Today, we see how one of Spider-Man’s early inventions helped stop one of his first supervillain foes, but then went unused for decades before saving the day once again.

This is “I Remember Well”, a completely new feature that highlights instances where writers pull out plots or attributes from long-forgotten comic book characters. I have a similar snippet called “I’ve been here before” when writers put out their own old plots / characters, but this is when different writers do. I also have a snippet called “Provide Some Answers”, when writers solve long-forgotten plots, but this is when writers don’t solve anything, they just bring back something that hasn’t been used in a long time.


As I’ve talked about recently, Spider-Man made a big fuss about “With great powers comes great responsibility” at the end of Amazing fantasy # 15, when he didn’t try to stop a thief who later kills his beloved Uncle Ben, but then proceeded to … not fight crime, actually. He tries to save John Jameson mainly to get rid of J. Jonah Jameson and he fought Chameleon because he framed Spider-Man for crimes. Similarly, Spider-Man fights the Vulture in 1963. Amazing spider man # 2 (by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee) because the Vulture kicks Spider-Man’s butt while Spidey is just trying to get photos of the criminal to sell to the Daily Bugle. So he just tries to arrest the Vulture because the Vulture hits him.

Regardless, Spidey improvises a device in his bedroom (Peter Parker can really improvise the best things. He’s really an amazing guy when it comes to putting things together in his room. I mean, he’s not creating Iron Man’s armor. hostage with a chest wound, but it’s something!) and then he uses it when he sees Vulture next and effectively closes the Vulture’s wings …

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Pretty sweet invention, right?

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The problem is that Vulture is a smart guy and therefore after he built a new flying machine to escape from prison in Amazing spider man # 7 (becoming the first Spider-Man supervillain to have a comeback engagement against the webcrawler), then modifies his official flying machine and then convinces Spider-Man to think everything is the same as before, so when Spider – The man uses the ANti-Magnetic Inverter again, the Vulture seems to plummet, but then it appears out of nowhere and attacks Spider-Man by surprise (well, the biggest surprise you can get with a guy who has a sense of danger ) …

The vulture then explains that its new wings automatically alter polarity, so an inverter won’t turn it off. So Spidey has to think of a new way to stop the villain (by the way, how funny would it be if it WORKS and that’s how things were for the next thirty years? Vulture shows up, robs some people, and then Spidey takes him out. with the same invention over and over again).

With the device now seemingly useless, Spider-Man didn’t use it in a comic again for over three decades … and yet somehow he used it almost immediately as well. Confused? Let me explain …


The next time the antimagnetic inverter was used was in Untold tales of Spider-Man # 1 in 1996 by Kurt Busiek, Patrick Olliffe, Al Vey and Pam Eklund). Although it was released more than three decades later Amazing spider man # 2 and # 7, was actually set in a contemporary time period, as Busiek would set the stories between the pages of Ditko and Lee’s original comic book adventures, telling, well, you know, Spier’s untold stories. -Man, but doing it in such a way that they fit perfectly in the original stories. Busiek really outdid himself with this excellent series (which was part of a special 99 cent line of comics at the time).

In any case, the story sees Electro teaming up with the Eel to fight Spider-Man and Spidey realizes that his ELECTRO-magnetic powers would still be affected by the Anti-Magnetic Inverter, so he uses it on the two villains and sure enough, he ends up crushing the two bad guys together, thus winning the day for the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man …

The story was also tied to a recurring subplot in which Peter’s classmate Sally Avril tries to become a vigilante in disguise, though she’s not really ready to do it (it doesn’t end well for her).

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Okay, now 14 years later actually (and now actually a long time since the events of Amazing spider man # 2), the antimagnetic inverter saves the day again in 2010 Spider-man web # 10 and its main story by Fred Van Lente and Nick Dragotta. A new villain calling himself The Extremist (in a slightly satirical look at some of Steve Ditko’s objectivist views) is trying to attack then-New York City Mayor J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man. he has to stop it, which is difficult because the baddie has the ability to pass through walls and objects.

The extremist brags about how he can hurt Spider-Man without Spidey being able to touch him …

When he suddenly realizes how wrong he is when Spider-Man uses the Anti-Magnetic Inverter to mess with his phase powers and take down the Extremist …

Interestingly, just a couple of months later, when Peter Parker is testing a job at Horizon Labs, he specifically references his Antimagnetic Inverter as one of his notable inventions, so the timing of its use here was really good.

I’m sure you guys have other sample ideas for this column, so please send them to me at [email protected]! I would love to have a month of them!

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