I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got nine new comics.

  • Alex + Ada – 2
  • Archer and Armstrong – 16
  • Harbinger – 19
  • Lazarus – 5
  • Satellite Sam – 5
  • Unity – 2
  • Walking Dead – 118
  • Dead Body Road – 1
  • Manifest Destiny – 2
  • This week’s comic book cover to look at and examine is “The Amazing Spider-Man” # 158 by Ross Andru and Frank Giacoia from July 1976. This is another comic from my childhood but I don’t think I bought it off the stands. I think I got this from one of the kids in the neighborhood. I’ve heard a lot of complaints over the years from Spider-Man fans about Ross Andru. He’s not my favorite artist but I think he does a good job here.

    I can’t say this is one of the more famous and beloved Spider-Man covers but, c’mon, Spidey is getting strangled! Not a lot of cover feature strangulation. I’m sure you could find a few horror covers that do but not may super-hero ones. Besides the immediate danger of strangulation Spider-Man also has to fight off the threat of Dr. Octopus’s arms. I like the way said arms snake all around the cover going wherever the compositions demands.

    The word balloon on this one are pretty useless. Since the composition is so wonderfully busy they don’t mess things up but they add nothing to the story the cover is telling. We can already tell that a ghostly Hammerhead is menacing Aunt May so there is no reason to hammer the point home. But somebody thought all covers should have world balloons so this one got one too.

    I mentioned the busy composition and that is what I like most about this cover. This cover has a lot of elements in it and they all swirl around a central point on the cover somewhere to the left of Aunt May’s head. Even the UPC box works in this composition as Doc Ock tries to impale Spidey on it. This cover gives me a lot to look at and discover.

    The color of this cover is serviceable but not spectacular. There weren’t a lot of choices for the colorist to make. Spider-man and Dock Ock’s colors are already set so there was really only the boring lab background and ghostly Hammerhead to think of. The purple and white were good choices for Hammerhead as it sets him apart. I don’t know about the light yellow word balloons but I like the unusual choice for a yellow wall on the left side. It works well with the green and red and moves forward enough to give the Aunt May part of the cover a little more depth. A grey wall there might have flattened things too much and made Doc Ock’s arms stand out less.

    I never see this cover mentioned as one of the more memorable Spider-Man covers but it’s still pretty good and worth a look.