete,they were all great back then :)

  2. Just about every issue, yep.

  3. I love this issue. I've seen people bash it before because of the Mindworm. My very first Spider-Man comic was 141. The Ross Andrew run is very underrated. Great post.

  4. I've always felt the same way. Obviously, this sort of thing is largely determined by who was doing the issues when you first started reading any given title and I certainly wouldn't claim that era as the best, as such, but it was really, really good and I think it gets short shrift when the title's history is being discussed.

  5. Back in the day, I didn't think the Mindworm's type of horror belonged in SPIDER-MAN, but I have to admit that if a reader were encountering Conway and Andru's SPIDEY for the first time, that would be the "ground rules" for that reader.

  6. Never cared for the villain, probably really it's just the look and name as the story itself is good. This was the heyday of Spider-Man in my books. After circa #200 it wasn't what it had been, unless Roger Stern's name was in the credits.