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19 February 2012 @ 10:25 pm
Can you see what’s missing from Spider-Man?  

Over the past week or so, I’ve shared scans of pages I found in a Marvel Bullpen file cabinet during the mid-’70s—so far, you’ve seen the X-Men, Captain America, Thor, the Sub-Mariner, Doctor Strange, and the Hulk—and along the way I mentioned I had a feeling based on the content that these were written no later than the mid-’60s.

Today’s sheet will give you more of an idea of why I think this. Take a look at Spider-Man and his supporting cast and tell me what you see.

Or rather … what you don’t see.

Well? Did you not see what I thought you might not see?

That’s right—the only love interest here for Peter Parker is Betty Brant. No Mary Jane Watson (who was introduced—though referenced earlier—in Spider-Man #42 (November 1966). No Gwen Stacy (who first came onto the scene in Spider-Man #31 (December 1965).

Could these descriptions really have been written that early in the creation of the Marvel Universe, before those characters mattered? And if so—for what purpose? And by whom?

I’m still thinking Stan Lee wrote these … but I’ve been hearing other suggestions, such as Stan’s brother Larry Lieber, or even Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, who did a bit of work for Marvel in the early days.

What do you think?

As soon as my continuing research yields any nugget of truth, I’ll let you know!

Meanwhile—only two more write-ups remain. Check back tomorrow for Iron Man, and then … the Fantastic Four!

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.