Can you believe it's almost the very end of A Month of Pancakes and we haven't even included Aunt May Parker's fantabulous wheatcakes? Well, let's make up for that with a steaming hot plate of fresh wheaty panels from the pages of Spider-Man and other comics. Here at last: the secret origin of WHEATCAKES! Also: lemony old Aunt May and squinty, double-chinned Uncle Ben, who's not long for this world. But not because of WHEATCAKES!
Panel from "Spider-Man!" in Amazing Fantasy #15 (September 1962); script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Steve Ditko, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Artie Simek
Throughout Spider-Man's long, complicated, clone-stuffed, devil-bargain-infused history, there's a lot of flashbacks to his not stopping a crook, or little dots appearing in his costume eyes as he puts two and two together about that burglar, or facing it, he hit the jackpot, tiger...but there's also an entire International House of reminiscences about that same scene where the comics world is introduced to the wonder of wheatcakes. Here's some assorted flashbacks:
Panel from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #181 (June 1978); script by Bill Mantlo, breakdowns by Sal Buscema, finishes by Mike Esposito, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Annette Kawecki
That present Ben mentions is the famed microscope that became such a vital part of Spider-Man lore. yes, it's the Amazing Spider-Microscope! Remember when the microscope was the key element in defeating Doctor Octopus in the recent Superior Spider-Man and His Microscope team-Up #22? Ah, that was a great story.
Panels from Spider-Man: Dead Man's Hand one-shot (April 1997); script by Roger Stern; pencils by Darick Robertson and Dan Lawlis; inks by Keith Aiken; colors by Christie Scheele and Ian Laughlin; letters by Richard Starking, Emerson Miranda, and Albert Deschesne
Panel from What If? (1977 series) #19 (February 1980); script by Peter Gillis, pencils by Pat Broderick, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Roger Slifer, letters by Tom Orzechowski
So important are wheatcakes to the legend of Spider-Man that they even permeate the multiverse and leak into the (destroyed) Earth-1610, home of Ultimate Spider-Man eating Ultimate Wheatcakes!
Panels from Ultimate Spider-Man #132 (May 2009); script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Stuart Immonen, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Justin Ponsor, letters by Cory Petit
Even Webster Weaver, the 'Mazing Man-Spider (who I mentioned just the other day) enjoys eating wheatcakes! Well, probably not wheatcakes, since spiders don't eat plants. Quite possibly dead-flycakes. Mmm, pass the syrup! Or, quite possibly, fly blood.
Panel from "What If the Spider Had Been Bitten by a Radioactive Human?" in What If? (1977 series) #8 (April 1978); script, pencils, and inks by Scott Shaw!; colors by Carl Gafford; letters by Carol Lay
The recent retelling of Spidey's origins from Spider-Man: Season One omitted any mention of the wheatcakes, but at least they're pictured. Well, thank you, Neil Edwards, but no thanks to you, Cullen Bunn!
Panel from Spider-Man: Season One graphic novel (May 2012); script by Cullen Bunn, pencils by Neil Edwards, inks by Karl Kesel, colors by David Curiel, letters by Clayton Cowles
You wanna know why everyone loathed the attempted John Byrne reboot of the Spider-Man origin? it's because it was completely wheatcakeless. Not a speck of wheaty flour even between the margins. Also: Byrne substituted a personal computer for the Spectcaular Spider-Microscope. Also, history has borne out that John Byrne is a big jerk. But mostly, because there are no wheatcakes!
Panels from Spider-Man: Chapter One #1 (December 1998); colors by John Kalisz; script, pencils, inks, letters, and no wheatcakes by John Byrne
Of course, it wouldn't be the Mighty Marvel Mythosphere without somebody trying to stomp on the delicious, golden-brown, piping hot legacy of Aunt May's delicious wheatcakes.
Panels from Mythos: Spider-Man one-shot (August 2007); script by Paul Jenkins, painted art by Paolo Rivera, letters by Joe Caramagna
But usually, the story O read makes me deliriously happy to just see Aunt May whippin' up a batch of those delicious wheaty-cakes, whether it's then or now. Mmmmmmmmm, canonically.
Panels from Giant-Size Spider-Man (2014 series) one-shot (July 2014); script and letters by by Joe Caramagna, pencils and inks by Tim Seeley, colors by Sotocolor
Panel from The Sensational Spider-Man #-1 (July 1997); script by Todd Dezago, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Rich Case, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Kiff Scholl
Panels from "Playback" in Spider-Man Unlimited (1993 series) #1 (May 1993); script by Mike W. Barr, pencils and inks by Jerry Bingham, colors by John Kalisz, letters by Chris Eliopoulos
Panels from Spidey #2 (March 2016); script by Robbie Thompson, pencils and inks by Nick Bradshaw, colors by Jim Campbell, letters by Travis Lanham
Panel from "I'll Never Let You Go" in Amazing Spider-Man #665 (September 2011); script by Dan Slott, pencils and inks by Giuseppe Camuncoli, colors by Marte Gracia, letters by Joe Caramagna
Even Mary Jane learned how to make wheatcakes! Smart move, wife of Spidey! M.J. has been known to quote another famous wife of another famous bug, "No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best." Well, that and her lingerie closet.
Panels from "Playback" in Spider-Man Unlimited (1993 series) #1
Yes, even evil Doctor Octopus stuffed into the trim, muscular body of Peter Parker (that's not as nasty as I've made it sound, sorry) adores Aunt May's famous wheatcakes! i like to point to this as being the catalyst that inspired Superior Spider-Man to turn into a proper hero.
Panel from Superior Spider-Man #1 (March 2013); script by Dan Slott, pencils and inks by Ryan Stegman, colors by Edgar Delgado, letters by Chris Eliopoulos
Even Doc Ock's girlfriend taught herself how to make them...and improved the recipe. Maybe, for the sake of Aunt May, we ought to put that "improved" in quotes. Well, whatever ya do, don't call Anna the little woman. She hates that.
Panels from Superior Spider-Man #23 (February 2014); script by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, pencils by Humberto Ramos, inks by Victor Olazaba, colors by Edgar Delgado, letters by Chris Eliopoulos
It must be admitted that sometimes Aunt May forgets what she's serving and just calls them by some ordinary generic name. For canon's sake, I treat that as merely a slip of the tongue: she really means "wheatcakes."
Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1999 series) #2 (February 1999); script by Howard Mackie, pencils by John Byrne, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Liz Agraphiotis
And I can understand why they used the word "pancakes" in the easy-to-read (and endorsed by Easy Reader!) Spidey Super Stories, but really The Electric Company shoulda been trying to teach young kids a new word in each story. Nothing wrong with children learning about wheatcakes early. Perhaps the Short Circus could sing a song about it, or Spell Binder could change the letters "WH" to "GR" and attack Letter-Man with soem great cakes! Mmm, great cakes.
Panel from Spidey Super Stories #1 (October 1974); script by Jean Thomas, pencils by Win Mortimer, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Artie Simek
Yes, much like the grease they're grilled in, from universe to universe, wheatcakes is the word.
Panels from "Twisted Toyfare Theatre: The Matrix Unloaded" in Toyfare: The Toy Magazine #71 (July 2003); by Pat McCallum, Tom Root, and Zach Oat; with Justin Aclin, Rob Bricken, Adam Patyk and Jon Gutierrez
(Let's ignore for the moment that Peter Parker's own multiversal flesh and blood prefers pancakes to wheatcakes. Look, Anna Parker, I knew Mayday Parker, and you are no Mayday Parker!)
Panel from Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2 (September 2015); script by Dan Slott, pencils by Adam Kubert, inks by John Dell, colors by Justin Ponsor, letters by Joe Caramagna
In Spiderclusion: wheatcakes. They are as much a vital part of the Marvel Universe as is Captain America's shield and Wolverine's claws. And they're something to have at a happy ending.
Panel from Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #12 (May 2005); script by Mark Millar, pencils by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson, colors by Ian Hannin, letters by Cory Petit
(I'll take mine with lots of butter please, Aunt May.)
Tomorrow: I wind down A Month of Pancakes with quite possible the most useful post ever on this blog. Yes, even more so than that one time I told you Jack Kirby was pretty great. Tune in tomorrow for the Greatest Pancake Post of Them All!