Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Has it really been a week of Spider-Man butt whuppins already? Yes, my friends, I'm afraid we've reached the end.
Today's villain is Mac Gargon, aka The Scorpion, a villain who has always tried to use his mechanical tail to stick a sharp protrusion into Spider-Man's thorax, but a bigger thorn in Spidey's side has always been J. Jonah Jameson.
That's Jameson, the publisher of The Daily Bugle, in the foreground, gleefully looking at a copy of his paper with a picture of Spider-Man getting his butt whupped on the front page. Apparently there's also something that delights JJJ on the back page too, possibly a particularly hilarious installment of "Hi and Lois." Jameson has always hated Spider-Man, various explanations have been offered over the years, but none of them have really ever done the job. I think the simplest explanation is just that Jameson is a jerk and it's just Spider-Man's bad lick that he's gotten the biggest helping of that jerkery.
But while we do have a picture of Spider-Man getting his butt whupped on the paper, as we can see outside of the window, our favorite arachnid came back for a round two and ended the week victorious! Poor J. Jonah Jameson, in a moment he'll hear the tapping, turn around, and realize he's going to need to run a correction in tomorrow's edition. That guy has to print retractions more often than Spider-Man gets his butt whupped. And as you've learned over the past week, that's kind of a lot.
Tomorrow: I don't know. Do whatever you want tomorrow, this is really the last one of these!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Today's installment of Spider-Man Gets His Butt Whupped Week is another cover version of a famous Spider-Man cover, this time going all the way back to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #39, drawn by John Romita (who I talked about back in the first installment of this series).
Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, is generally considered Spider-Man's #1 bad guy, his arch enemy. I guess killing the hero's first true love will earn you that kind of cred. That's probably why, when Spidey first made it to the big screen, GG got to be the villain. Sadly, in that movie he dropped all the purple parts of his costume. Less fashion daring meant he seemed a lot less daring all together. Shockingly, after three movies and four villians, we have yet to see a shred of purple cloth yet. Here's hoping if Mysterio ever makes it to the movies, he won't be forced to be less fabulous.
For an older guy, Norman keeps up on his work out regime pretty good, doesn't he? Either that or it's the Goblin serum that keeps his glutes so tight.
TOMORROW: In our exciting conclusion, we present a picture of Spider-Man getting his butt whupped AND Spider-Man triumphant, all in one picture! How can his be? Find out when the Scorpion strikes!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Spider-Man's butt whuppin' for today comes courtesy of The Vulture, aka Adrian Toomes. The Vulture debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #2 and is, therefore, the first classic Spider-Man villain (issue #1's villain was perennial B-lister The Chameleon).
The vulture's power? His suit slightly increases his strength, and he can fly. That's it. And the great thing about The Vulture? That's plenty. He's always been totally confident about his ability to get away with anything based on these mild and pretty common powers. "No one can stop a man who can FLY!" he would yell, flying away from a crime, unconcerned with the fact that he certainly could not fly faster than bullets.
Another great thing about The Vulture - he's old. Super crime is usually a younger man's game, what with all the running around and punching. Middle aged men in the business usually take more of a criminal mastermind
role than a physical thievery modus. The Vulture, however, is a card carrying member of the AAERP (American Association of Evil Retired Persons) and he's out there scrapping and runnin' with the youngins.
Writers over the years have fretted, repeatedly, that The Vulture's old age make him an unintimidating enemy, replacing him with a younger protege, replacing him with three upstarts. Recently, they've replaced him yet again with a acid-spitting mutant cannibal (and the only interesting scene in that story was when Spidey went to talk to old Adrian in his jail cell about the new guy). The simplicity of Adrian's powers, the unusual aspect of his age, and his general creepiness are the things that make him such a strong and memorable character. I don't know how many times new writers will try to replace him, but I do know they'll always come back to the original.
TOMORROW: Green grinning Goblins come out to terrorize!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Curt Conners was a brilliant scientist who had a hard time dealing with the fact that he'd lost an arm (I don't know how. Possibly it was fed to a crocodile by an immortal child). One day, curt noticed that lizards are able to re-grow tails that they lose and figured that maybe if he bonded lizard DNA with his own, he might grow back that missing arm.
Incredibly, Curt had figured right! Unfortunately, he did not also figure out that it would turn him into a crazy human-hating man/lizard monster (and, for some reason, give him the ability to control reptiles).
Here, the lizard has whupped poor Spider-Man good and is trying to find the quickest way to take him back to his lair in the sewer. You just know once he gets out of this Peter isn't going to just throw the costume away, either. He's going to try washing it and washing it and washing it, but it will never be OK to wear it again.
TOMORROW: The wings of the Vulture!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
BONUS: Click here if you'd like to see the static/non "animated" version of this picture.
Max Dillon was working on power lines (lookin' in the sun for another overload) when he was struck by lightning and given the power to conduct and control electricity). It's a little known fact that the same thing happened to Benjamin Franklin after the kite and key incident. He took to using his electrical powers to punish those who had voted against the turkey as the national bird and to terrorize French prostitutes (or something like that. I'm more up on my comic book villains than American history).
Also in today's picture is Peter Parker's dear old Aunt May. I'm not exactly sure what brought Electro to Aunt May's kitchen in the first place. I think maybe he was casing one of the neighbor's houses and then was drawn there by the inviting aroma of wheatcakes. What are wheatcakes, you ask? They appear to be what you and I and everyone else call "pancakes" (occasionally "griddle cakes" or sporadically "flapjacks"), but what Aunt May calls "wheatcakes." Perhaps they have a higher wheat content. I don't know, Aunt May won't give me the recipe. Anyway, she's dropping them now, so it looks like there won't be wheatcakes for anybody. Thanks a lot, Electro.
When he's not playing supervillain, Electro also has a career in movies, having starred in films such as "The Flamingo Kid," "Rumble Fish" and "There's Something About Mary (Jane Watson)."
TOMORROW: Near the lair of The Lizard!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today's installment of SMGHBWW is a cover version of the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #293 drawn by Mike Zeck and featuring Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter. I've taken the liberty of replacing the empty costume Kraven is holding in the original with an unconscious Spidey because otherwise this wouldn't be a picture of Spider-Man getting his butt whupped so much as a picture of Spider-Man being buried alive (and not actually in the picture).
Originally, Kraven was a big game hunter who had hunted every kind of dangerous animal the world had to offer and came to New York City seeking the challenge of the most dangerous prey of all - Spider-Man! The storyline this picture came from was the classic "Kraven's Last Hunt" in which Kraven has gone a bit (more) insane from his years of being defeated by Spidey and vows to finally kill the web-spinner and then replace him as a better Spider-Man.
Step one: stop wearing pants.
Step two: When you finally get a net on Spider-Man again - just shoot him for once (with a tranquilizer).
Step three: Bury him (strike that, hire someone to bury him)
Step four: Get naked and eat a ton of Spiders to become the new Spider-Man.
Step five: Find foe Spider-Man needed help to beat (Vermin the Rat Man? Really?). Beat him 'til he cries for mommy.
Step six: Having proved yourself better than Spider-Man, commit suicide.
Oh, that Kraven. Did he know how to have a good time or what?
Tomorrow: Electro! Wheatcakes! Animation (kind of)!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
First up on our parade of pain is the tubby tentacled terror of Doctor Otto Octavious, aka Doctor Octopus, aka Doc Ock! Poor spidey's being pressed to the pavement, the world seeming to crash in around him, Mary Jane in peril, and the doc about to deliver the big finish with a manhole cover.
Doc, like all the villains we'll be highlighting during Spider-Man Gets His Butt Whupped Week, was created in an amazing flurry of creative genius by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko during their inaugural tenure on The Amazing Spider-Man. Never before or since has some a classic collection of rogues debuted in such a short amount of time.
I drew this installment early on, before I realized that all the bad guys were going to be Ditko and Lee creations. Had I realized that, I might've put Betty Brant or Gwen Stacy in Doc's clutches instead of MJ. Mary Jane isn't really a Ditko creation, even though she technically appeared briefly in a couple of Ditko's issues. In those appearances, though, she was kind of like the neighbor in Home Improvment, always a flower in the foreground or something obscuring her face. She didn't dress anything like the mod party gal we came to know later and we never even saw her signature scarlet locks. I guess you could credit Ditko with creating Mary Jane's breasts, which isn't all bad, but the rest of the look goes to Ditko's artistic successor, Jazzy John Romita.
Ditko may have been the great creator, but I think Romita's pencils are the ones that really created the definitive look for Peter Parker and his pals in most people's minds, and while Ditko deserves all the praise he gets, I think we sometimes forget that.
Next up: a cover of a cover and a wild whuppin' courtesy of Kraven the Hunter!
Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. Tomorrow, his flagship title, The Amazing Spider-Man, reaches its 600th issue, so I'm decided to post a week-long series of drawings celebrating Peter Parker's more colorful alter ego.
What's one of the things we love most about Spidey? His perseverance. His tenacity. His drive to keep fighting, no matter how overwhelming the odds. How he takes a liken', but keeps on tickin'.
Another great thing about Spider-Man is his fantastic roster of villains, arguably the best in comics, inarguably one of the best two (most would probably give Batman's loony louses the top spot). The web-head's colorful criminals are a compelling group of nutjobs who are also pack a visual punch.
So, starting tomorrow and for the next seven days, we'll highlight these two aspects of the Spidey charm by presenting a series of drawings of some of Spider-Man's most fearsome foes handing him his hat. See you tomorrow, true believers, for day one of Spider-Man Gets His Butt Whupped Week!