Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man – AT4W

The battle over who has more lines in a movie!

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About Linkara

Atop the Fourth Wall is a show about bad comic books. Linkara finds the surreal and the stupid and breaks them down page by page. You'll know why they're idiotic and how they can be improved.


  1. every gonna review sam kieth batman trough the looking glass?

  2. I remember this from way back when I was a kid, and indeed thought it was awesome.

    But you should also do the sequel, which I thought was even better. You have Wonder woman vs the Hulk, Spider-Man is showcased much better (Superman doesn’t do everything this time), plus the villain is Doctor Doom, who actually proves to be a very effective Superman foe.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      I too remember this comic from my childhood. My friend had a copy, I remember being surprised by how huge it was and that Supes and Spidey were apparently supposed to inhabit the same universe. I also remember another one that had Dr. Doom teaming up with the Parasite to fight Superman and….I forget who the Marvel hero was. Maybe Spidey? Maybe Cap?

  3. Will ever review the comic where Spider-Man and Batman team up to fight Kingpin and Ra’s al ghul?

    • I didn’t know about that? I did read the one where they wounded up reluctantly teaming up to fight The Joker and Carnage. Though they did really work beside each other for most of the story, so I don’t if hindsight if it was that great of a time up.

  4. In the wake of two recent superhero vs superhero movies, I’m relieve to hear that your not really a big fan of this sort of thing either Linkara. Since I was beginning to wonder if damaged by geek credibility.

    This can of story be done well, but most days I’d much rather see heroes working together for a greater good than battling it out. It’s hard to justify this kind of conflict in your stories without making at least one of the heroes seem like an unreasonable jerk and they have a tendency to cope out by ending a draw to avoid offending fans of either character. Not to mention if one totally defeats the other, you risk the problem of the loser seeming unworthy of adulation for not measuring up and the victor unworthy of admiration for being needless brutal.

    That said, I did thing Captain America Civil War did a good of avoid these problems and for the most so did this comic and it is indeed a classic. And yes I do still have that reprint with the b&w cover background.

    While the central fight does seem sort of one-sided since Spider-Man couldn’t have possibly posed a threat to Superman without the villains interfering with their pseudo-science, this was creative way to give him a temporary edge while also providing enough time for both character to try and sort of what’s happening. Neither one comes off overtly clever, dense, or arrogant despite being unevenly match and Spider-Man’s ability to bounce back from humiliation has long been part of his charm. Plus even he did seem unnecessary to defeating the villains next to Superman’s powers, his own strategic talents are put to good use in the way he manages to divide and conquer them.

  5. Glad I watched this video. I have one of those reprints – and it’s worth some money. I have the Batman/Hulk crossover, and it’s worth a little more than I’d expect from a reprint. Quite a bargain considering I got them in a batch of random comics.

  6. I have two other quick notes:

    While Mary Jane’s catty statements to Louis does feel like a strand attempt to reflect contemporary the values of single women of that time, I think Louis’s own inner monologue a few page early does it better. It seems like the writers had moved somewhat beyond presenting Clark as a wimp and as Louis a harpy. She thinks, “If only he were a CREEP, like Steve Lombard–I could HATE Clark for being a coward–but who do you hate a PUSSYCAT! Ah well–the worst thing a women can DO–is try to change the men AROUND her.” Regardless of the merits to that last statement, at least they makes her seem a tad more accepting of Clark being passive in conflicts compared with older stories.

    The other thing I that amuses me is that her Doc Ock is the villain that opposes blowing up the earth, but in Revenge of the Sinister Six (which came more than a decade after this comic) he was the one prepared to do exactly that! It’s funny how writers just keep going back and forth in making the same villains either complete monsters or evil with standards depending on the story.

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      Regarding MJ, you have to remember this comic was written in 1976, when truly “liberated” women (whatever that is) would refer to themselves as Ms. (hence, Ms. Marvel). She was also being written by a man (Gerry Conway), so what we’re getting is a man’s idea of what a “liberated” woman would say, which is no doubt why MJ sounds like such a patronizing bitch here. Granted, MJ was always presented as the tomboyish “bad girl” to Gwen Stacy’s saccharine-sweet “good girl,” and Lois Lane represents a feminine ideal from an earlier era, an older woman with more traditional values (meaning she’s over thirty), though I don’t think I’ve ever seen MJ standing on the roof of a locomotive blazing away at bad guys with a Tommy Gun, which Lois did in one of the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from the early 1940s. 🙂 But of course, because they’re both women being written by a man, they’re both looking for a man. So much for being “liberated.”

  7. 10:49: Ah, so like MoS, then.

  8. Wait how is DCs Rebirth controversial? I can understand Captain America being a Hydra agent can be controversial, but a lot of people are saying good things about the DC rebirth.

    • MountCDOSgamer

      I think he was more aluding to the way Watchmen was being linked to the DC Universe by making Doctor Manhattan apparently the one who changed the DC Universe to the way it became after the New 52. The head editors even admitted they knew it was goinf to be controversial!

  9. Devil's Advocate

    I think the continuity of this book and others like it is supposed to be Earth-7642 or the Crossoververse but I don’t really read comic books and got that off a wiki so maybe not. maybe it’s like the Transformers Multiverse where some of the mini multiverses/universal clusters in it end up absorbing elements of other multiverses.

    PS. since, according to TV Tropes, an artist gave you a cameo in one issue, you might consider reviewing the Littlest Pet Shop comic. you’re reviewing it’s sister show, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic’s comic, so why not?

    • Ah the crossoververse where Batman has made a whopping 6 apperances as half of the crossover(counting both the Punisher and Daredevil ones as two separate crossovers each) with none of the other title characters or teams having more than 2.

  10. To be fair, adding a Marvel buzzword to SUPERman would be kind of redundant.

  11. Graduation Day…Graduation Day…?


    “Let’s kill Donna Troi, because that won’t piss people off! Hey, Donna deserves a big, grand send off, doesn’t she? So how about we make Lilith cannon fodder too. Because that won’t piss people off! Let’s just nerf all of the Titans and Young Justice. BECAUSE THAT WON’T PISS PEOPLE OFF!!! Right? RIGHT!?”

  12. 32:31 Well you could ask how that works then cut to the clip of Gosei saying “there’s a simple explanation for that”. Sure that gag’s been done to death by now by some of us other reviewers but it IS an option.

  13. TragicGuineaPig

    12:02 – Would you say that Superman was… “BLINDED BY THE LIIGGHT!”

  14. Morkez Marihser

    …Crap. No YouTube mirror means no watch for me. And I was really looking forward to this.

  15. Hey, this idea is pretty good. Never thought I’d say that but yeah, this is a pretty good idea.

  16. 0:59 🙂
    5:59; ohhhh, I want that comic!
    13:53 only among you Americans! In Japan, it just becomes even more awesome!
    18:57 so cute 🙂

    Groovey review: this book was really odd. Can’t wait for next week 🙂

  17. Silly. Things don’t go to voicemail in the seventies. It went to the answering machine.

  18. Do you have a YouTube link to this episode? The ads on this page slow down everything, so the picture keeps jittering, and I keep getting sound ads that blare out in the middle of the episode. It’s really difficult to watch the show on this website.

  19. Action choreography analysis? That’s something that doesn’t happen often enough and has got me interested in this comic. Like how the momentum of who’s flying in which direction matters more than the precision perspective of the background. It’s a topic harder to review than plot threads or art in individual panels, but it’s no less important in sequential art. Especially a genre defined by bodybuilders striking poses in form-revealing costumes. I’d be down with more of that in reviews.

    Western comics tend to have different writers and artists, with the script asking to cover countless plot points and lines per issue. Detailed action is the easiest and most likely thing to get abbreviated. When the pacing and blow by blow of it get properly decompressed and flow well, it never gets enough credit. Everybody talks about what happened instead of how, and that’s a pity.

  20. Isn’t Spiderman’s web much MUCH stronger than steel by virtue of the fact that it’s basically artificial spider web? Or was Superman using his heat vision on it only making it as STIFF as steel so the guy wrapped in it couldn’t get any slack to rip it?

    yep…THAT’S the only thing I decided to question.

  21. Ah my girlfriend in high school had a copy of this. I do remember it being impractically huge.

  22. auberondreaming

    Funnily I grew up in Deming, New Mexico. It would make a good site for a super max prison.

  23. Ericthebearjew1

    If this were a modern comic, MJ would be chastising Lois Lane for not respecting her identity as a caedogendered moosekin.

  24. So what’s with the lack of links to the youtube version, lately? Screensaver, assuming that’s the one being used still, just freaks out on my tablet.

  25. I really don’t have a problem with heroes fighting other heroes as long as there is a reason for them doing so. For examples in both Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, Superman sees Batman as a brutal figure of society while Batman sees him as a threat to the planet, and Iron Man is for the Skocovia Accords while Cap is against it. BTW, it’s good to know that there is something you actually LIKED about BvS.

    During my vacation with my mother and sister this past week, I brought along all my Weird Al CDs for while we were on the road, and we DID listen the song “Ode to a Superhero.”

    6:18- At least he’s “The Man of Steel.”

    10:07- It’s nice to see that THIS version of Lex Luthor isn’t obsessed with the secret of Superman Peanut Butter. …You guys thought I was gonna make a joke about Luthor in BvS, weren’t you? Well, I’m not, because I am not that much of a hater like the most of you.

    I just hope that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark doesn’t make Peter Parker a Spider-Mobile.

    18:57- OMG, this is so freakin’ hilarious. Why the hell don’t we see crap like this more often in comics?

    24:27- HA, and I’ve actually seen the short animated film “Bambi Meets Godzilla.”

    30:16- I may not be a scientist, but I can already tell that that is complete bullcrap that the writers pulled out of their own behinds. This isn’t like Spidey in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 where he and Gwen Stacy use a car battery to charge up his web shooters before he fights Electro. …Jesus Christ, I’m a nerd.

    Well, this has been a pretty cool crossover from WAAAAAY back in the 70’s, and I’m a big fan of crossovers.

    I haven’t heard of Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day before your State of the Wall announcement on your site, but I’m interested to see how bad it is from the sound of your voice.

  26. What is so controversial about Rebirth? I think it’s epitome of the opposite. It’s almost embarrassing how much they try to not to be controversial and go back to pre-New52 roots.

  27. AT42? Seems like a typo in the tags there.

  28. I own this as part of a compilation called “Crossover Classics” from the 90’s. I think it was put out in conjunction with Marvel vs. DC. It reprinted all the late 70’s/early 80’s crossovers. Trying to explain to my six year old why Spider-Man and Superman can be in the same book, when they can’t normally coexist is not fun.

    For those not in the know, the Spider-Mobile ended up in the river because being a city dweller on limited income, Peter never learned to drive. So naturally, he has no problem flying a spaceship.

    The MJ thing is kind of interesting from a meta standpoint. It was later retconned that she’s known he was Spider-Man pretty much since the beginning. Her not being angry at being stood up could just be down to that.

    This issue also just shows how stupid Superman and Spider-Man are with their secret identities. If the whole point is to “protect your loved ones”, they’re not very good at it. Superman and Clark Kent are publicly known to have the same group of friends. The Kents weren’t alive pre-Crisis, so it’s not even protecting them. Peter Parker and Spider-Man obviously have a working relationship of some sort since Peter always gets the Spidey pics. Threatening his loved ones as a way to get toe Spider-Man defeats the point as well.

  29. Also, the money will be worthless if the earth is destroyed, because earth is the only place where dollars are printed and accepted as legal tender. Without the weight of the US economy behind them, they’re just weird little slips of cotton-enhanced paper

  30. I’m gonna assume Crossover Classics: The Marvel / DC Collection (v1) trade has gone up in price since I got it?
    Hmm… it’s got the same new colouring for the cover that you showed.

    Civilians not running in fear from huge fights is one of my pet peeves in movies. Some of the worst examples are Transformers 3, where they’re still running through the streets 24 hours after the Decepticons have taken over the city and announced a ‘kill-all-humans-on-sight’ policy; and Man Of Steel when in Smallville you see the same four or so people running across the same road back and forth for the first three hours of that fight. And the last three. And the middle five.

    Sounds like I’m not the only one with problems with United. 🙂

    I’m pretty sure the hardening of something via heat isn’t as insane as you seem to think… but ultra-frequency sonics in a laser in space? Uh…

    Next weeks… Graduation Day? The end of Peter David’s Young Justice?
    Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of ultimate suffering. My heart makes it this day.

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