The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (September 1963)

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It’s the first appearance of Betty Brant. I hadn’t been expected it, but now I’m looking forward to it. She and Peter’s romance was always effecting. Even here, her thought balloon foreshadows the eventual dating.

Lee fits a bunch into this issue (oh, it’s the first appearance of the Sandman too), including the first battle at Midtown High–the Sandman sneaks it and Spidey surprisingly appears–with Spider-Man coming up with some semi-scientific solution to the problem. There’s also, much more amusingly, Peter trying to figure out how to sew his mask back together after it gets ripped in the first fight with the Sandman.

The scenes with Peter stuck in bed, pretending to be sick because Aunt May almost walked in on his Spider-Man costume, are hilarious.

The Sandman origin, told mostly through a news report, is concise and well-executed.

So far, my favorite issue.

CREDITS

Nothing Can Stop…The Sandman!; writer and editor, Stan Lee; artist, Steve Ditko; colorist, Stan Goldberg; letterer, Sam Rosen; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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