Marvel Tales # 186
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita Sr.
Colorist: Andy Yanchus
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Cover Date: April 1985
I’m sad to say that we lost yet another legend in the comic industry.
John Romita Sr., arguably one of the all-time great Spider-Man artists to ever walk god’s green earth, passed away in his sleep this past Monday. He was 93 years old.
To celebrate his legacy, I’m going to take a look back at Marvel Tales # 186 which reprints Amazing Spider-Man # 46 from 1967 one of my favorite Spider-Man stories but also serves as the first appearance of The Shocker. Stan Lee, as usual, does a terrific job with his writing due to how he sets up Spidey’s first meeting with The Shocker while putting the focus on Peter Parker’s life (The second subplot involves Peter getting ready to move in with Harry Osborn) while seeing Spidey’s inevitable showdown with The Shocker. While anyone will be in awe of Lee’s storytelling, it’s the artwork that really brings it together. Romita Sr.’s artwork is without a doubt brilliant on all levels. His breakdowns give everyone that glamorous movie star look like they all just stepped out of the classic Hollywood era from the 1950s/60s (Makes sense since he got his start doing those romance comics that Marvel did back in the early 1960s); Romita Sr.’s addition to ASM brought with it some much-needed energy and excitement that only he could bring to the table since the departure of Steve Ditko….simply because not only he brought new fans to ASM but turned a lot of people into Spider-Man fans.
His attention to detail and his action sequences are one of the reasons why Marvel in the Silver Age was just an amazing time for comics in general and his inking was just as breathtaking as his breakdowns as he made Gil Kane look great; For some artists, it wouldn’t be an easy task but Romita Sr. always made magic no matter what. For anyone who loves both John Romita St. and Spider-Man, I would recommend this issue indefinitely if it’s this issue of “Marvel Tales” for ASM # 46 itself (Going to have to pay a pretty penny for that one) but everyone should Marvel (No pun intended) at the work of Mr. Romita Sr.; You’ll be happy that you did.
Well, that’s it for me this week. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.