A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments - Day 1

A fresh new year always seems to taunt me with the idea of doing a year-long bit, and you know what, I think this year I will do one! So here, for your entertainment, is the first of a series for the whole 2009 year - a once a day look at cool comic book moments!

Our first moment is perhaps the coolest (and most famous) moment in Spider-Man comic book history!


Amazing Spider-Man #33, by Steve Ditko (plotter/artist) and Stan Lee (scripter) was the last of a three-part storyline that pitted Spider-Man against the mysterious Master Planner who turned out to be Doctor Octopus!

Both Doc Ock and Spider-Man are searching for a serum called ISO-36. Doc needs it for his radiation research, while Spider-Man needs it to save Aunt May, who has become sick due to a transfusion she had received in the past from Peter - his radioactive blood now has terrible side effects on his aunt, and you better believe Peter is feeling guilty about that!!

So at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #32, Spider-Man managed to get the serum from Doc Ock, but not before the villain knocked a huge iron unit the size of a battleship down on Spider-Man, pinning him mere feet from the serum. The bad news gets worse when the underwater base is beginning to leak - not to mention that Octopus leaves his henchmen behind to shoot Spider-Man if he somehow escapes.

Not a pretty situation to be in, eh?

So #33 shows the mastery of Steve Ditko, as he depicts Spider-Man slowly but surely getting the gumption to free himself. This issue comes down almost entirely to Ditko, although I think Stan Lee’s dialogue for Spider-Man’s thought balloons are good (although, of course, one could argue that Lee perhaps overdoes it a tad bit as Ditko's art may be evocative enough withOUT Lee's dialogue, but I like it a lot still, especially the great line "Anyone can win a fight when the odds are easy! It's when the going's tough - when there seems to be no chance - that's when it counts!" - awesome).

This issue has been re-done many, many times over the years - Spider-Man is in a tough spot and forces himself to dig deep into his inner resolve and sense of responsibility to get out of it.

Beautiful comic book storytelling and a very cool comic book moment.

Here are the three famous pages - click to enlarge!

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