AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE #212
Marvel | Back To Amazing Spider-Man, The | January 1981 | Volume 1 | USA | 554 Owned
1st Appearance of Hydro Man.

Basic Information
Published
January 1981
Comic Age
Bronze
Cover Price
$.50
UPC
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     The Coming of Hydroman! 

    Aboard the S. S. Bulldog off the coast of New York City, the crew are lowering the special power generator into the ocean as Mr. Whitman, Dr. Kirchner, and Spider-Man look on. Spider-Man's brine-soaked costume continues to irritate his skin, and the heat further aggravates his condition. As the heavy generator enters the water, one of its live electrical cables snaps and begins to slither around on deck. As Spider-Man rushes to deal with the problem, he shoves aside some crates and inadvertently knocks a crew member named Morrie Bench, who is off duty playing cards, into the ocean near the generator. Unknown to anyone aboard ship, the energy conversion reaction within the generator combines with the gases in the water to form a new kind of energy that suffuses the unconscious sailor. Spider-Man manages to cover the live cable with insulating webbing, as Whitman orders the crew to haul the generator out of the water, Bench's poker partner, who was also knocked out, comes to and tells the crew of the mishap. Spider-Man quickly dives into the water to rescue Bench, although Bench has already been under water for four or five minutes. Spider-Man finds him about to be sucked into the ship's propeller. Before Spider-Man can act, Bench indeed passes through the propeller, but miraculously he emerges unscathed. Spider-Man hauls Bench up the side of the ship, and Bench is taken to sick bay. Then Whitman orders the ship back to port. When Whitman asks Bench, below decks, how he is feeling, Bench replies that he feels queasy. After Whitman leaves, Bench discovers that no matter how much he wipes himself with a towel, he cannot seem to get dry. This makes him angry, and when the ship docks, Bench goes ashore to look for a way to vent his frustration. At the same time, Spider-Man web-swings away into the evening twilight, arriving a few minutes later at his apartment. His singing neighbor is bawling a mournful tune, but before Peter can do anything about it, the telephone rings. It is J. Jonah Jameson, and he wants Peter Parker to shoot some human interest photographs on a freelance basis for the Daily Bugle. Glad to have a Job once more, Peter accepts, and then he calls Debra Whitman, who agrees to Join Peter on his photography assignment. As Morrie Bench sits morosely in Duffy's Pub, a dive in one of Manhattan's disreputable neighborhoods, a woman named Sadie, one of Bench's acquaintances, sidles up for some conversation. The air conditioning in the bar is off, and the city's heat wave is particularly intolerable there. Bench appears to be sweating profusely, and, annoyed, he tells Sadie to let him sweat in peace. Sadie replies that he is gushing, not sweating, and she leaves the bar disgusted. Suddenly Bench melts into a pool of water and flows out the door. Just as suddenly, on the sidewalk outside, the water purposefully rearranges itself back into Bench. When he realizes that he has become a freak, he becomes furious and decides that he will make everybody pay. As he dribbles down a sewer, he resolves to take his revenge on Spider-Man first, since Spider-Man will be the most difficult to deal with. A few minutes later, Sadie returns to the pub to forgive Bench and get him to buy her a steak and a couple of drinks, but she finds him gone. Indignant, thinking that Bench has left with another woman, Sadie exclaims that Bench is "nothing but a drip." In the days that follow, Bench searches for Spider-Man. He emerges first in the bathtub of Hy Egan, a police officer who once busted him for smuggling. When Egan fails to tell him where Spider-Man is, Bench drenches him with water. In his quest, Bench travels through the sewers, pipes, and drains of New York, emerging from garden hoses, washing machines, water buckets, and shower heads. As Peter Parker is introducing Debra Whitman to J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle, Joe Robertson suddenly rushes in with a story about an insane person who has been sighted on the upper West Side...
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