Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #263

Background

In Spectacular Spider-Man #72, Spider-Man met and saved Ollie Osnick, a teenager who idolized Dr. Octopus. Ollie even made his own set of metallic arms to team up with Doc Ock against Spider-Man. Things didn't go as planed as Ollie was nearly killed by Ock. When he was rescued by Spider-Man, Ollie had a change of heart.

Story 'The Spectacular Spider-Kid!'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #263
Summary: Ollie Osnick as The Spectacular Spider-Kid
Arc: Part 2 of 'The Misfits and the Doctor Octopus Kid' (1-2)
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Inker: Brett Breeding, John Beatty
Cover Art: Ron Frenz
Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #276

Ollie Osnick, also know as The Spectacular Spider-Kid is spending his night out on patrol. He gets his chance to play hero when he comes upon an elderly couple in trouble. Instead of foiling the mugging in style, he trips up on one of his newly modified spider arms. Spider-Kid's blunder allows the couple to escape, much to the aggravation of the Blazing Skull muggers. Just as they are about to clean Ollie's clock, the sound of police sirens cause them to bolt. Just like his hero, Spider-Kid doesn't stick around for questions.

Elsewhere Spider-Man and Black Cat are returning from a failed assault on the Kingpin. Cat wants to get intimate with Spidey but he's curious about her bad luck powers and wonders what else she's been keeping from him. Felicia gets upset and takes off. Once in his apartment, Peter smells the stench of his classic red & blue costume and decides to let it soak over night.

Morning at the Osnick resident and Ollie hasn't slept too well. Nevertheless, he gets ready for school. Once he's on campus he gets doused with what seems to be the usual verbal abuse from Brad Rossi and his crew. Jane Lane, the prettiest girl in school and Brad's girlfriend, sticks up for Ollie, commending him for his brain power and berating Brad for being an idiot. Ollie wonders what she'd think if she knew he had an alter ego in Spider-Kid.

Peter goes to the hospital to check up on Harry, Liz and the what the word is on the baby. The doctors won't give Harry a straight answer and he continues to beat himself up because he feels that he failed to protect his family from the Hobgoblin. Harry tells Peter that he has no idea what it feels like to be responsible for letting your family and loved ones down. Oh Harry, if you only knew!

The school day is over and Ollie is heading out the doors when he accidentally bumps into Brad. Brad takes this opportunity to shove Ollie side. He blames Ollie for embarrassing him in front of Jane Lane earlier in the day. Brad says he should give him a good pounding but Ollie says it wouldn't be a good idea to mess with a guy like him because Spider-Man is his friend. Brad laughs in disbelief, pushes Ollie to the ground and all the kids laugh at him. Ollie picks up his books and walks off thinking to himself "I'll show them! Someday they'll be sorry... Sorry they laughed at me!" Once again Jane Lane sticks up for Ollie. Jane warned Brad that she detests bullies and dumps him. Brad thinks to himself that he'll make Ollie pay for this.

Back at the hospital, Mary Jane shows up and offers to stay with Harry if Peter would like to go out for a while. When Peter gets home he realizes that he forgot all about his costume that he left to soak. The only thing he's got left to wear is the black costume that Black Cat sewed for him. Peter still gets chills when he's reminded of the symbiote that wanted to attach itself to him for keeps, but he admits that he does like the design of the costume and says Cat did a really good job.

Ollie does some tinkering on his flash light and then heads out for patrol, shining the light towards the sky. Around the same time Spidey is swinging through the city hoping to find the Hobgoblin when he notices a light with a spider on it (think of the Bat Signal). Spidey swings down towards Ollie and quickly figures out who he is. Ollie says that he wants to partner with him but Spider-Man says that he wouldn't stand a chance in the crime fighting world. Upset, Ollie takes off. Jane Lane looks up and immediately recognizes Ollie and runs off to catch up to him. Some members of the Blazing Skulls also notice Ollie and decided now would be a good time for payback.

Ollie sits alone, feeling rejected by Spidey's words when Jane Lane calls out to him. She asks why he's wearing that costume so they duck into an alley to chat. The Blazing Skull members have spotted Ollie on street level and move in to attack. Ollie takes Jane Lane with one of his spider arms and flees. Spidey shows up and takes out a few of the skulls. Moving to another alley, Ollie and Jane are surrounded from all sides by Skull members. Ollie tells Jane to get behind him and that he'll defender her even if it costs him his life. One of the Skulls takes out a knife but sees Spider-Man sticking to a wall above Ollie. The Skulls take off but get snared in some webbing. Happy that they are saved, Jane gives Ollie a hug, telling him that she wishes he wouldn't risk his life. Ollie sees Spidey swing off and realizes that it was he saved them and decides to give up being Spider-Kid.

Peter goes back to the hospital and finds Harry crying tears of joy. Liz has given birth to a boy.

The following day, Brad wants to show Ollie's face to the pavement. The Spider-Signal is lit in front of Ollie and the web-slinger drops down to to talk with him, shocking everyone. Spidey is about to apologize for last night but Ollie says that he was right. Spidey asks if they are still friends and Ollie responds "You bet!" Jane shows up and asks Ollie if she can go for another ride on his spider arms. One member of Brad's crew says Ollie is walking off with his girl but Brad says there's now way he's going to mess with Spider-Man's pal.

General Comments

Do the trials and tribulations of Ollie Osnick sound familiar? Yes, but in a good way. A very good way. Basically the people in this story are like this:

Ollie Osnick = Peter Parker

Brad Rossi = Flash Thompson

Jane Lane = Liz Allen

Ollie is a fat version of Peter and is a lot like him in his earlier days, even wearing similar clothes. Ollie is very much the central character of this tale. The status of Liz and Harry's baby, the upcoming fall out of Spider-Man & Black Cat's relationship; file both under "sub plot." Since this was Ollie's story we got to see Peter as a mentor figure and it really goes to show how far Peter has grown (there's that "G" word that Marvel loathes so much) since Amazing Fantasy #15.

Overall Rating

Peter takes a back seat and we still get a good story that feels like Spider-Man.