Whatever a Spider Can’s Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1.1 Recap


The first of a six part issue exploring the origin of Spider-Man, acting not so much as a retcon, but more of a filling in the gaps kind of mini-series. Events that happen in this mini-series will tie into what happens in Amazing Spider-Man so it’s a useful read, especially as it introduces a new never-before-seen villain.

Before I get into the actual issue I’m going to briefly discuss the short Learning to Crawl teaser that was included in Amazing Spider-Man #1. We’re introduced to a very smart teenager who is developing a sonic pulse generator for a citywide science fair. His name is Clayton Cole and he uses physics to make watching a wrestling match sound educational. It turns out that Clayton was there at the Crusher Hogan match that Spider-Man/Peter Parker took part in, and ever since then has been slightly obsessed with Spider-Man. We then see Spider-Man showing off at a live television show with Clayton Cole getting Spidey’s first ever autograph. The teaser ends with Clayton holding up a mask similar to Spidey’s except it’s white and purple.

Cue Learning to Crawl #1 and it starts with a re-telling of Peter Parker’s decision to wield great power with great responsibility after reliving Uncle Ben’s death and accepting that he was responsible, at least in part, if not fully for his family member’s death. Peter resolves to step-up and that involves trying to organise the financial situation so that Aunt May doesn’t have to. Peter then demands more work from his agent who wants Peter to profit from fighting crime, Spider-Man reacts angrily and tells his agent he “Is no hero”.

We then meet some of Spider-Man’s supporting characters at school with Liz Allan inviting Peter to watch a prime time Spider-Man special, naturally Peter has to make up some lame excuse (about testing his night vision at an eye doctor) and Liz gets mad causing Flash Thompson to confront Peter for upsetting his girlfriend.

We’re then reintroduced to Clayton Cole who has swapped all of his SummerSlam posters of the Rock for Spider-Man posters, and we see that he’s willing to conduct dodgy alleyway transactions for tickets to Spider-Man’s shows. It’s clear that Clayton idolizes Spider-Man.  We then cut to a scene of Spider-Man doing the show with several people watching, Flash and Liz at Liz’s house, J Jonah Jameson moaning about it, what appears to be Chameleon looking thoughtful and Clayton loving it.

Spidey reveals he makes his own webbing and web-shooters causing Clayton, who we’ve already seen with a mask, to make some wrist mounted contraption which I’m willing to bet has a lot to do with sonic pulse generators. It’s obvious that Clayton is gearing himself up to emulate Spider-Man in real-life.

Peter attends Uncle Ben’s funeral and he learns about some of the generosity his Uncle had dished out with several people preparing food for Peter and Aunt May in gratitude. The next scene is a seemingly straight Quentin Beck making special effects for the next Spider-Man show with Spidey’s agent. In a fantastic bit of foreshadowing the last panel of the page shows Beck beheading a Spider-Man manequin with a saw blade.

Spidey is late for rehearsals due to being roped into some therapy where we get some enlightening scenes showing us how Peter is feeling. During the show the buzz saws take him by surprise and the studio begins collapsing into the audience, Spider-Man manages to stop-it and pretends it was part of the show to rapturous applause but the TV station

The issue ends with J Jonah Jameson writing an anti-Spider-Man post stating that the real heroes are normal people not masked menaces like Spider-Man. He ends the speech saying it’s only a matter of time before an impressionable youngster tries to imitate Spidey’s fantastic feats, this is just as we see Clayton in full costume revealing himself as Clash.

Click here for the Learning to Crawl #1.2 preview, which features Clash in action for the first time as he tries to take on the Vulture, also Spider-Man finds himself facing the Fantastic Four.  And here’s the Amazing Spider-Man #1 recap and review.

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