Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3

Story 'Sandbagged'

Peter faces a crisis of confidence after receiving a thrashing at the hands of Sandman. To make it worse, he really needed an ego boost to help him through his first ever date with Betty Brant.

General Comments

I scarcely need to point out the Ditko-esque slant to Pat Oliffe's art. Certainly there is a feel of old-fashioned pencils, historical settings and a bespectacled, youthful Peter Parker who has much to learn. In spite of all that, for me the rich colour, the dry humour and the subtle maturity of the script keeps me from thinking of these books as being Amazing Spider-Man #2B, Amazing Spider-Man #3B, etc.

The way the Untold Tales stories slot into the original books sometimes makes feel as if I'm reading parts 2 and 4 of a five part crossover - after having read parts 1, 3, and 5 ten years ago. Maybe Marvel regrets not having started massive crossovers 30 years ago and are now trying to rectify that early marketing mistake!

Overall Rating

1963 is gone and these books are from a different Marvel than the one from those times. Just 'cos they're not the originals doesn't mean they can't be good though. These are well-written in a wistful kind of way, I gave Issue #3 a hard-earned Four webs.