Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Back when airport security was lax, photographers weren't all scummy, and secret identities were sacred.
From 1985, Amazing Spider-Man #262, "Trade Secret" Script, pencils and inks by Bob Layton, additional inks by Carlos Garzon. This issue is probably better known for the photo cover from Eliot R. Brown than the content, but let's check out the latter!
Spidey is swinging out to Newark International Airport, since Peter picked up a freelance assignment: to get pictures of Reagan coming off Air Force One. But he's not the only photographer out there, and one catches Spidey changing in a baggage room! The photographer in question, D.J. Jones, is more indicative of what's now considered paparazzi: a sleazy thief with no morals, willing to do anything for the shot, as indicated when he drives a baggage cart at a bus in his escape from Spidey. While Peter gets Jones' info from Ben Urich, Jones tries selling the negatives to the mob, which decides to just take them.
Forced by his sense of responsibility to save Jones, Spidey lays it on thick, with a little more theatrical "vengeance" routine. (Think young Tobey Maguire trying to do Christian Bale's growly Batman voice.) Jones coughs up the negatives, and figures he'll have to leave town before the mobsters get out on bail, but how hard could it be to find...one nondescript guy's face? Yeah, pretty hard. It never really looks like Jones got a good look at Peter anyway, but this issue gets a story out of that, where a more modern comic may have just assumed the hero wouldn't be identified.