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Flash Thompson Debuted In A Romance Comic Before Becoming Spider-Man’s Biggest Fan

Spider-Man fans know Flash Thompson as Peter Parker’s high-school nemesis and Spider-Man’s biggest fan, later turned war hero, later turned Venom.

But did you know that the star quarterback had a reputation as a lothario a full eight months before he appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15? On his Tumblr, comics writer Tom Peyer posted a panel from January 1962’s Teen-age Romance #85 that mentions Thompson.

Check it out:

Spider-Man’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 wasn’t published until August of that year.

So did Stan Lee, the writer of every credited story inĀ Teen-Age RomanceĀ #85, have some grand plan to introduce one of his Spidey characters early? Probably not. Lee played pretty fast-and-loose with character names back then, once famously renaming Bruce Banner to Robert Banner for an issue simply because he forgot his name.

(It’s harder to pinpoint who the artist of the story in question is; Jack Kirby drew several of the stories, though this art doesn’t really look like his style. My guess is it’s Gene Colan, the only other credited penciler, according to the Grand Comics Database.)

Odds are “Flash Thompson” was a name Lee liked, so he reused it for one of the characters in Amazing Fantasy. Still, this is a pretty cool lost tidbit in comics history.


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