Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #290

Background

In what I beleive to be the first issue in which David Michilinie was the regular writer, Peter Parker asks a question that will change his life forever. Ill give you a hint. It's the BIG question!

Story 'The Big Question'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #290
Summary: Peter Proposes to MJ second time
Arc: Part 1 of 'Spider-Slayers' (1-2-3)
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Vince Colletta
Cover Art: Al Milgrom

The story begins with our hero, dressed in his black and white Spider-Man garb, on a rooftop pondering why he cannot be happy. The previous issue, he decided that he could never give up being Spider-Man, so why he still feels so empty is a mystery that weighs on the web-slinger's mind.

Spider-Man finally finds something to take his attention off his sorrow as he happens upon a huge crowd, before which a costumed man is holding the Mayor of NYC hostage. THe man is protesting the tearing down of several times square buildings, promising that if his demands are not met, he will kill the mayor. Spider-Man then swings in to save the day,webbing up the criminal's gun (which it ends up wasnt even loaded). After explaining to the man that the buildings were not even beign torn down, but simply renovated, the mayor praises Spider- Man, and J. Jonah Jameson, who was also there, has no choice but to do the same.

A quick change to Peter Parker later, and our hero goes to Mary Jane's apartment to ask her for advice. She advises him to go see his Aunt May, which he does. At his Aunt's house, Peter goes up to his old room and notices that the microscope that his Uncle Ben had given him was missing. (which should be no surprise as Peter left it at his uncle's grave many issues ago...). Aunt May lets Peter know that she gave the microscope to a church auction. So Peter rushes to the church auction to bid on the microscope and get it back. He almost misses the auction as he chases down some crooks, but he naps the baddies, gets back to the auction, and wins the microscope just in the nick of time. It was then that Peter determined what it was that was missing in his life, as he seemed to have an epiphany of what it was he needed to do.

And so, Peter Parker goes to Mary Jane's apartment, and after a bit of struggling, manages to blurt out his question "Will you marry me?" (GASP)

General Comments

Well, here is where the MJ/Peter marriage starts. The first time I read this, I felt like all the story was just there to take up space until Peter asked his question, but upon rereading, you can feel a bit of nostalgia when Peter is looking for a piece of his childhood before jumping headfirst into a very mature and adult commitment. All and all, this issue is not so great in itself, but what it does for the history of Spider-Man is monumental. From this point on, MJ and Peter were together through thick and thin, no matter how many times writers tried to seperate them, they always end up back together. And it all started with this.

Overall Rating

The story itself was around average, but the significance of this issue pushes this up to 4 webs. I mean, this sets up the marriage that 18 years later as of 2005 is still alive and well. Despite the efforts to break them up, what was started in this issue can likley never be undone. Also, this is the issue of Amazing Spider-Man that came out the month I was born, July of 1987. So it has sentimental value for me as well.

Footnote

I beleive this was the first regular issue of David Michilinie, who would go onto write Amazing Spider-Man until rougly 1994.