Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Penciller: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Jim Mooney
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Bob Sharen
In honor of Dennis O’Neil, I’ll take a look at one particular issue from his iconic run of “Amazing Spider-Man” back in the early 1980s. In issue # 212 it’s the first appearance of one of the most unique villains that Spidey’s ever faced- Hydro-Man. I’ll be the first one to admit that Hydro-Man himself didn’t quite get that much love in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (The character development could have been fleshed out in a future movie) but in this issue, it was very interesting to see that Spidey himself was responsible for the villain creation as Morrie Bench got accidentally knocked over due to some crates and when he was in the river, Morrie was exposed to an experimental gas from a generator which in turn gave him the power to shape his body into the water.
The confrontation was really cool to see and although Hydro-Man ended up spending most of his time teaming up with either The Sinister Syndicate or his all-too-familiar allies in The Frightful Four, the way this issue was written made it a great way to him to be introduced, especially since this issue was the perfect set up for a classic storyline featuring The Sandman. O’Neil’s run on ASM perfectly balanced that classic and wholesome fun when it comes to a superhero comic but at the same time, he did keep what made Spider-Man so special.
John Romita Jr.’s artwork was just great for its time (With Jim Mooney’s inking) and showed that although he was in his father’s shadow by taking on the penciling chores on the title that made him famous, I liked that his artwork during this time was nowhere near the drastic change that it took when he was the penciler of “Uncanny X-Men: later on in the eighties.
O’Neil not only proved that he can write and define Batman and Superman, but his ASM run was so phenomenal that in my opinion, it’s a complete masterclass on how to write a perfect superhero comic. He’ll definitely be missed (R.I.P.)
I’ll be back next week with another review so thanks for sticking around and I’ll see you all next time.